The U.S. is the #1 weapons dealer in the world, and weapons are the country’s top manufacturing export. The Obama Administration has had a $60 billion weapons deal to Saudi Arabia in the pipeline for some time now, but it just officially notified Congress of the proposed sale, according to this morning’s Washington Post. Here is our intern, Katherine Mullen’s, take on the issue from the InSane feature in our upcoming newsletter:
What does new job growth and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East have in common? For the Obama administration, the answer is a nearly $60 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia.
As first reported by The Wall Street Journal in September, the administration is prepared to authorize the Saudis to buy 84 new F-15 fighters, upgrade 70 more and purchase three types of helicopters: 70 Apaches, 72 Black Hawks and 36 Little Birds. The foreign arms sale would be the largest in U.S. history.
Details of the arms deal surfaced as President Obama was set to notify Congress, where lawmakers can review the plan and possibly pass legislation to block the sale. By law, the president has to give Congress a 30-day notice before making a deal to the Saudis.
Defense industry analysts and lawmakers view the potential sale as a way to create domestic jobs and strengthen the strategic partnership between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia in containing Iran. As reported in The Washington Post on Sept. 14, military officials estimated that the arms deal would involve 77,000 direct and indirect jobs in 44 states for Boeing, which produces F-15s, Little Birds and Apaches.
Selling $60 billion worth of advanced fighter jets and helicopters for Saudi Arabia’s defense is not a smart path to international security and creating American jobs. It’s In-SANE.