Now that the U.S. officially has ended its combat role in Iraq — relying on Baghdad to wage its own wars from here on out — it’s time the Iraqis began buying U.S. weapons. That’s just what they’re doing, as U.S. officials report the still-struggling nation has some $13 billion of American-made military hardware in the pipeline (the U.S. is helping pay for some, as you can see here).
“They’ve already committed to 10 M-1A1 tanks, they’ve committed to C-130s,” Army General Ray Odierno, the top U.S. commander in Iraq until today, noted recently. “They have put a letter of request in for F-16s…they have bought some helicopters from the United States.”
The problem is paying for all of this stuff. Iraq’s budget this year is $77 billion, but its revenues are only $52 billion. Acting more like America already!