NSA Sullivan: US Working to Get Missile Defense System to Iraq

US in consultations with Iraq, Kurdistan on plans

Condemning missile fire on the Kurdistan capital of Irbil, Jake Sullivan reported Sunday that the US is working on getting missile defense systems delivered to Iraq.

Missile defense systems are costly, and it is uncommon for them to end up in the hands of unstable nations like Iraq. The US sees this as protecting US interests in Iraq, and is in consultations with both the Iraqi government and the Kurds.

Given Iraq’s ongoing struggle at a new government, it’s not clear who would even end up in control of these missile defense systems. Moreover, the interests of Baghdad in positioning are likely to be wildly different from those of Iraqi Kurdistan, with whom they have a fractious relationship.

All of these problems are likely why the US never tried to arm Iraq with missile defense before, because there’s too much risk of it ending up in the hands of a nation the US has a falling out with, or just gets used in internal conflicts among different armed factions.

While missile and rocket strikes happen in Iraq, they’re rarely so catastrophic as to justify the expense of such a system. Indeed, evil the Irbil missile strike being presented as a pretext did little to no damage and caused no casualties, according to US officials.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. 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.