The Chronicle reported on Oct. 21 that the U.S. Defense Department has approved sale of $60 billion in advanced military equipment to Saudi Arabia. According to the U.S. assistant secretary of Defense, “Israel does not object to the sale.”
In the United States, neither of the two pro-Israel lobbies — AIPAC and J Street — is mobilizing supporters to block the deal. Congress has until Nov. 20 to review the proposal, and is not expected to oppose the sale.
The sale includes 84 new F-15 fighter planes, nearly 200 combat helicopters, and an array of missiles for different kinds of combat environments.
This deal is huge and game changing. It points to new understandings of U.S. national security requirements in the Mediterranean, Middle East and Asia. American efforts to deal with the Iranian nuclear project engage Israel with Arab powers in efforts to further U.S. security interests. Israeli and Palestinian disputes over how to share disputed land are small in the context of efforts to contain Iran, but the smaller issues must be settled. They cannot be allowed to interfere with the larger challenge.
Daniel P. Resnick