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A Flow Of Russian Arms Into Iraq Creates A New Cold War Environment

Russia seems to be increasing its supply of lethal arms into the Iraq mess as a means to hasten the U.S. withdrawal, and for Russia to gain more regional influence over the huge oil assets of Iraq. It appears to be a new form of a Cold War as much as a regional conflict for Russia and Iran to replace American influence in the region.

Russia could at least make a good attempt to prevent the worsening of relations with the United States, but certainly is not at this point. Lethal arms continue to flow to both Iran and to insurgents in Iraq, only worsening the security situation in Iraq and taking the lives of many U.S. soldiers and Iraqi civilians. The situation is becoming remarkably similar to the Vietnam War with a steady flow of arms from the then Soviet Union to the Hanoi government.

Officially, the Russian government publicly claims to oppose the transfer of lethal arms to insurgent organizations, however a long history of Russian arms dealers supplying "black market" arms has existed with Putin's government largely ignoring the problem and failing to crack down on any such dealers. And Russia does provide Iran with extensive arms sales, obviously knowing full well that many of these arms must be finding their way into Iraq because many are specially used to defeat American armor.

One of the most frightening of these weapons is a Russian armor piercing grenade that is based off a WWII German design known as the "Potato Masher". This grenade has a small parachute attached so that the bomb stabilizes and then lands on the tank or armored vehicle with lethal results. This makes a perfect weapon for use by urban insurgents in Iraq. Russia cannot help but know that a flow of these into the hands of the Sunni Al Qaeda, Shiite militias and other insurgent groups is specially designed to defeat American armor in policing Iraq.

The 2003 war in Iraq was always about the huge oil assets of the nation. Iraq is estimated to have 220 billion barrels of undiscovered oil, a nearly 98 year supply for the United States demand, and the world's largest reserves known on Earth. Not only the United States and Britain had strong reasons to have wanted the 2003 war to gain some control over the oil assets of Iraq, but with a possible withdrawal from Iraq by both nations in the near future, both Russia and Iran realize that it's time to push the situation along as both can reap the oil benefits of Iraq after the U.S. is gone. The new push by Iran and Russia to flow more lethal types of weapons into Iraq seems intended to promote their regional foreign policy to replace American influence in Iraq.

As the American role in Iraq may soon end due to political pressures in the U.S. and political failures in Iraq, both Russia and Iran are only more likely to fuel more conflict with a steady supply of lethal arms meant to hasten the American withdrawal. Like sharks in the water smelling blood, both Iran and Russia expect to be big winners in the region very soon.


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Comments (4)

Steve Crickmore:

Bush doesn't look too worried...It doesn't appear that he is leaning on Russia very hard ..Putin and Bush are cut from the same cloth. Scroll down. As natural soul bullies they only go after the minnows.

Hello, Steve. The relations with Russia are indeed complex and a difficult issue for the Bush Administration. Certainly the Bush Administration doesn't want to publicly or officially acknowledge a revival of the Cold War by Putin on many fronts, with military and political challenges to the U.S. in various critical regions of the world so as not to worsen the situations.

There is an ostrichlike view from the Bush Administration to ignore the problem and perhaps it will somehow go away. Yet at the same time the U.S. is a weak position in Iraq because of the bad policies that created this war, and Russia and Iran both feel that with very little effort they can soon gain great clout in Iraq as the American and British role quickly collapses. However, Russia is not being helpful by supplying a steady flow of lethal weapons meant to counter U.S. armor and to worsen the security situation for American soldiers and Iraqi civilians both. At some level, the U.S. government has to officially ask Russia to stop the arms flow and to stop worsening the security situation in Iraq. If Iraq was a peaceful state, then Russia could, like all outside investors could, invest in business in the nation. But with the serious state of violence in Iraq currently, Russia should stop fueling more violence to further their own state foreign policy goals in the region.

Steve Crickmore:

Of course, Russia will counter that the US has just given the Saudis a 30 billion dollar arms deal, and increased arm sales to the Israelis...It is difficult for the US, espcecially Republicans to resist arm sales even to the enemy- Iran Contra gate. And you remember when Cheney was CEO of Haliburton from 1995-2000, he was even publicly advocating that the Haliburton manoeuver round the US government sanctions, to sell spare parts and oil equipment to Iraq and Iran.

groucho:

It's so ironic that the front people for these groups like Halliburton, Bechtel, Carlyle, specifically politicians, turn themselves almost inside out trying to keep alive the "might makes right, God is on our side, we must conquer evil at all cost" mentality that keeps us engaged in one conflict after another. Those who buy willingly into this ruse fail to see behind the rhetoric to the soulless, profit-mad, merchants of death who are more than willing to peddle their wares to whoever can come up with the hard cash. God help us all.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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