Despite recent news reports to the contrary, U.S. arms sales to Iraq under the U.S. government’s “Foreign Military Sales” program are completely transparent and accountable, and the sale of army tanks is no exception. The U.S. Embassy emphatically denies a Tuesday report in Al-Dustour newspaper that quoted a “Parliamentary Source” as saying that tanks purchased for the Iraqi Army have not been delivered to Iraqi authorities. In fact, over ninety percent of the tanks have been delivered, and the last tranche of tanks is already in Iraq and will be delivered shortly.
The Office of Security Cooperation-Iraq (OSC-I), part of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, will complete its delivery of M1A1 Abrams tanks to Iraq within weeks. The Government of Iraq has purchased 140 tanks from the United States, all of which have arrived in Iraq. 131 of those tanks are already in the possession of the Iraqi Army. The nine remaining tanks are in Iraq, but in U.S. possession. OSC-I is waiting for the arrival of certain components for these tanks so it can deliver a complete purchase to the Iraqi Army in accordance with U.S. Government standards. As soon as the components arrive, OSC-I will deliver the additional nine tanks to the Iraqi Army. We expect this will take place within the coming weeks.
The Foreign Military Sales process is highly transparent and corruption resistant. Cost and funds are traced and accounted for from beginning to end. The Foreign Military Sales program is an example of how the enduring strategic partnership between the U.S. and Iraq is strengthening and sustaining Iraqi Security Force capabilities to defend the sovereignty of Iraq and its people.
(Source: US Embassy)
(Picture: M1A1 Abrams tank being delivered at Umm Qasr, Aug 2010)