United States plans nearly $11 billion sale of arms to Iraq

December 29, 2011

Government/Politics, International

US pushes ahead with arms sale to Iraq

Among the big-ticket items the U.S. is selling to Iraq are F-16 fighter jets,  M1A1 Abrams main battle tanks, cannons and armored personnel carriers. The Iraqis​ also have body armor, ammunition, helmets, trailers and sport utility vehicles, which critics say can be used by security services to help Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki consolidate power. (New York Times file)

WASHINGTON — 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.


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