Josh Marshall points out something I hadn’t noticed — there’s been a big uptick in American helicopter crashes recently. It appears, however, that this is a result of better tactics and/or intelligence rather than the acquisition of better weapons.
This brings to mind one of the bitter ironies of the president’s recent allegations that Iran is arming our foes in Iraq. The allegation appears, for one thing, to be significantly overstated, raising one’s concerns that it’s part of a propaganda campaign leading to war. At the same time, however, no matter what proportion of weapons in Iraq come from Iran, it’s fairly clear that until very recently at least neither the Sunni insurgents nor the Mahdi Army nor the Badr Organization was an especially well-armed outfit. Compare any of them to an irregular fighting organization that Iran most definitely does equip like Hezbollah’s military wing and you’ll see that everyone in Iraq is looking rather crude. There’s a lot more the Iranians could be handing out in terms of anti-tank missiles, rockets of various kinds, etc. This helicopter business is bad enough allready, but could easily become much worse if the administration continues its efforts to widen the war.