US Begins Delivering F-16s To Iraq This Week, A Decade After It Wiped Out Iraq's Air Force

Tyler Durden's picture

It seems like it was only yesterday when the US, under the guise of a fabricated WMD threat, was invading Iraq to liberate its oil deposits.

Fast forward to this week, when as Reuters reports, the US will deliver the first of 36 F-16 fighter jets to Iraq in what Baghdad's envoy to the United States called a "new chapter" in his country's ability to defend its vast borders with Iran and other neighbors. Which merely shows that since the US has "sanctioned" virtually every other potential customer of US weapons, it now has no choice but to invoice defense machinery deliveries (and boost factory orders and GDP) to former enemies. It also means that in several years, when Iraq reverts to a posture that is unfriendly to the US, and when the US shale boom is long gone and foreign sources of petroleum are once again all the rage, the US will have to fight its own fighter jets in the name of yet another war of democratic liberation and emancipation.

From Reuters:

Iraqi Ambassador Lukman Faily will travel to Lockheed's Fort Worth, Texas, plant on Thursday for a ceremony at which Lockheed and the U.S. government will formally deliver the first F-16 to Iraq.


A group of three or four new jets will be ferried to Iraq before the end of the year.


"Iraq is a large country with over 3,600 km of borders, and we need to protect them," Faily told Reuters in a telephone interview. "We as a country didn't have that capability before." Iraq has had no real air force since the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 that eventually toppled Saddam Hussein.

Smart: first the US wipes out a country's air force, then it sells it its new air force. Rinse. Repeat. And just to make sure that Iraq is well-armed and believes it has a fighting chance, the US earlier in March provided Iraq with some 100 Hellfire missiles as well as assault rifles and other ammunition. Then in April the US sent more arms, providing Iraq with 11 million rounds of ammunition and other supplies.

The political cover is already in place: in January John Kerry said that the U.S. would support fighting Al-Qaeda linked groups in Iraq, but not with US troops. This has been a sensitive issue because such groups had recently taken control of significant territory in the Anbar province, a key area for extremist groups. It was not immediately clear how much under the table aid the US had provided to this particular group of Al Qaeda insurgents, unlike recent revelations it has provided weapons to Syrian rebels, many of which as is widely known, are a members of Al Qaeda.

Only Iraq is not dumb: the country knows it is only a matter of time before the resurgent Iraq airforce is considered a threat by the same US who is providing it, and knowing the winds of realpolitik are fickle, it is also aligning itself with Russia, the Czech Republic and others:

Baghdad has also signed military contracts with Russia and the Czech Republic, among others, and has said it will not be able to fully defend its airspace until 2020.


Iraq also plans to buy Boeing Co Apache helicopters and other weapons from the U.S. government as it assumes responsibility for its own defense and counterterrorism efforts. Faily said the U.S. government appreciated the urgency and scale of the challenge that Iraqi is facing given continued and mounting strife with insurgents.


"They know that the sooner and the wider capabilities they provide us, the more ability we will have to reduce the vicious cycle of killing where the terrorists are attacking our people," he said.

He probably is referring to the CIA-sponsored Afghani freedom fighters led by one Osama bin Laden who also, surprisingly, ended up turning on the US? But that doesn't matter for now. All that matters is that the US GDP building must go on:

Faily said Iraq was completing work on the air base in Balad where the new jets will be housed. He said some Iraqi pilots had already been trained to fly the new planes, and more were in training now. Iraq ordered a first batch of 18 F-16s in 2011 for $3 billion, followed by a second order of 18 jets in October 2012.

... With more GDP growth to come:

Lockheed said the Iraqi order would keep the F-16 production line running through late 2017, but it continues to bid for new orders in hopes of continuing production through 2020. The company has built more than 4,540 F-16 aircraft to date.

How will Iraq pay for all of these US weapons? Well, buying "can't lose, this time it's different" US stocks is always an option...

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
knukles's picture

Hah ha ha ha ha ha
Oh fuck me, mate.



barack is gonna change your life
  -M Obie

hedgeless_horseman's picture



USAID, alongside other U.S. government agencies, works closely with
Iraqi national, provincial, and local governments, international
institutions, and a network of partners including non-governmental
organizations, local community groups, and Iraqi citizens.


USAID has implemented activities designed to strengthen
infrastructure, stabilize communities, foster economic and agricultural
growth, and help the various levels of government better represent and
respond to the needs of the Iraqi people.


With the U.S. transition to civilian leadership in Iraq, USAID has
continued to help Iraqis use their own resources to build a self-reliant
and prosperous country.

