‘The US military has embarked on a new and risky strategy in Iraq by arming Sunni insurgents in the hope that they will tackle al-Qaida operatives in Iraq.
The US high command this month gave permission to its officers on the ground to negotiate arms deals with tribal elders and other local leaders. Arms, ammunition, body armour and other equipment, as well as cash, pickup trucks and fuel, have already been handed over in return for promises to turn on al-Qaida and not attack US troops.
The US military in Baghdad is trying to portray the move as arming disenchanted Sunnis rising up in their neighbourhoods against their former allies, al-Qaida and its foreign fighters. But the reality on the ground is more complex, with little sign that the US will be able to control the weapons once they are handed over.’