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IRAQ - The Military Angle.



From a military perspective, Iraq had until the Gulf war regarded itself as a major regional power capable of challenging Israel. Indeed, it had perhaps the mightiest military establishment in the Arab World “Arab States” redirects here. For the political alliance, see Arab League.
The Arab World (Arabic: العالم العربي; Transliteration: al-`alam al-`arabi) stretches from the Atlantic Ocean in the
, battle hardened after an 8-year long war with Iran. But the Gulf war of 1991 changed all that as the US air and ground assault destroyed a big chunk of Iraqi military assets. Still, on paper, Iraq's army still looks formidable, with an estimated 400,000 men, around 23 divisions (6 of them Republican Guard), some 2,000 tanks, and about 200-300 combat aircraft.

However, most of Iraq's arms are obsolete and the embargo has had a marked effect on its ability to acquire spare parts Spare parts, also referred to as Service Parts is a term used to indicate extra parts available and in proximity to the mechanical item, such as a automobile, boat, engine, for which they might be used.

Spare parts are also called “spares.
 and equipment needed to keep the surviving military machine in optimal shape. As a result of the UN sanctions, Iraq has been unable to buy spare parts, tools, lubricants lubricants

preparations for the lubrication of passages to reduce frictional injury, e.g. oily preparations, including petroleum jelly, lanolin or water-soluble preparations such as methyl cellulose.
, and other supplies, with the result that its maintenance problems have worsened.

Many Iraqi weapons have rusted beyond use, lack critical parts, or have been cannibalised to keep other equipment running. To compensate, Baghdad has been forced to demobilize de·mo·bil·ize  
tr.v. de·mo·bil·ized, de·mo·bil·iz·ing, de·mo·bil·iz·es
1. To discharge from military service or use.

2. To disband (troops).
 numerous divisions and reduce the numbers of weapons assigned to those remaining.

By contrast, the Israeli military forces have been constantly upgrading their capabilities - especially in the technological sphere. The US has assured additional military aid as part of an incentive package to encourage Israel to move forward in negotiations with the Palestinians and the Syrians. These include "Star Wars" weaponry such as the Tactical High Energy Laser The Tactical High-Energy Laser, or THEL, is a laser developed for military use, also known as the Nautilus laser system. The mobile version is the Mobile Tactical High-Energy Laser, or MTHEL.  (THEL THEL Tactical High Energy Laser ) to knock out to force out by a blow or by blows; as, to knock out the brains s>.

See also: Knock
 incoming missiles - like the Scuds which Iraq lobbed on Israel during the Gulf war.

The US also provides Israel with real-time satellite monitoring capabilities, advanced fighter jets and radar systems. In addition, the two countries are jointly working on the anti-missile missile system Arrow (Hetz), which when deployed will be another layer of defence against missiles.

These factors, combined with the range limitations on missiles imposed by the UN sanctions regime, mean that Iraq is in no position to challenge Israel by using stand-off weapons systems. There is virtually no chance that any of the "frontline" states (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel or the Palestinians) would allow Iraqi troops to go over their territory to attack Israel, unless there is another major Arab-Israeli war.

In other words Adv. 1. in other words - otherwise stated; "in other words, we are broke"
put differently
, Iraq is in no position to pose a serious strategic challenge to Israel in the near future. Its opposition to the peace process, therefore, will continue to be limited mainly to rhetoric.
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Publication:APS Diplomat Strategic Balance in the Middle East
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:7IRAQ
Date:Jun 26, 2000
Words:417
Previous Article:IRAQ - Iraq's Unique View Of Israel.
Next Article:JORDAN - Opposition To Middle East Peace Ending - Part 13.
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