Saturday, February 14, 2009

Oil for guns

Multi-National Forces Iraq press release --

According to U.S. Army Lt. Col. Kimberly Enderle, SAO chief of transportation logistics and accountability, the Iraqi Security Forces have already received approximately $1.5 billion in services, vehicles, aircraft parts, small arms, uniforms, and training through the FMS program and have made commitments for an additional $3.5 billion in FMS purchases. “The strategic partnership between the U.S. and Iraq is growing,” said Enderle.

John Moseley, regional duty for Middle East, South Asia Division, DSCA, also sees the FMS program as a way to strengthen the ties between the U.S. and Iraq. “When a country buys billions of dollars worth of equipment from you, it signals a commitment to a long-term relationship,” he said. “This relationship is good for both nations and helps to bring stability to the region.”

Brig. Gen. Charles Luckey, MNSTC-I’s deputy commanding general for Security Assistance, summed it up by saying, “The close partnership between Iraq and the United States will, in large measure, be etched into the future through a collaborative approach to fielding and sustaining major systems and in focusing on the critical training associated with that equipment. The interoperability between U.S. and Iraqi equipment will, in the long run, give each nation a wide variety of combined training opportunities. This conference is a long stride on the road we walk together.”

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