Once the shooting stops, what do you do with piles of unused camouflage clothing and flak jackets, heaps of front-line food and mounds of trucks and armored vehicles?
First, count them up, then decide what to do with them. The war ended so fast the military has been left with mountains of unneeded materiel and more on order.Now the planners have to figure out what to do with the stuff - including part of the $900 million worth of the little-loved Meals Ready to Eat that they ordered.
Besides food, the Pentagon has spent billions of dollars on trucks, ammunition, spare parts, clothing and other supplies.
Since last week's cease-fire, however, "it's like we're trying to turn a river around," says Frank Johnson, a spokesman for the Defense Personnel Support Center in Philadelphia.
Much of the leftover supplies will be used to rebuild military stockpiles depleted by the gulf deployment.
"We are going to have to restock the shelves," Johnson said.
Clearing out excess hardware will probably take a year, said Major Peter Keating, an Army spokesman at the Pentagon.
Some Iraqi equipment captured by allied troops, such as modern, Soviet-made T-72 tanks and BMP-2 infantry vehicles, will be shipped to the United States, stripped down and examined to glean technical information, Keating said. Much of the rest likely will be sold as scrap.