A surge of Al Qaeda-inspired violence has Iraq seeking support – and big weapons – from the US. Counterterrorism is a US priority, but some in Congress balk at certain arms sales. One reason: bloodshed in Egypt.
The US, for its part, is open to obliging the Iraqis by enhancing intelligence and counterterrorism cooperation and selling them sophisticated military systems – anxious in particular, after recent terrorist threats emanating from Yemen, to help Iraq avoid becoming another base for Al Qaeda activities that could spread to international targets.
But some critics of the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki – some members of Congress in particular -- are saying “not so fast” to Obama administration plans not just to enhance counterterrorism efforts but also to sell the Iraqis hardware ranging from sophisticated air-defense systems to Apache attack helicopters.
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