News Column

Menendez: No Arms for Iraq Without Intel

July 24, 2014

Associated Press

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (official portrait)
U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (official portrait)

WASHINGTON (AP) A Democratic senator says he'll block arms sales to Iraq if Congress doesn't get an assessment of Iraqi forces.

Sen. Bob Menendez is the Foreign Relations Committee chairman. Menendez says he doesn't want more U.S. weapons abandoned by Iraqi forces fleeing insurgents.

Menendez expressed frustration at a hearing Thursday. He says Congress hasn't been told about potential military decisions in Iraq or about its troop capability.

The New York Times reports that a military assessment found it unsafe for Americans to advise Iraqi forces, given their infiltration by Sunni extremist informants and Iran-backed Shiite militants.

The Defense Department's Elissa Slotkin says lawmakers will be briefed at the proper time.

Slotkin and the State Department's Brett McGurk clashed Wednesday with House members over questions of drone strikes and keeping Iraq whole.

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Original headline: Senator: No arms to Iraq unless Congress gets info


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