The Financial Times is reporting that Chinese-made weapons are being supplied, through Iran, to insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq.
A senior US official recently told the FT that Iran appeared to be providing the Chinese-made weapons. He said Washington had no evidence that Beijing was complicit, but stressed that the US would like China to “do a better job of policing these sales”. Mr Lawless said the question of origin was less important than who was facilitating the transfer.
Sure. The claims of Iranian, Chinese, Syrian, Saudi, etc. involvement serve two purposes. The first, which we’ve become quite familiar with, is to incite action against whomever the supplier may be. The second is to lay blame; it’s Iran’s fault that we’ve failed in Iraq, because they allowed a few EFPs through, or Syria’s fault, because they didn’t close the borders, or Russia’s fault for some reason, or Europe’s fault for allowing high powered sniper rifles to get to Iran, or now China’s fault for manufacturing weapons that end up in Iran. I think that this latter is actually the more immediate reason for such allegations, as I very much doubt that the Bush administration is seriously contemplating military action against Iran at this time.
When thinking about excuses, it’s worth considering how much easier the Iraq War has gone for the US than the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan or the Vietnam War. In both cases, the interventionist superpower faced an insurgency with the full backing not only of the opposing superpower, but also of important proxies and allies. The support that Pakistan has given the Taliban pales in comparison to the support the mujahadeen received from Pakistan, the US, and various Arab organizations in the 1980s. In Vietnam, the United States fought against a domestic South Vietnamese insurgency, backed by regular units of the Vietnamese People’s Army, both with support from China and the Soviet Union. In Iraq, the United States is facing Iraqis, a few foreign fighters, perhaps some barely tangible assistance from Iran, and still can’t manage to defeat the resistance.
Unipolar moment, indeed.