August 3, 2008: Iraq wants to buy 140 M1A1M Abrams tanks, along with over a hundred support vehicles (for maintenance and transportation, like 35 tank transporters). The request includes training and technical support. The total contract cost would be $2.16 billion.The announcement provides me an opportunity to remind anti-war folks who could see no benefit to the war of one of the obvious benefits: trade partnership.
The war was partly about oil because regimes like Hussein's (and the present Iranian regime) use essential commodities like oil to make others miserable. It's fine if Iraq sells its oil to Europe. Because the oil market is a global market, the U.S. still benefits from a price decrease. What Europe buys from Iraq Europe need not buy elsewhere. Iraq profits, and an Iraq with money can buy things. Countries with things to sell can then look at Iraq as a market.
Now, of course there will be the peacenik hand-wringing over the sale of weapons. The resulting security assurance Iraq receives against an Iranian attack is extremely easy to overlook if you're removed far enough to the left.