Iraq’s T-72s: Payment Received
Last week, we ran a story about 77 refurbished Hungarian T-72 tanks, headed for the Middle East and slated to form the core of Iraq’s first reconstituted armored division. They were scheduled to arrive just in time to provide additional security for Iraq’s December 2005 National Assembly elections… if they didn’t get impounded first for non-payment of bills.
Defense Solutions wrote over the weekend to let DID know that the Iraqi Ministry of Defense has now fulfilled their obligation and paid in full. Delivery will proceed on schedule. Meanwhile, CENTCOM writes to explain the problem:
“Please update your website that the Iraqi government has paid their bills to Mr. Ringgold. He never took legal action and his characterization of the Iraqi government’s failure to pay its bills is inaccurate. The funds were being processed as fast as possible based on the challenges that the government of Iraq faces as it rebuilds its banking system and government ministries. The Minister of Defense passed the payment authorization to the Ministry of Finance for Mr. Ringgold on 2 November and after some processing delays the funds were delivered to his bank on 9 November.”
The attached letter from Defense Solutions CEO Col. Tim Ringgold (ret.) was included in the Multi-National Security Transition Command-Iraq response, and was addressed to LTG Dempsey, BG Bolger, COL Fink, COL Greer, and LTC Meredith. It reads:
Good news. My bank notified me minutes ago that the wire transfer of funds from the Iraqi MOD arrived and has been successfully credited to our account.
Likewise, our Hungarian sub-contractor — contacted earlier this afternoon — has agreed to waive and forgo imposition of contract penalties, now exceeding $55,000. I have advised our legal counsel to cease all activities related to this project and to disengage. It is over. … I will simply report as I have, that MNSTC-I did all that could be done to see that we were paid, and for that I am personally grateful.”
DID had indeed reported that angle in our earlier story, but it is worth emphasizing here.