Thursday, December 29, 2011

US. selling arms to Iraq despite fears

The Sacramento Bee,
By Michael S. Schmidt and Eric Schmitt , New York Times
 Dec. 29, 2011 - 12:00 am

BAGHDAD – The Obama administration is moving ahead with the sale of nearly $11 billion worth of arms and training for the Iraqi military despite concerns that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is moving to consolidate authority, create a one-party Shiite-dominated state and abandon the U.S.-backed power-sharing government.

The military aid, including advanced fighter jets and battle tanks, is meant to help the Iraqi government protect its borders and rebuild a military that before the 1991 Persian Gulf war was one of the largest in the world; it was disbanded in 2003 after the U.S. invasion. But the sales of the weapons – some of which have already been delivered – are moving ahead even though al-Maliki has failed to carry out an agreement that would have limited his ability to marginalize the Sunnis and turn the military into a sectarian force.

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