[Freemanlist2] Ze'ev Schiff - Gates: U.S. to sell smart bombs to Saudi Arabia

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Fri Apr 20 09:10:36 CDT 2007

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[Dr. Aaron Lerner - IMRA:  This sale does not disturb the balance in the 
area via the following circular reasoning:

#1 The US wants to make the sale.

#2 The US cannot make the sale if it disturbs the balance.

#3 Since the sale cannot be made unless it does not disturb the balance the 
sale does not disturb te balance.

There is no standard for the examination of the true impact of a sale on the 
balance.  Instead the only requirement is that the person in the 
U.S.Government who types up the announcement of the sale not erase the 
phrase "The proposed sale of this equipement and support will not affect the 
basic military balance in the region" from the template.]

Gates: U.S. to sell smart bombs to Saudi Arabia
By Ze'ev Schiff , Haaretz Correspondent
Last update - 07:20 20/04/2007

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said during his visit to Israel that 
Washington has decided to sell Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) bombs to 
Saudi Arabia, Haaretz has learned.

A recent discussion in Washington raised the possibility that Jerusalem 
would ask the U.S. not to sell the satellite-guided smart bombs to the 
Saudis, but it was decided to reject this request.

The Israel Air Force itself has purchased the high-accuracy JDAMs, and used 
them against Hezbollah targets during the Second Lebanon War.

Defense Minister Amir Peretz expressed Israel's opposition to the sale of 
the weapons to Saudi or other Persian Gulf states during his visit to the 
U.S. a few weeks ago. Peretz said Israel was concerned the weapons might 
fall into terrorist hands. Israel also argues that the presence of such 
weapons in the Arab countries undermines Washington's pledge that Israel 
will enjoy a qualitative edge in the region - attained mainly by the 
possession of advanced weaponry.

Articles by Arab security experts in the Western and the Arab press recently 
have argued that Israel's opposition to the sale of advanced arms to the 
Arab states has placed the country in a strategic contradiction. According 
to the head of the Kuwait Center for Strategic Studies, Dr. Sami al-Faraj, 
various countries in the Gulf have armed themselves as a deterrent against 
Iran, but while Israel has a great interest in creating focuses of deterance 
against Iran, it expresses automatic opposition when other countries seek to 
obtain these weapons.

Washington has rejected such requests from Israel before: surrounding the 
sale of AWACs and advanced F-16s to Saudi Arabia, and Harpoon missiles to 
Egypt. Arab experts say satellite-guided weapons can be purchased from 
Europe or Russia, although there is no comparison between European and 
Russian technology and that of the U.S.

The main component of the JDAM is not the bomb itself, but rather its tail 
kit, which can also be installed on an ordinary bomb. The target location is 
fed to the system by satellite, which can also be done by computer during 
flight. The computer determines the best moment for the pilot to release the 
bomb. Pilots and other experts say this type of bomb "can be aimed through a 
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