Thursday, January 9, 2014

US Rushes Weapons to Iraq Crisis It Unleashed

Phyllis Bennis: 'It's like the war is starting all over again'

(Photo: Agence France Presse)
Sarah Lazare
Iraqi Soldiers Monitor A Checkpoint East Of Baghdad On January 6, 2014 Amid an escalation of fighting in war-torn Iraq, the Obama administration announced Monday it will accelerate the shipment of Hellfire missiles and surveillance drones to the Nuri al-Maliki regime, a move critics charge will only worsen the cycles of violence set in motion by the U.S. invasion.

"The last thing Iraq needs right now is more weapons," said Phyllis Bennis, senior fellow at Institute for Policy Studies, in an interview with Common Dreams.

White House press secretary Jay Carney announced Monday that the U.S. will send the Iraqi government 48 drones later this week and 10 surveillance drones in upcoming weeks. In addition, a delivery of 100 Hellfire missiles will be expedited to the Iraqi government, said Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steven Warren in a press statement released Monday.

This is on top of a shipment of 75 Hellfire missiles delivered to Iraq last month.

While Secretary of State John Kerry vowed to do "everything that is possible" to help the government fight Al Qaida in Iraq, short of putting boots on the ground, some hardliners are pushing for direct U.S. military involvement. In a statement released over the weekend, Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) indicated that keeping U.S. troops in Iraq could have avoided the violence.

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