The announcement seemed a little odd. The Maliki government has continued to sign major deals since the March 2010 elections. On October 20 for example, Baghdad auctioned off three natural gas fields to foreign energy companies. It was noted on November 1 that the Agriculture Ministry bought seven helicopters for tree spraying from a European company. Why the Defense Ministry can’t complete the F-16 contract is unknown given those circumstances. Perhaps there are different regulations for government-to-government negotiations. No matter what the reason, the purchase of the fighters will eventually be completed, just on Iraqi time, meaning with delays.
Alsumaria, “$3bn Iraq/US F-16 Deal at Risk?” Iraq Business News, 10/25/10
AME Info, Euronews, “Iraq Signs Order for Eurocopters,” Iraq Business News, 11/1/10
Al-Sabah, “U.S. Deputy Commander: Iraq Will Sign Purchase Contract for F16 Fighter Jets by Year’s End,” MEMRI Blog, 10/28/10