apostatic electricity (hoolifan) wrote in balanceofpower,
apostatic electricity

Quid pro quo

sayeth Reuters:

"The decision to bar war opponents like France, Russia and Germany from the contracts generated outrage in Europe and triggered new transatlantic tensions.

The timing of the announcement created a new challenge for Bush, coming as he prepared to send former Secretary of State James Baker to France, Germany and Russia as well as Italy and Britain to seek debt restructuring for Iraq. "

Did it occur to them that Bush's refusal to allow "old Europe" in on the Iraqi reconstruction gold rush could be an effective negotiating ploy for the debt reduction effort? No contracts for you, but we'll consider it if you forgive Saddam's existing balance. Maybe.
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I wouldn't overestimate the weight of this recent DoD decision. This from the Moscow Times:

It is unclear whether companies from banned countries will be directly affected.
"There is nothing in this document that prohibits us from being subcontractors," said Igor Sokolov, deputy general director of Tekhnoneft. A division of state-owned Mashinoimport, Tekhnoneft is among a number of Russian enterprises that has been working in Iraq for decades, including under the UN oil-for-food program.
"Eventually a lot of this will boil down to price. Whoever wins a contract is going to look around for people who have done the job in the past," Sokolov said. "So a margin for the contractor will be added to the starting price."
Sokolov also said that in many cases firms from Russia or other banned countries will still keep their presence in Iraq, as a good deal of existing infrastructure and equipment requires maintenance.
"If you need a spare part, who do you turn to? Usually it is the original supplier," Sokolov said.

Seems like a political game to me that doesn't really intend any economic strong-arming.