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US Working Out Massive Long-Term Foreign Weapon Sales

President Bush wants to take one last shot as an international salesman before he leaves office in January. The Bush administration is peddling tanks, helicopters, fighter jets, missiles, remotely piloted aircraft, and warships to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Canada, along with countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Europe in hopes of arming allies and containing North Korea and Iran.


An air force official working on the large-scale deals says sprinkling the world with Made in USA weapons "is about building a more secure world." The arms deals will last far after Bush leaves office, and will be partly financed by the US. Each year America gives 60 countries a total of $4.5 billion to help buy American weapons.

For more on the US push, and how Iran might have some weapons to sell, too, read more.

While the US took opposing sides with the USSR in the 1980s battle for Afghanistan, it appears that Iran has stepped in for the Soviets in a new developing war by proxy. A recent investigation found that groups within the Iranian state have sent weapons to the Taliban in Afghanistan. Iran denies involvement saying it supports the Afghan government.

Are these deals making a profit on insecurity, or solidifying long-term alliances? Do you ever worry that arming and training foreigners could backfire on the US?

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