Home / Robert Farley / “The F-16 Must Not Reach the Hand of this Man”

“The F-16 Must Not Reach the Hand of this Man”


And for such a long time I suspected that Israel would squash the sale of F-16 to Iraq.  Looks like some other people are also nervous:

Massud Barzani, the president of Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan, said he opposes the sale of F-16 warplanes to Iraq while Nuri al-Maliki is premier, as he fears they would be used against the region.

The United States has agreed to sell 36 F-16 jets to Baghdad in a multi-billion-dollar deal aimed at increasing the capabilities of Iraq’s fledgling air force, a weak point in its national defences.

“The F-16 must not reach the hand of this man,” Barzani told reporters at his residence near the Kurdistan region’s capital Arbil on Sunday, referring to Maliki. “We must either prevent him from having these weapons, or if he has them, he should not stay in his position,” Barzani said. Barzani alleged that Maliki had discussed using F-16s against Kurdistan during a meeting with military officers.

There are some obvious comparisons to post-war Germany and Japan. Iraq was a military power in the region, and now it’s not; the idea of a reconstructed Iraqi military is popular with just about no one, especially because no one has a firm grip on Iraq’s future political orientation. I think it’ll be hard to kill the F-16 deal, but if it does die I suspect the French will step in fairly quickly with an offer of their own.

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