Letter: Kuwait's choice of a tank for the desert

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The Independent Online
Sir: I read with some sadness in the Independent diary this morning that the British people are disappointed and even bitter that my country, Kuwait, did not purchase the British Challenger 2 tank, but the American Abrams M1A2.

I was angry, too, because Kuwaitis love the British and hope to return the favours shown in 1990.

But I think we should stop and think: should Kuwait acquire weapons which, though powerful, are not entirely suitable for the desert terrain? Shall we make the same mistake in having an unprepared army? After all, we have

the same neighbour: Saddam Hussein.

I would remind you that British companies have received excellent contracts for the rebuilding of the Kuwaiti infrastructure. And I would like to say to my friend the diarist that the British mistake was to build a tank that, in accord with the British character, would not run fast enough.

Yours faithfully,

ANAS AL-SALEH

Oxford

13 October

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