This headline was enough to make me sit up straight as I lazily sipped my coffee this morning:
Iraqis to Pay China $100 Million for Weapons for Police
Iraq has ordered $100 million worth of light military equipment from China for its police force, contending that the United States was unable to provide the material and is too slow to deliver arms shipments, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said yesterday.
And another, equally troubling issue jumped off the page as I read through the story:
Army Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the top U.S. commander for day-to-day operations in Iraq, told editors and reporters at The Washington Post yesterday that he expects a U.S. troop presence will be required in the country for a minimum of “at least three to five more years” and will involve 25,000 to 50,000 troops, depending on security conditions.
So, not only another example of arms wrestling with China, but a clear indication that we will be at war with Iraq for some time to come. How depressing. On that note, I’m going outside and fling a frisbee with Bob in the coolness of another beautiful fall morning. It’ll be a good opportunity to work on our Mandarin.
*Zhan zheng is Chinese for war.