US Plans Emergency Arms Shipments to Iraq

As al-Qaeda Grows, US Options Are Limited

Pentagon plans for massive weapons shipments to Iraq are looking to be accelerated tonight, as the Obama Administration considers how to get involved in the growing war with al-Qaeda in the nation.

Early shipments are likely to include Hellfire missiles and drones, with artillery and other weapons to follow. The recent loss of Mosul to al-Qaeda fighters has the US hoping they can stall the offensive with arms for Iraq’s military.

Whether that works remains to be seen, and since the Iraqi soldiers in Mosul fled outright, abandoning a lot of US made weapons to the invading militants, it isn’t clear that the US shipments might not just end up in al-Qaeda’s hands anyhow.

Though there seems to be some consideration of US drone strikes as well, there is no appetite for direct US involvement in Iraq again so soon after the last failed war, and by and large the US aid is going to be financial, buying weapons they hope will eventually turn the tide of battle.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.