Pentagon Approves Tanks, Armored Humvees for Iraq

The Defense Department gave the green light to a pair of proposed foreign military sales worth approximately $3 billion to provide Iraq with M1A1 Abrams tanks and up-armored humvees. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced both potential deals on Dec. 19. The first sale entails the $2.4 billion sale of 175 Full Track Abrams tanks, along with associated heavy guns, machine guns, ammunition, radio systems, fuel, spares, and training assistance. It would help Iraq’s efforts to “quickly mobilize and defend its border,” states DSCA’s release. The second sale, worth $579 million, would provide the Iraqis with 1,000 M115A1 up-armored humvees, with accompanying heavy machine guns, grenade launchers, and associated equipment and logistics support. These vehicles would increase Iraqi security forces’ “mobility and self-defense capabilities,” states a separate DSCA release. These proposed transactions come at a time when the United States and its coalition allies have declared they would expand their advise-and-assist presence in Iraq to help Iraqi security forces take back areas overrun by ISIS terrorists. Pentagon officials have noted the Iraqis are preparing for offensive operations against ISIS strongholds. In addition to building more-capable airpower assets, the Iraqis seek to replenish armored assets and vehicles lost during ISIS’ summer offensive.