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US sales arms in Gulf to counter terrorism

  1. Heretic.Ape.
    This isn't drug related, but may be interesting to some. Now I may be off base, but isn't it this sort of thing that causes a great deal of terrorism?


    [h1]Arms Sales in Gulf Will Counter Terrorism, Rice Says[/h1]
    Jim Watson
    Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will embark Monday on a four-day tour of the Gulf region with Defense Secretary Robert Gates. AFP/Getty Images





    NPR.org, July 30, 2007 · The Bush administration said Monday a $20 billion military sales package to Arab countries will promote stability in a Middle East threatened by terrorism and Iran's weapons ambitions.
    Embarking on a four-day tour of the region with Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the proposed U.S. package, "will help bolster forces of moderation and support a broader strategy to counter the negative influences of al-Qaida, Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran."
    The White House hopes the package will secure Iraq and the Persian Gulf as well as driving out terrorism.
    "We are helping to strengthen the defensive capabilities of our partners," Rice said in a statement. "We plan to initiate discussions with Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states on a proposed package of military technologies that will help support their ability to secure peace and stability in the Gulf region."
    The new sales to Arab countries, notably Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, will be balanced with a more than 25 percent increase in military aid to Israel over the next 10 years. This will enable the Jewish state to keep its qualitative military edge over neighbors with which it has no peace deal.
    Israel will receive a total of $30 billion in U.S. military assistance while Egypt, which along with Jordan has made peace with Israel, will get $13 billion as part of the broader package.
    Specific figures for Saudi Arabia and Gulf nations like Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, will be determined in the coming weeks, according to according to Under Secretary of State Nicholas Burns, Washington's third-highest ranking diplomat, who will travel to the region in mid-August for follow-up talks.
    Any sales will have to be approved by Congress, where some lawmakers have expressed deep concerns about their impact on the region and Israel.
    Administration officials have said they would be pursuing such sale even if Iran were not perceived by its neighbors as a significant threat.
    "The Iran element is one factor, it's not the overriding factor in why we're doing this," Burns said.
    But, at the same time, he put the possible threat from Iran in stark terms.
    Across the region, "there is a high degree of concern about Iran's quest to become a nuclear weapons power but also about fact that as you know Iran has armed and funded most of the Middle East terrorist groups," Burns said.
    The intended military sales were announced as Washington renews appeals for countries in the region to support its efforts in Iraq and the Iraqi government. Burns denied that the proposed packages were meant to buy backing for Iraq.
    "There are no formal quid pro quos in this, but it figures that we would want our friends to be supportive of Iraq," he said.

Comments

  1. Bajeda
    And Cold War lives on in the Middle-East, unnoticed by many...
  2. Nagognog2
    Brilliant example of fighting a fire with gasoline.

    His lack of intelligence is truly outstanding. Now to sit back and watch his toadies and sycophants applaud and cheer.
  3. old hippie 56
    Don't forget the stockholders of certain companies.
  4. Heretic.Ape.
    Kind of related so I thought I'd just throw it in this thread. Go Team America!

    h.a.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=12544902&ft=1&f=1001
    [h1]190,000 U.S.-Funded Weapons Missing in Iraq[/h1]
    NPR.org, August 6, 2007 · U.S. military officials have lost track of at least 110,000 AK-47 rifles and 80,000 pistols sent to help Iraqi security forces fight insurgents, according to a federal report.
    In a July 31 report to lawmakers, the Government Accountability Office revealed that its analysis of Defense Department and Multinational Force-Iraq records showed at least 190,000 weapons issued from June 2004 through December 2005 are missing.
    The GAO, Congress' investigative arm, also said protective gear for Iraqi police and security forces cannot be accounted for. The analysis of Multinational Security Transition Command-Iraq property records showed that 135,000 pieces of body armor and 115,000 helmets are also missing, the report said.
    "DOD and MNF-I cannot ensure that Iraqi security forces received the equipment as intended," the report stated.
    The GAO findings come as lawmakers await a report from Gen. David Petraeus on whether President Bush's surge of troops has curbed the violence in Baghdad. The report also raises concerns about whether U.S.-funded weapons are being used against coalition forces. Petraeus is scheduled to report to Congress on the impact of the surge in September.
    The U.S. has provided about $19.2 billion in aid to build up the Iraqi security forces since 2003. That includes at least $2.8 billion to buy and transport equipment to Iraq, but the GAO report said weapons distribution and record keeping failed to follow established procedures.
    The GAO report said two factors led to the problem. First, the MST Command in Iraq did not maintain a centralized record of all equipment distributed to Iraqi forces before December 2005. In addition, the command was not consistent in collecting supporting documents to confirm when equipment was received, how much was delivered and to what Iraqi unit it was ultimately given.
    To keep track of equipment in the future, the GAO recommended that Defense Secretary Robert Gates define accountability procedures for the program to train and equip Iraqi security forces.
    The report also said Gates should ensure that there is enough staff, an adequate distribution network and proper technology to make certain accountability procedures are followed.
    Mark Kimmitt, deputy assistant secretary of defense for the Middle East, agreed that improvements are needed to ensure that U.S.-funded equipment reaches Iraqi security forces.
    "Steps are being taken to incorporate features fully into a proper accountability system," Kimmitt wrote in an appendix to the report. "Such measures include implementing increased monitoring, issuance of standing operating procedures, introduction of suitable automated tools and collaboration with other DOD organizations on accountability-related issues.
    The GAO report also said that the command has improved its record keeping since June 2006, but it noted that some records are still missing or incomplete.



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    "The report also raises concerns about whether U.S.-funded weapons are being used against coalition forces"
    considering that the primary purpose of waging perpetual war is finding new excuses to sell more weapons for the good of the military industrial complex, I'm sure it doesn't really matter as long as somebody is using them.
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