[QODLink]
Inside Story
Right to arm Iraq?
As the US pushes through an arms deal, we ask if there are guarantees the weapons will not fall into the wrong hands.
Last Modified: 30 Dec 2011 12:05

The United States is pushing ahead with a weapons deal with Iraq despite the near breakdown of the coalition government in the country.

"The purpose of this arm deal is to protect Iraq, our airspace and borders are vulnerable. These arms which we are buying from the US are not going to be used against our own people or to invade our neighbours. The best insurance policy for not misusing these arms is the parliamentary constitutional system in Iraq."

- Mowaffak Alrubaie, former Iraqi national security advisor

The deal, thought to be worth nearly $11bn, includes advanced fighter jets and tanks.

But the timing raises concerns that it will only strengthen the position of Nouri al-Maliki, the Iraqi prime minister, at the expense of his political rivals, and increase sectarian tensions.

Can Washington trust al-Maliki, and ensure that the weapons will not end up in the wrong hands?

Inside Story, with presenter Hazem Sika, discusses with this week's guests: Doug Bandow, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, specialising in foreign policy and civil liberties; Rosemary Hollis, a professor and Middle East analyst at City University; Mowaffak Alrubaie, a former Iraqi national security advisor and close aide to Nouri al-Maliki.

"The US would have calculated that they go ahead with this deal in order to consolidate their relationship with the prevailing government in Baghdad and in order to consolidate another military alliance in the region. This has been the practice of the US since the 1970s."

Rosemary Hollis, Middle East analyst, City University

Source:
Al Jazeera
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.