Iraq: a profitable ground for US arms sale

Iraq will buy weapons worth $13 billion from the United States by 2013 and will spend another $13 billion on weapons later, a Baghdad newspaper reported citing an Iraqi Defense Ministry spokesman, according to RIA Novosti.

Iraqi Major General Mohammed Al Askari was quoted as saying that Iraq has already concluded a contract worth more than $13 billion with the United States.

The money will be used to buy aircraft, helicopters, tanks, other armored vehicles, warships and missiles, to enter service with the Iraqi defense and interior ministries.

Baghdad’s decision to buy arms from the United States has less to do with the Iraqi government’s quest for weapons and more to do with the direction of U.S. policy.

It is known that the U.S. is the world’s largest exporter of military products. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the U.S. share of the global arms market in 2009 was 30 percent.

In August 2008, the United States has already proposed military sales to Iraq, which included the latest upgraded M1A1 Abrams battle tanks, attack helicopters, Stryker armored vehicles, modern radios, all to be valued at an estimated $2.16 billion.

Later on, in December 2008 the United States approved a $6 billion arms deal with Iraq that included 140 M1A1 Abrams tanks and 400 Stryker combat vehicles for elite Iraqi army units.

In February 2009 the US military announced it had struck deals with Iraq that will see Baghdad spend $5 billion on American-made weapons, equipment and training.

The whole situation started to look like a typical case when a colony under occupation is milked by a metropolitan country like a cow.

The “independent” Iraqi government is taking the decisions profitable for their friends, who could also be identified in other terms as occupants of the territory. Thousands of Iraqis were killed in the war the U.S. initiated, and now they make the victims pay for the weapons.

Apart for the obvious financial profits, what could also draw the U.S. government to sign that deal?

As one may recall, Iraq is the closest neighbor of Iran. Two countries’ boundary runs for 1458 kilometers. Iraq can be and indeed is a very good bridgehead for the operations in the region.

Although the situation with the Iran nuclear program is relatively calm these days, the United States has not ruled out a military strike to stop Iran’s growing nuclear programme under Ahmadinejad. Tehran has recently been slapped with four sets of UN sanctions, AFP reported.

Governments often send messages with their actions, particularly messages that can’t really be delivered directly.

The U.S. State Department confirmed Monday it had not received an invite to tour Iran’s nuclear facilities later this month. The announcement of the huge arms deal took place in the very delicate moment, and can be considered as a reminder to Ahmadinejad.

The New York Times earlier revealed that Iran had invited Russia, China, and several European Union members to visit, but the US had been snubbed.

The United States — which is a member of the Security Council, along with Britain, France, Russia and China — would normally be included in any invitations involving negotiations with Iran, according to My Fox Boston.

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