US to Sell Weapons to Iraq, Despite Concerns

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Iraqis gather in front of a government building in Khalis on December 25, 2011 to call for the execution of Sunni Muslim Iraqi Vice President Tareq al-Hashemi. (-/AFP/Getty Images/Getty)

Despite deep worries over the continuing stability of the Iraqi government, the U.S. is planning on selling $11 billion of arms and training to Iraq's military. The sale comes as Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has attempted to marginalize Iraq's Sunni minority since the U.S. withdrew its forces earlier in the month, setting off concerns over civil war. The Obama administration hopes the sale, which includes tanks and fighter jets, will help Iraq build its military and secure its border with Iran. But some American officials worry Iraq's government will move to align itself with the Shiite theocracy in Tehran.

Michael Schmidt, reporter for The New York Times, discusses the latest developments.

Guests:

Michael Schmidt

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