Tuesday, January 15, 2008
What is the United States expecting from the billions of dollars and thousands of lives invested in Iraq? Some say oil, some say greater stability in the volatile Middle East. Remarks yesterday from Iraq's defense minister suggests yet another possibility — a very, very, very good customer. On a visit to the United States, Abdul Qadir told the New York Times on Monday that Iraq expects to need foreign military help (read United States) to help defend its borders for 10 more years, even if it is able to maintain internal security by 2012. Qadir told the Times that Iraq wants to buy billions of dollars worth of weapons for its new U.S.-trained army, including vehicles, helicopters, tanks and artillery. Iraq's previous armed forces were disbanded after the 2003 U.S. invasion, but its stores of weapons were left unguarded and apparently fell into the hands of insurgents.