Apparently, the Iraqi people need fighter jets to strengthen infrastructure, stabilize their communities, etc. 

john39's picture

the real question is, who will be flying those jets when the "lord of freedom" decide its time to end the proxy war charade and directly attack Iran and Syria?  blackwater pilots? 

hedgeless_horseman's picture



What happened to the Iraqi infrastructure and communities that caused them to need to be strengthened and rebuilt?

fx's picture

Pretty  sure they will install some nice backdoors in the fighters' firmware which will come in handy if/when another wmd threat will have to be acted upon.

Citxmech's picture

Probably right.  However, those things are also only as good as the STEADY stream of parts.  Cut-off that supply and the fleet would be completely unairworthy in very short order. 

studfinder's picture


Iran is still flying F-14's... 

Citxmech's picture

Good point.  However, that force is a mere shadow of what it once was.

Found this on Wiki:

"in January 1974, Iran ordered 30 F-14s and 424 AIM-54 Phoenix missiles, initiating Project Persian King, worth US$300 million. A few months later, this order was increased to a total of 80 Tomcats and 714 Phoenix missiles as well as spare parts and replacement engines for 10 years, complete armament package, and support infrastructure (including construction of the huge Khatami Air Base in the desert near Esfahan).

The first F-14 arrived in January 1976, modified only by the removal of classified avionics components, but fitted with the TF-30-414 engines. The following year 12 more were delivered. . .

Following the overthrow of the Shah in 1979, the air force was renamed the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) and the post-revolution interim government of Iran canceled most Western arms orders. . .

Despite the circumstances under which the F-14s and their crews had to operate in Iran during the eight-year long war against Iraq, it is still the premier fighter in the Iranian Air Force. . .

Iran had an estimated 44 F-14s in 2009;[58] It has 19 F-14s in operation in January 2013, according to estimate by Aviation Week.[59]

In January 2007, the U.S. Department of Defense announced that sales of spare F-14 parts would be suspended over concerns of the parts ending up in Iran.[60] In July 2007, the remaining American F-14s were shredded to ensure that any parts could not be acquired.[54] In summer of 2010, Iran requested that the United States deliver the 80th F-14 it had purchased in 1974, but delivery was denied after the Islamic Revolution.[61][62] In October 2010, an Iranian Air Force commander claimed that the country overhauls and optimizes different types of military aircraft, mentioning that Air Force has even installed Iran-made radar systems on the F-14.[63]"

So, starting out with a stockpile of "10 years of parts," and 79 or so aircraft - and only being fully cut-off from parts in 2007, now they are down to only 19 or so aircraft - although I still wonder how combat-capable they actually are at this point.   

californiagirl's picture

And I assume the NSA has installed all kinds of spyware and tracking devices.

cynicalskeptic's picture

"....when the US shale boom is long gone and foreign sources of petroleum are once again all the rage, the US will have to fight its own fighter jets in the name of yet another war of democratic liberation and emancipation."


you REALLY think that the US will be able to afford to fight ANY war in another 10 years?  ..........bwahaaaaaaa.......

we're broke now - all posturing and strutting around without much to back it up... China and Russia could flush the US financially whenever they choose to do so - no combat needed

The US blew a few trillion on a pointless war with Iraq and the quagmire in Afghanistan - we managed to bankrupt ourselves, squander any goodwill after 9/11 and completely shred any remainder of the US image as some 'beacon of democracy'.......   Meanwhile Obama is saying the 'Age of Empires' is over..... yeah, the US should know....... we're Rome just before the barbarians overran the place and it fell into the dark ages

Quantum Nucleonics's picture

If it comes to shooting, wouldn't we tell China and/or Russia to f off and pound sand? Poof, debt problem fixed.


Peanut Butter Engineer's picture

Ages of Empires is best game ever, it will never get old or be over.

ebworthen's picture

If the Iraqi's were smart they would have bought 35 new Chinese fighters.

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

Drone control. They will take them back over.  They won't have to fight their own planes.

Winston Churchill's picture

The Iraqi president was also in Peking last month when Putin was there.

No doubt they will  be getting some Flankers soon as well.

Chinese pilots optional.

pelican's picture

As a Vet and taxpayer will the bullshit ever decrease?  I just want a decrease in bullshit.

RafterManFMJ's picture

The budgeted bullshit went from a planned increase of 7% to 5% for 2015. So in Washington-speak the 2015 budget for Bullshit has decreased.

cspg's picture


Cathartes Aura's picture

that would be the same USAid that the billionaires contribute to, writing future narratives for the peoples to live through?

just a big ole circle jerk of divide + conquer = profits$

aka "history".

wonder what the Intercept'd GreenWald reports. . .


Disenchanted's picture

Same ol shit different day, eh? ;)

Matters not what flavor the puppet-in-chief...


Cathartes Aura's picture


Matters not what flavor the puppet-in-chief...

not a bit. . . in ANY of the fictions-named-as-States.

each have their own profit-able puppetry, inherent in the "state" meme - and each sells out "their" people for profits.

act accordingly, hmm? 

