Noticed this in a Strategy Page post about the new Iraqi 9th Mechanized Division:
There’s plenty of surplus Russian armor in Eastern Europe, which the current owners are planning on selling or scrapping. Since there are few customers for this obsolete equipment, you can earn a few brownie points with the U.S. by donating it to Iraq. The United States has been pushing this approach, even offering to pay the transport costs in some cases. The Iraqis, however, already have their eye on the future, and want more modern equipment. The United States has already said that it would leave a lot of military equipment behind when American units are withdrawn permanently, and the Iraqis are hoping some of this gear will include used M-1 tanks and M-2 infantry vehicles. Failing that, Russia is ready to sell Iraqi its new T-90 tanks. Just like the old days. [emphasis mine]
I haven’t heard that we’d said we’d be leaving “a lot of military equipment behind”, though I don’t doubt it at all. However, I guess I’d be surprised to see M-1s and M-2s made part of the package. There’s just too many potential negatives. Far better to let others score points with us by donating surplus equipment or score contracts by selling Russian-made (like Poland, who has sold the Iraqis many of the AK-47s used to arm the military and police forces). Iraq doesn’t need top-notch armor to fight insurgents and deter potential invaders in the first place, and the fact that much of the Iraqi army is already running Russian equipment and that what experience Iraqi soldiers have is with Russian equipment says “let them use Russian equipment”.