Sunday, July 31, 2011

No Decision On U.S. Troops Staying In Iraq, But Purchase Of U.S. Jets Is Still On

Five U.S. Air Force F-16 fighters jets fly in formation over the United States en route to an exercise in this undated file photograph. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki said Saturday that his government would buy 36 fighters from the United States to strengthen its weak air defenses. (Reuters)

Iraq Boosts Purchase Of U.S. Jets, But No Decision On Troops -- McClatchy News

BAGHDAD — Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki on Saturday signaled continuing military cooperation with the United States, doubling the size of a planned purchase of U.S. fighter jets, but he sidestepped the crucial question of whether American troops will be asked to stay in the country past a Dec. 31 deadline for their withdrawal.

Maliki told reporters that the Iraqi government planned to buy 36 F-16 fighter jets to help the fledgling Air Force defend the country. Baghdad had postponed plans to purchase 18 of the multimillion-dollar jets, diverting almost $1 billion of the money to buying food for impoverished regions in a response to rising anti-government protests.

"We have to provide Iraq with aircraft to safeguard its sovereignty," Maliki said in announcing that the Iraqi military would revive the F-16 contract. "We will make it 36 instead of 18."

Read more

My Comment: The number one priority for any (and every) government is national security. If there is no national security, all the food aid programs in the world will not solve one's socio/economic ills and problems.

Iraq is in this situation today. The security situation is getting worse, and as a result investment, business growth, economic development, etc. .... this is now on the bottom of everyone's priority list. While providing food aid for the needy is noble, this will not solve Iraq's deep political/security/economic ills ... in fact .... it is just creating a dependency class that will only produce more resentment and anger in the future.

: Yes .... I know .... 36 jet fighters will not make a difference in Iraq's security situation. I am focusing on the bigger picture, of which having a functioning air force is just one minor but important detail.

Update: Iraq set to double planned purchase of F-16s, but will US troops stay into 2012? -- Christian Science Monitor

No comments: