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