BBC News - Iraq makes first payment in deal to buy 18 US F-16s
Good idea? Bad Idea?Iraq has made the first payment in a deal to buy 18 US F-16 fighter jets worth a total of about $3bn (£1.9bn), the US state department has said. The planes, which are not expected to be delivered until next year, are to protect the country's air space.
There are currently some 44,000 US troops in Iraq, which are due to leave by the end of this year.
US and Iraqi officials said the purchase of the jets would provide the basis for Iraq's air sovereignty.
"The air force is considered a vital factor to protect Iraq's sovereignty and security against external threats," Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said.
"Iraq needs to build its air force and to depend on its own capabilities to defend the skies instead of asking other countries to do so - especially if we know that the US forces will leave at the end of this year."
Mr al-Dabbagh said $1.4bn has already been transferred as a partial payment.
My concern is what happened in Iraq after the US helped them militarily in the 1980s.Iran is another example. The Iran Contra affair plus arms given to the nation before Khomeini came to power.President Reagan and the first President Bush both authorized providing Iraq with intelligence and logistical support, and okayed the sale of dual use items — those with military and civilian applications — that included chemicals and germs, even anthrax and bubonic plague. U.S. And Iraq Go Way Back - CBS News