BorisTheBlade's picture

On the bright side, how many communities were turned into parking lots.

rubiconsolutions's picture

Let me see if I have this straight: First, the US government robs its citizens of the fruits of their labor to build a huge military then uses that military to destroy a sovereign nation. Then a few years later it robs its citizens of the fruits of their labor to rebuild that sovereign nation that it destroyed in the first place. Do I have that right?

"Margarita please. Yes, salt on the rim. On the rocks, not blended...and a basket of chips and salsa. And a bottle of tequila. Patron....and a needle"

BadLibertarian's picture

This is how all shakedowns work. First you create a problem, then you 'fix' it, and if you're smart, you figure out a way to get paid on both ends plus earn recurring 'protection' revenue from the victims.

It sure is a shame the front windows to your business got all broken out there, fella. My cousin Sal can fix those right up for ya. Give ya a nice price, ya know? If ya like, I can keep an eye on the place for ya, make sure those punks don't do something like this again. Capiche?

Government is the biggest racket there is.

Almost Solvent's picture

But now the guy has got to come up with the money every week, no matter what. Business bad? Fuck you, pay me. You had a fire? Fuck you, pay me. The place got hit by lighting? Fuck you, pay me.

We blew the shit out of your country? Fuck you, pay me.

angel_of_joy's picture

Hey, they did that with Iran too, remember ? Except, back then it was the F-14 (the Mav & Goose plane from Top Gun).

So nothing new to see here, really. Move along people...

Dr. Richard Head's picture

The only reason why the US Government can get away with arming those they were once fighting is beacuse the long-term memory of the average citizen is that of a gnat.  Either that or no one gives a shit because they are too busy running on the gerbil wheel of debt and taxes. I weep for humanity.

andyupnorth's picture

It's not the fault of the "average citizen"; it's rather the fault of their political elite rulers (who couldn't care less about the "average citizen").

Dr. Richard Head's picture

I completely disagree.  The avegare citizen votes for the war pigs and keeps them in office.  The average citizen feels government is the answer for everything and that these wars are for our freedom.  They consent to these ideas of war against other countries because the press tells them it is good and noble and then the average citizen thanks the troops for their service and protection of our freedoms, all of the while we lose our freedoms to travel, freedom of privacy, etc. etc. 

The average citizen is consenting to this nonsense, but the scum bag politician pigs are also to blame.

Cathartes Aura's picture

the "average citizen" also continues to volunteer to uni-form up and fight other peoples, in their own lands, on behalf of the corporate profiteers.

the average flag-waver believes in their named land-mass, and will be so shocked!! when it falls into the chaos created in other'd lands. . .

viahj's picture

the people who make the decisions are never found on a ballot.

maskone909's picture

who the fuck would buy that shit from murica?  they are all equiped with back door programs...


maskone909's picture

atleast they will be able to save those incubator babies.  thats what this is about, right?

post turtle saver's picture

yeah, that's what Saddam thought, so he ended up buying French equipment... which had back door programs

funny that

Rainman's picture

agree... move along. Afghan insurgents have been killing USA soldiers for years with USA-made weapons.





Jumbotron's picture

That's ok.  Each one had a back door courtesy of the NSA.

JRobby's picture

Blow it up, rebuild it at 5X the original cost.

Repeat indefinitely until monetary system blows apart.


PT's picture

Real life application of "Broken Window" policy.



"Broken Nation" policy?
"Broken Soul" policy?
"Broken Conscience" policy?

drendebe10's picture

Can the policies of yhe corrupt incompetent narcissistic illegal alien liar in chief get any more moronic and make our country more stuoid thanvthis?

j0nx's picture

F16's for potential terrorists in 5-10 years. No long mag semi-auto squirrel gun for you. Logic seems legit.

JLee2027's picture

""was invading Iraq to liberate its oil deposits""


And that's why we gave them right back. Because they were all "liberated".

GIABO's picture

We live in the fucing twilight zone. 

mkkby's picture

It was a PHONEY WAR and, therefore, a WAR CRIME.  Just out of decency, we should have replaced their damaged military hardware and infrastructure immediately.  We also should have generously compensated anyone wounded or killed. 

After that the war criminals in the US gov should have been tried and summarily hung by the neck until dead.  You start at the bottom and use their sworn statements to convict the ones in charge.

JLee2027's picture

You seem to suffer from BDS, Bush Deranged Syndrome, completely forgetting that Obama continued the "War Crime" and expanded it to Africa. Are you a liberal by chance?

Colonel Klink's picture

And the MIC ponzi continues at the cost of US taxpayers and foreign lives.

Bay of Pigs's picture

In a nutshell, there is your US economy. Ponzi finance and War.

War and the Fed- Lew Rockwell