Iraq getting M1A1 tanks?




 
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August 5th, 2008  
Lunatik
 
 

Topic: Iraq getting M1A1 tanks?


Iraq wants to buy 140 M1A1M Abrams tanks, along with over a hundred support vehicles (for maintenance and transportation, like 35 tank transporters). The request includes training and technical support. The total contract cost would be $2.16 billion. Iraq would not be the first Arab country to operate the M1 tank. Egypt, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia already operate over 1,600 of them, and Egypt has built hundreds of them (mainly using components imported from the U.S., but with some locally made parts). Neither Iraq nor the U.S. Army has revealed the details of the "M" version of the M1A1. All the other Arab users have at least some of the latest model (M1A2 SEP).

The Arab users of the M1 have been very happy with their American tanks. This satisfaction increased when they saw how the M-1 performed in Iraq. While most Arabs deplored U.S. operations in Iraq, Arab tank officers and M-1 crewmen were quietly pleased that their tanks appeared invulnerable, and able to assist the infantry in any kind of fight. Iraqi army officers have spoken to fellow Arab officers who have used the M-1, and were told this was the way to go.

Selling the M-1 to Iraq creates the possibility (although remote) of M-1s fighting M-1s. Saudi Arabia is seen as the champion of mainstream Sunni Arabs, and has long supported the Sunni Arab minority in Iraq. For a while, after 2003, with the increasingly savage fighting between Sunni and Shia Arabs in Iraq, there was talk of Saudi Arabia intervening, or threatening to, in order to halt attacks against Iraqi Sunni Arabs. This idea quickly went away in the face of an American army in Iraq, and growing al Qaeda terrorism in Saudi Arabia. But once U.S. troops leave, and if the ancient animosity between Sunni and Shia Arabs in Iraq gets ugly again, there could at least be incidents on the border, and the possibility of a few clashes between Saudi and Iraqi M-1 tanks.

More realistically, the Iraqis want their M-1s to keep the Turks out. A less likely, but still possible, aggressor is Iran. Although Iraq and Iran are both run by their Shia majorities, Iran is ruled by a religious dictatorship, and some of those Iranian clerics consider part of southern Iraq (where Shia holy places are) as part of Iran. Iraq figures that 140 M-1 tanks could make short work of the ramshackle collection of older tanks Iran has (and is unable to upgrade much because of all the arms embargoes).

http://www.strategypage.com/htmw/hta.../20080803.aspx
August 6th, 2008  
A Can of Man
 
 
Iraq needs a strong military controlled by a stable government to keep their sovereignty intact. As for the Shia and Sunni tensions, there basically is only one thing that can keep them together: nationalism.
August 6th, 2008  
The Other Guy
 
 
I woudn't give M1A1s to a government that unstable... too large of chance of them ending up in the wrong hands.
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August 6th, 2008  
A Can of Man
 
 
But an M1A1 is a bit difficult to hide.
Of course if we have one on a train to Russia we'd have some problems.
August 6th, 2008  
tomtom22
 
 
Can you say "Oil for tanks"?
August 6th, 2008  
The Other Guy
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomtom22
Can you say "Oil for tanks"?
If you want to do it that way, it had better be a lot of oil... like enough to fuel a war with whoever gets the design, copies it, and starts cheaply mass-producing it (my guess Russia or Iran).
August 6th, 2008  
Lunatik
 
 
I think there are many other, more important things that Iraq can invest in in order to secure its sovereignity and internal peace. This sounds like someone will get $2.16 billion reacher without much of a good end result on the Iraqis' part.
August 6th, 2008  
Easy-8
 
 
From what I hear these M1A1 are export models and are not the same as the one our tankers are riding in.
August 6th, 2008  
mmarsh
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Easy-8
From what I hear these M1A1 are export models and are not the same as the one our tankers are riding in.
Export models arent always stripped down versions of what we have, quite often its because the client has requested extra features that do not come in the standard version.
August 6th, 2008  
A Can of Man
 
 
And sometimes they are stripped down versions so that the client country can afford the tank whereas the standard US Army M1A1 would be too expensive.
 


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