One way to think of the initial U.S. role in Afghanistan was that it was payback to Russia for Vietnam by a generation of officers that had seen it close up. And they wanted to give the Russians their own Vietnam.
Similarly, another way to think of Ukraine is payback to Russia for Iraq from a generation of officers that saw that one up close.
In the years after the Gulf War, Saddam grew closer than ever to Russia. And the Russians provided intel and weapons right up to the war.
The Russian government collected intelligence from sources inside the American military command as the US mounted the invasion of Iraq, and the Russians fed information to deposed President Saddam Hussein on troop movements and plans, according to Iraqi documents cited in a Pentagon report released Friday.
The Russians relayed information to Saddam during the opening days of the war in late March and early April 2003, including a crucial time before the ground assault on Baghdad, according to the documents.
The unclassified report does not assess the value of the information or provide details beyond citing two captured Iraqi documents that say the Russians collected information from sources “inside the American Central Command” and that battlefield intelligence was provided to Saddam through the Russian ambassador in Baghdad.
They also provided weapons that were used against us.
But the book claims that weaponry from supposed U.S. allies in the war on terror made its way to Iraq during that critical period. The arms included Russian-made anti-tank weapons that were used by Saddam’s Fedayeen militia to disable two M1A1 tanks in Najaf during the initial invasion, according to Gertz.
While most Americans have forgotten, there are people in the military with a longer memory.
The United States accused Russian firms yesterday of putting American troops at risk by selling jamming devices, anti-tank missiles and night-vision goggles to Iraq.
President Bush complained to Russian President Vladimir V. Putin yesterday about alleged sales of Russian military equipment to Iraq, including what the White House claimed were “ongoing” transfers of jamming devices that could interfere with guidance systems on American weapons.
Despite the hysteria you see in some quarters, both sides have been playing this game throughout the Cold War which was defined by these proxy wars.
While the Ukrainians aren’t likely to take anti-tank missiles and go Al Qaeda on them, we really need to be tracking and monitoring weapons transfers because I imagine half of the Jihadis in the Middle East would love access to the Javelins and they’re being given away like candy.