In July 2008, Iraq submitted a slew of official requests to buy over $10 billion worth of American defense equipment, in order to equip its forces with tanks, armored cars, weapons, and even key infrastructure. In December 2008, additional requests reached the formal notification stage, while some of their July 2008 requests have been clarified or modified.
The volume of these announcements, and their content, strongly suggests an Iraqi military that is making significant strides in organization and responsibilities, and is beginning to order the equipment to match. Gen. David Petraeus’ December 2008 presentation in Washington [Transcript | Slideshow] regarding the less recognized aspects of “the surge,” and the current situation in Iraq, would appear to back that up. Time will tell.
One of the requests that was modified by the December announcements was Iraq’s request for LAVs, similar to the amphibious vehicles used by the US Marine Corps…
Wells Fargo bank originally made its name in the 1850s, running secure rapid delivery services during the California gold rush. The combination of banking services and their famous red-and-gold stagecoaches proved appealing and successful. Their branches remain a familiar site in California and throughout the American West.
The firm’s latest customer also seeks to combine those 2 services, albeit from a slightly greater distance. The Netherlands currently pays about EUR 200 million to the US government for services like helicopter and fighter pilot training, and the amount is currently booked in one lump sum. If the ministry could pay these costs over time as they were incurred, the additional interest earned while holding on to their money could be significant. To do that, they need a commercial banking agreement in the USA.
Hence a pair of recent agreements. One involves the Dutch MvD and finance ministries, and the USA’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which processes all foreign military sales requests. The other is with Wells Fargo Bank, who is still in the business of banking and rapid delivery – with a twist. NIS News.