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Skelton/Hunter/Neal Letter re: Iraqi Purchase of Chinese Weapons

October 9th, 2007 by mopns · No Comments

Washington, DC – Today House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO), Ranking Member Duncan Hunter (R-CA) and Representative Richard Neal (D-MA) sent a letter to Secretary Gates expressing their concerns over reports that Iraq intends to purchase $100 million worth of military equipment from China. Text of the letter is below:

Dear Secretary Gates:

We would like to express strong concern about a report, published in the October 4th edition of the Washington Post, that Iraq’s Ministry of Interior has ordered $100 million worth of military equipment from the People’s Republic of China. The equipment reportedly includes vehicles, small arms ammunition, explosives, communications equipment, and upgrades to a number of UH-1 helicopters.

We are certain that you must share our apprehensions about this reported arms deal, particularly in light of reports earlier this year that Ministry of Interior officials were involved in attempts to purchase weapons and equipment on the black market. While Iraq is a sovereign country and certainly has the right to use Iraqi money to order the equipment that they feel necessary to secure their nation, members of Congress – including senior members of the Armed Services Committee – continue to voice serious misgivings about weapons accountability in the Iraq theater of operations, alleged corruption within the Iraqi Ministry of Interior, and the ability of the U.S. Foreign Military Sales (FMS) process to address effectively the immediate military and security equipment needs of our foreign partners, such as Iraq.

Recent media reports, coupled with the knowledge that the Government of Iraq is entering into arms deals with other nations, have only heightened these concerns. As a result, we would like you to provide a written response to a number of questions, the answers to which will help us understand how the United States can ensure that Iraqi forces stand up responsibly and in the most transparent, effective way possible and that equipment intended for Iraqi forces poses no threat to the U.S. servicemembers: Read more…

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Tags: Iraq War · Rep. Ike Skelton

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  • 1 tom // Oct 10, 2007 at 4:11 pm

    I would bet the reason for them being upset is our US funds should only be used to purchase US weapon systems. It would make me sleep so much better knowing the weapons they will use to attack us in the future were paid for with my tax dollars

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