U.S. weapons of mass destruction

U.S. to sell advanced weapons to Saudi Arabia and others
Warren P. Strobel | McClatchy Newspapers
27 July 2007

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration has decided to supply billions of dollars in advanced new weapons to Saudi Arabia, other Arab allies of the United States and to Israel, senior State Department officials and congressional aides said Friday.

The arms and aid package, which the officials said is to be announced on Monday, is part of a U.S. initiative to reassure worried allies in the Middle East that despite its troubles in Iraq, the United States remains committed to the region. It also is meant to send a signal of resolve to Iran's increasingly confident leaders.



America plans $20bn arms deals for allies in the Gulf

Paul Harris | The Observer
29 July 2007


The deal raises various strategic questions for America. The first is how to placate traditional allies Israel and Egypt, both of which have their own concerns about arming Gulf states. The salve to those concerns appears to be to give them fresh military aid packages of their own. Israel, according to the New York Times, is going to get a $30.5bn package over the next 10 years. That figure is much higher than had originally been planned. Egypt too will get a new 10-year deal, worth an estimated $13bn.

However, the huge flood of arms into the region is likely to cause serious concerns that Washington is supporting an arms race by sending hi-tech weapons to the rivals of Iran. Such a move will likely undermine diplomatic efforts in the region and spur Tehran even further in its quest for greater military power and the development of its nuclear programme. At the same time, others will criticise the White House for sending weapons to a region whose governments could easily collapse and thus leave American hardware in the hands of Islamic militants.

The flow of arms to Saudi Arabia is of particular concern. Not only are some Saudi factions suspected of being supporters of Sunni insurgents in neighbouring Iraq, there is also a fear that the Saudi royal family could one day fall prey to an Islamist revolution.

If that happens, the new weapons could end up being used by radicals against Western interests. Israeli officials and their supporters in Washington are reportedly lobbying against the Gulf deal but they have been overruled by an administration that has made countering Iranian interests its highest priority.


No comments:

Post a Comment