President Dwight Eisenhower stated: ” … In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist… ”
The F-15 was a state of the art weapons system in the 1970’s, but the U.S. military has not purchased one since 2001. Just when it appeared that Boeing was going to shut down the F-15 production line a huge order came in for 84 aircraft. The buyer was Saudi Arabia and an additional order of attack helicopters was included that brought the bill to $ 60 Billion.
Whenever an order for the purchase of weapons is submitted to an American corporation, both the defense department and the state department become involved. If approved, the information then goes to congress who has the ability to halt the sale within 30 days. It has been recently estimated by a Deutsche Bank analyst that the U.S. plans to sell a staggering $ 103 Billion of weapons systems to foreign countries. While this is good news for Boeing, Raytheon, Honeywell, Lockheed, and General Dynamics, it is a cause for concern elsewhere.
The American defense industry sells almost 90% of its products to the U.S. military through the pentagon. Thanks to President Obama, defense spending by the U.S. has increased greatly. Mr. Obama and the U.S. Congress have agreed to spend $ 725 Billion on defense in 2011. It is no wonder that President Obama has been compared to President Reagan with that much tax money going to defense spending. Mr. Obama is not only spending huge sums on defense weapons systems for the U.S., but it has become increasingly clear that Mr. Obama is a major force behind the sales to foreign countries.
” Team Obama” work the sales pitch in a very interesting way. Just as President George W. Bush ( Bush-2) was absolutely certain that Iraq had weapons of “mass destruction”, it seems that President Obama can see the future and is certain that Iran is ready to go to war with just about everyone. So Turkey, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, and even Qatar have placed orders for weapons systems with U.S. corporations.
The weapons sale of the century is on and running. Interestingly enough politics even plays a role here. All buyers are not equal. It seems that only Israel is receiving the F-35 jet fighter which is the top of the line. WikiLeaks has released cables about the negotiations relating to the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia. It appears that the Israeli Lobby was fully informed of the sale to Saudi Arabia and was not concerned since Israel got the “best” product. For several decades the U.S. has maintained a verbal promise to Israel that Israel will have military superiority over its neighbors.
The really interesting thing to keep in mind is that China recently developed a stealth fighter. Now stop and think, what would happen if in a few years China started selling weapons systems like the U.S. does? Both Russia and France are more than happy to sell weapons to countries that the U.S. does not sell to like Venezuela.
With all of these weapons systems being sold, especially to the Middle East, what could possibly go wrong?
R. Van Conoley