The recent agreement by the Bush Administration to supply updated military (even if outdated by our standards) to “our” “moderate” Arab “allies” really bothers me. Jim Lobe’s article at Asia Times Online, US arms for Arab authoritarians – again, touches on many of my concerns. My greatest concern that in an attempt to contain one of the current enemies, we will arm the future ones (such as another Saddam Hussein or Manuel Noriega). While I still believe the the U.S. is one of the greatest countries in history, I certainly don’t wish to return to a Cold War, where the U.S. and its immediate opponent fight through proxies, which is something I addressed in Another March Towards Independence.
However, one thing isn’t addressed in Jim Lobe’s article is that there are two countries currently that are trying to fill the vacuum left by the deconstruction of the U.S.S.R., the Russian Federation, and the P.R.C. (China). If the U.S. doesn’t arm the “allied” “moderate” Arab states, the Russians or Chinese will, and much of the leverage of the U.S. disappears (argue whether that’s good or bad at Another March Towards Independence).
I believe that there is probably some hope in the Administration (especially with articles such as, A War We Just Might Win – New York Times) that by bolstering the Arab states militarily, they may be able and willing (if just to get weapons) to aid in the stabilization of Iraq. I hope they are looking at this with their eyes open (no, I don’t have much hope of that), not with the thought that it will be different this time (such as the Israeli/Palestinian “peace” “agreements”).