Saturday, July 02, 2005

Don't Buy Belgian Weapons

National Defense Magazine reports on a new rifle for US Special Forces (hat tip DefenseTech). It comes from a Belgian arms company. Bad Idea - Belgium is the America-hating country that refused to supply the Brits with ammunition during the Gulf War.

U.S. special operations forces this summer will begin testing a new assault rifle, which is expected to be more accurate and less cumbersome than current weapons.

After it was selected to make the rifle, FN Herstal continued to modify the design based on input from users. Operators, for example, asked for a folding sight. FN engineers at the company’s rapid-prototyping facility in Belgium fabricated one overnight. A pushbutton lock for the sight was added in hours. “To duplicate that capability [in the United States] would require a heck of a capital investment,” said (the engineering director of the Belgian company).

Note that the US won't be able to manufacture this gun, so better not use it on terrorists or the Belgians will shut off supply.

In case you've forgotten, this is Belgium's status as a US ally.

Threatening to use its NATO veto to stop Iraqi Freedom.

Belgium will use its veto power in NATO to block a US request for the military alliance to support a US-led military strike on Iraq, Foreign Minister Louis Michel said on Sunday. Speaking on Belgian television, Michel said NATO Secretary General George Robertson would be sent a letter by Monday informing him of the veto.

He added that he expected France and Germany also to block the US request. Michel said the Belgian representative to the alliance had already been given instructions to block the US request. Belgium, France and Germany have been holding up an accord that would allow planners at the 19-nation military alliance to begin drawing up NATO's contribution to any action against Iraq.

Threatening the charge members of the US administration with war crimes when they visited Belgium (they backed down under pressure).

The bitter dispute between the US and Europe over Iraq burst into the open again yesterday when the US threatened Belgium with a boycott and Germany and France registered protests at the UN about Washington's continued opposition to the international criminal court. The US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, warned Belgium at a Nato meeting to drop its controversial war crimes law or face a boycott of Nato's Brussels HQ.

Belgium, a founder member of Nato, has a law giving it jurisdiction to try war crimes, genocide and other crimes against humanity wherever they are committed. The government has already been trying to water it down.

The Secretary of Defense will not be amused when he learns about this - he was one of the people the Belgians were keen to put in jail. Readers with contacts in Pentagon procurement - please put out an all-points alert and get this stopped.