Arms Sales Loom Large Abroad

With Afghan President (for life) Hamid Karzai remaining mum about who’s pocket he’s in, the U.S. has turned its attention to a $60 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia.

Lawmakers have said a weapons sale of this size is crucial to Saudi’s national security. This sale, though large, carries many of the usual requirements. Lawmakers are seeking assurances the weapons will not be used against the U.S. and its allies. (Once they have the weapons, does it matter?) Guidance systems and other electronics will be altered in an effort to protect Israel. (Where’s the cartoonist!) Saudi Arabia will be able to purchase up to 84 F-15s, which, from a U.S. security standpoint is not a big deal. For Boeing, it is a nice chunk of change.

So is this massive sale crucial to the kingdom’s national security? Maybe. Maybe not.

On the diplomatic front the U.S. is not so sure if Israel remains safe from Saudi aggression. Israel has not objected to the sale, but as an aside, Israel has kept quiet in the past at the request of mega-backer, the United States. The U.S. has also expressed concern the Saudis have not done enough to move Iran away from its nuclear program.
It sounds like little has changed abroad, but there are changes at home. Sixty big ones could go a long way to mitigating damage from defense cuts proposed by Congress and DoD.

So, will such foreign military sales on the grandest of scales keep the military industrial complex afloat through the next decade?

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