(NEW YORK) — The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which handles foreign military sales, notified Congress on Monday that 24 Apache helicopters may be sold to Iraq. The $4.8 billion sale, requested by the Iraqi government, would also include other equipment and parts associated with the aircraft, as well as training and logistical support.
Defense Security Cooperation said the proposed sale would contribute to foreign policy and U.S. national security “by helping to improve the security of a strategic partner.” The agency is referring to Iraq’s improved capability to protect itself from terrorist and other threats with this equipment, should the sale be completed. The helicopters, training and equipment would help Iraq to protect key oil infrastructure and platforms, the Defense agency said Monday in a statement.
Before the sale can go through it has to clear a congressional notification period, but the aircraft likely won’t be ready for a few years, so Iraqi military action in Fallujah is out of the question. Still, the Defense Department says the sale would not “alter the basic military balance in the region,” nor would the sale have an “adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness.”
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Jeremy Diamond, CNN
Nate Sunderland, EastIdahoNews.com
Joshua Berlinger, CNN
Eric Bradner, CNN