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Thread: US Completing Large Arms Sales to Iraq

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    US Completing Large Arms Sales to Iraq

    WASHINGTON, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- The United States plans to go ahead with a nearly $11 billion sale of arms and training to Iraq despite concerns about the country's future, officials said.The sale of the weapons -- some of which have been delivered -- is proceeding even though Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shiite, hasn't fulfilled an agreement that would have limited his ability to de-emphasize the Sunnis and turn the military into a sectarian force, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
    U.S. diplomats, including Ambassador to Iraq James F. Jeffrey, have said they're concerned about the military relationship with Iraq, with some saying there could be political fallout if not managed properly by President Obama's administration.

    "It is very risky to arm a sectarian army," Rafe al-Essawi, Iraq's finance minister and a Sunni politician, told the Times. "It is very risky with all the sacrifices we've made, with all the budget to be spent, with all the support of America -- at the end of the day, the result will be a formal militia army."
    http://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2011/.../?spt=hs&or=tn

    I'm more worried about this arms sale than the Saudi one, though I approve of neither.

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    waltky (11-10-2012)

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    This troubles me.....also something else that has not been mentioned much in the Media. But I believe Maliki told Obama that if any uniformed US Soldiers would have remained other than some advisors, that they would be arrested by the Iraqis.

    71 billion just between Iraq and the Saud. Then there is Yemen, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman. More than likely over 150 Billion right there.
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    Cool

    Granny says, "Dat's right - dey oughta be buyin' dey's weapons from us...

    Iraq reconsiders $4 billion Russian arms plans
    Nov 10,`12 -- Iraq is reconsidering plans to buy more than $4 billion in arms from Russia, officials said Saturday, throwing the proposed purchase into question just weeks after it was announced.
    The turnaround follows the ouster of Russia's defense minister earlier this week, and allegations by Iraqi lawmakers and local media that the pending deal is tainted by graft. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki traveled to Moscow in October and outlined plans to buy the weapons, including helicopter gunships and air defense missiles. The deal would have strengthened Russia's ties to oil-rich Iraq at a time when the ruling regime of longtime Mideast ally Syria risks falling in the country's civil war.

    It now appears unlikely the sale will go through as previously planned. "When the prime minister returned from his trip to Russia, he started reviewing the deal as a whole," the prime minister's spokesman, Ali al-Moussawi, said Saturday. "The deal now is under investigation. So far, nothing has been proven. A new committee has been formed to avoid any suspicions." The comments came a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin reshuffled the nation's top military brass following the removal of Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov earlier in the week.

    Putin tied Serdyukov's removal to an inquiry into alleged military corruption, though many in Russia believe he was fired because of a brewing battle over the distribution of hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of defense spending over the coming years. Officials from Russia's defense ministry and Rosoboronexport, the country's arms export company, were not available for comment Saturday. Iraqi media reports, including one that aired this week on the private al-Sharqiya TV channel, have suggested impropriety such as kickbacks by people involved in brokering the deal.

    Lawmaker Hakim al-Zamili, who sits on parliament's security and defense committee and is affiliated with anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's political bloc, said al-Maliki expects to negotiate a new deal with Russia that would seek additional equipment and new prices. "There was clear corruption," he said.

    MORE
    See also:

    Iraq cancels $4.2bn Russian arms deal over 'corruption'
    10 November 2012 - Iraq is rebuilding its armed forces
    Iraq has cancelled a $4.2bn (2.6bn) deal to buy arms from Russia because of concerns about "corruption", an Iraqi government advisor has said. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has suspicions about corruption within his own team, his spokesman told the BBC. The purchase - said to include attack helicopters and missiles - was only signed off in October. Iraq has been rebuilding its armed forces since the end of US-led combat operations against insurgents. One Russian military expert has suggested that the Iraqi authorities scuppered the Russian arms deal under pressure from Washington.

    'Arms monopoly'

    Announcing the cancellation of the purchase on Saturday, a spokesman for Prime Minister Nouri Maliki told AFP news agency that "when Maliki returned from his trip to Russia, he had some suspicions of corruption, so he decided to review the whole deal". "There is an investigation going on, on this," he added. The sale would have made Moscow - the main supplier of arms to Iraq under Saddam Hussein - the country's second-biggest arms supplier after the US. There has been no word from Russia about the cancellations. In early October, Mr Maliki said in a speech that he did not want Iraq to be "part of someone else's (arms) monopoly." But he faced criticism from political opponents who questioned buying from Russia, when multiple deals with the US had been signed.

    One Iraqi MP suggested that counterterrorism operations - the stated aim of the purchase - required improved intelligence, and not the 30 Mi-28 attack helicopters that were reported to be part of the deal. The contracts were announced to some fanfare on 9 October after talks between the two countries' prime ministers near Moscow. Mr Maliki - who said he was seeking "quick contracts to fight terrorism" - warned even before he left that anything he signed might be scuttled by parliament. And at the time the deal was agreed, analysts suggested that while it was clear Iraq wanted to diversify its weapons purchases, buying from Russia would only encourage the sense in Washington that the US was somehow "losing Iraq".

    Igor Korotchenko, head of the Moscow-based Centre for Analysis of World Arms Trade, told the BBC the cancellation was "absolutely unprecedented in the history of the Russian arms trade". "As soon as the deal was announced a month ago I said that the US would not allow Iraq to buy such huge quantities of weapons from Russia. I believe Washington regarded this as an absolutely unacceptable scenario," he said. "As far as talk about corruption is concerned, I think it's a smokescreen," he said, adding: "I can't see any scope for corruption in the Iraq deal. I believe this is just a pretext and the true reason is Washington applying pressure on Baghdad."

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-20278774

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    If we really want them to do this on their own we have to give them the means to do it.

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