Worried about advanced arms in the hands of people who shift their stands every few years? Selling F-16’s to Iraq sparked concerns among Iraq’s neighbors. The White House said the deal will not affect the basic military balance in the region; unfortunately, they were obviously addressing Israel more than any other country in the region.
To GCC states, Selling F-16 air craft to Iraq is the tip of the iceberg. Greedy arms companies such as General Dynamics Corp., Boeing Co. and Raytheon Co. with amateur politicians from the new conservatives running the U.S foreign policy teamed up to create an Iraqi monster, who will be the cause of the next crisis. First it was the Baghdad/Washington long-term security pact, fully loaded with billions of dollars from oil sales, Iraq is emerging as the biggest client for a wide range of U.S. weapons, as it seeks to strengthen and professionalize its fighting force.
Iraq is seeking more than 400 armored vehicles plus six C-130 transport planes. Iraq also was seeking to buy 24 Textron Inc Bell Armed 407 or 24 Boeing AH-6 helicopters along with 565 120mm mortars, 665 81mm mortars, 200 AGM-114M Hellfire Missiles and other arms valued at as much as $2.4 billion.
The Iraqis have a good chance of getting the weapons they want, as far as officials in Washington are concerned and the Defense industry would be more than glad to supply them.
F-16s enables Iraqi forces to conduct successful air strikes, but Iraq still needs several years before they would be able to operate such activities. But because the Iraqis can’t be trusted, Israel will ask the Americans for some technical arrangements similar to those agreed upon before the Gulf deal was finalized. That will make these airplanes incapable of threatening the Jewish state.
Sadly, Iraq will turn its head the other way, only to use the new weapons to harass neighbors, as it did in the past. Clearly, funding an internal security force was a better idea than selling F-16’s or the other arms to Iraq. Selling the Falcon to Iraq will be the price of a reduced US presence in the region but what will be the price that GCC states have to pay to ensure their safety in the near future