Monday, June 30, 2003

It's come up often, and it's apparently becoming more common, not less, for critics, especially Our European Friends, to claim that America armed Iraq, especially in the '80s. So it falls to me, apparently, to list the facts.

For the purpose of investigating these charges, it is best to look at what Iraq had at the time of its invasion of Kuwait, because the accusations pertain to what Iraq was supplied with (passive voice deliberate here) in the decade or so preceding this invasion. Thus we need to account for whatever Iraq lost during the conflict to insure that there aren't any omissions (thus nixing possible accusations that America destroyed whatever it gave Iraq during the war to hide the evidence).

The main sources for the below are the Desert Shield Fact Book (Frank Chadwick, Loren Wiseman et al, GDW 1991) and the Gulf War Fact Book (Frank Chadwick, Matt Caffrey et al, GDW 1991). Equipment will be listed by category, along with the nation of origin. For those scoring at home, items of AMERICAN origin will be highlighted thusly, and of European (FRANCE) likewise. As of 90/91, Iraq had the following:
MiG-29s - 70 (Soviet)
Mig-25s - 18 (Soviet)
MiG-23s - 20 (Soviet)
MiG-21s - 105 (Soviet)
F-7s - 20 (Red China)
MiG-17s - 30 (Soviet)
Su-25s - 20 (Soviet)
Su-20s - 30 (Soviet)
Su-7s - 50 (Soviet)
F-6s - 20 (Red China)
Su-24s - 10 (Soviet)
Mirage F1s - 100 (FRANCE)
MiG-23/27s - 70 (Soviet)
Il-20s - 10 (Soviet)
Tu-22s - 7 (Soviet)
Tu-16s -12 (Soviet)

Armored Vehicles
T-54/55 - 1400 (Soviet)
Type 59 - 500 (Red China)
Type 69 - 1000 (Red China)
T-62 - 1600 (Soviet)
T-72 - 1000 (Soviet)

IFVs, armored recon vehicles, and APCs - 9000 total, aprox (biggest component BTR - 60s); no precise breakdown but consist of:

EE-3 (Brazil)
EE-9 (Brazil)
EE-11 (Brazil)
Panhard M-3 (FRANCE)
FUG-70 (Hungary)
BRDM-2 (Soviet)
BTR-40 (Soviet)
BTR-50 (Soviet)
BTR-60 (Soviet)
BMP-1 (Soviet)
Type 63 (China)
OT-62 (Czechoslovakia)
OT-63 (Czechoslovakia)
BVP-1 (Czechoslovakia)
Walid (Egypt)

Interesting to note, at the time Iraq had 13 modern ships on order from ITALY

G-5 155mm (South Africa)
GHN-45 155mm (AUSTRIA)
Astros-II SS-30 MRL (Brazil)
Astros-II SS-40 MRL (Brazil)
M56 105mm (BRITAIN)
D-74 122mm (Soviet)
D-30 122mm (Soviet)
2S1 122mm (Soviet)
2S3 152mm (Soviet)
M1937 152mm (Soviet)
M1938 122mm (Soviet)
M1939 37mm (Soviet)
M1943 152mm (Soviet)
M-1975 122mm MRL (Soviet)
BM-21 122mm MRL (Soviet)
BM-13 132mm MRL (Soviet)
S-23 180mm (Soviet)
ZSU-23-4 23mm (Soviet)
ZSU-57-2 (Soviet)
ZU-23 23mm (Soviet)
"Majnoon" 155mm (Iraq/Gerald Bull of CANADA)
"Al Fao" 210mm (Iraq/Gerald Bull of CANADA)
82 mm Mortar (Soviet)
SA-2 SAM (Soviet)
SA-3 SAM (Soviet)
SA-6 SAM (Soviet)
SA-7 SAM (Soviet)
SA-13 SAM (Soviet)

Small Arms
AK-47 (Soviet)
RPK (Soviet)
RPG-7 (Soviet)

Clearly, the vast majority of Iraq's weapons came from the Soviet Union and other Communist nations. Behind them, however, it's largely European countries that armed Iraq. The best I can tell, the U.S. provided Iraq with some spare parts for systems Iraq acquired elsewhere, relatively trivial support compared with even what France provided (much less the Soviets). Even on the level of parts and logistical support, America's contribution was small compared with that supplied by those nations. Hysterical reports to the contrary of how America armed Saddam are belied by the facts of Iraq's TO&E on the eve of the Gulf War. Therefore, it is deceptive to the point of dishonesty for anyone - especially anyone from Europe - to say America armed Iraq. People are only able to get away with this like they do with inflated civilian casualty figures for the Afghanistan campaign - feeding off of people's ignorance. The ignorant then take the accusation at face value and pass it on.

Another thing to note is that three nations show up most frequently on the list - France, Russia (in the form of the Soviet Union), and China. It probably isn't simply a coincidence that France, Russia, and China worked hardest over the years down to the present to obstruct action against Saddam and pushed most strongly for the removal of sanctions, etc.

More Left-wing lies exposed, courtesy of this feller.