Maliki Wants Arms, US Troops for Training

Seeks Assault Rifles and Artillery

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has issued another request for military aid to the United States, seeking assault rifles and artillery, which US diplomats say could be delivered fairly quickly.

The more controversial request from Maliki is US troops to be deployed to Iraq to train his “counterterrorism” fighters, or failing that train them in Jordan.The deployment of such trainers would mean a de facto military return to Iraq, and even a limited one could have regional implications.

Retired Lt. Gen. James Dubik, one of several officials involved in the creation of the new Iraqi military, touted the ongoing fighting in Iraq as an “opportunity to reinvigorate our partnership,” and urged the US to “take that opportunity.”

The Obama Administration previously ruled out sending troops to Iraq, but they have often tried to spin sending military personnel as trainers as something less than a military deployment, and the ongoing perception that such deployments increase US influence over its client states means such proposals will likely be considered no matter how plainly unwise they are.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.