Iraq Allowed to Rearm: Critics Say Embargo Lift May Worsen Iraq's Security Problems
Schaeffer-Duffy, Claire, National Catholic Reporter
Iraq, once restrained by some of the severest military sanctions, can now buy its own weapons thanks to a little-publicized provision of the United Nations Security Council that lifted a 14-year arms embargo on the country. The provision is included in a U.N. resolution, unanimously passed last June, legitimizing the new Iraqi interim government.
The removal of the arms embargo, instituted to enable Iraq to refurbish its arsenal and take responsibility for its security needs, has turned the formerly weapons-deprived country into a seller's market for defense contractors. It has also drawn criticism from some analysts who question the wisdom of rearming a politically unstable country still occupied by the world's largest military power.
"How much of this is a photo op? A way to whitewash the occupation by showing the world that we are allowing Iraq to rebuild its army? Any new [Iraqi] security force would still remain under U.S. control," said Frida Berrigan, a senior research associate with the Arms Trade Resource Center, a project of the World Policy Institute.
The new U.N. provision is a formality. Iraq has technically been open to the arms trade since May 2003 when the country came under …
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Publication information: Article title: Iraq Allowed to Rearm: Critics Say Embargo Lift May Worsen Iraq's Security Problems. Contributors: Schaeffer-Duffy, Claire - Author. Magazine title: National Catholic Reporter. Volume: 40. Issue: 39 Publication date: September 10, 2004. Page number: 8+. © 2009 National Catholic Reporter. COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group.
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