Procurement: The Enemy of my Enemy is New U.S. Weapons


August 3, 2007: One reason the United States has, over the last half century, accounted for over a third of all arms exports, is because of the heavy use of these sales to further political goals. Case in point is the recently announced plan to sell Saudi Arabia $20 billion worth of weapons over the next ten years. These would be used to bolster Arab defenses against Iran. At the same time, Israel is getting a 25 percent increase in American arms exports, from $2.4 billion to $3 billion a year, for at least the next ten years.

The Saudis are buying their weapons with oil money, Israel is getting most of their for free, as part of a long term effort to keep Israel the strongest military power in the region. This offends many Arabs, who openly complain about the thriving Israeli democracy and economy, making them and their neighbors look bad. But with the growing threat from Iran, many Arab nations, particularly those along the Persian Gulf, are starting to see Israel as an ally. Iran openly calls for the destruction of Israel, something many Arabs would agree with. But if it came to choosing between a hostile Iran, and a peaceable Israel, the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

Unlike when past U.S. arms sales to Israel and Saudi Arabia were announced, neither nation condemned the deal the other got.


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