US fighter jet manufacturers are concerned about the future of sales to America’s Persian Gulf Arab allies, which in part explains a recent push by some senators to strike a military deal with Washington’s regional partners, says an analyst.
According to The Wall Street Journal, a number of US senators have been building up pressure on the administration of President Barack Obama to approve a major sale of jet fighters to some Persian Gulf Arab states, including Bahrain, Qatar and Kuwait.
The bipartisan group of senators believes Washington’s delay over the fighter jets deal would threaten America’s relationship with its regional Arab allies and their commitment to help fight Daesh (ISIL).
Now Keith Preston, chief editor and director of AttacktheSystem.com, believes “the military industrial complex and well the corporate interest within the military industrial complex that generate revenue by means of the manufacture of these jets are certainly concerned about the loss of revenue that will take place if this particular sale does not go through.”
The comments follow the WSJ report where the US daily, which had obtained a letter signed by the senators last month, said the sale of the fighters to Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain has been in limbo for over two years, but the White House has not yet allowed it to go forward partly due to policies that require the US to keep a military edge for Israel in the Middle East and avoid sales to other allies that could take away Israel’s advantage.
Preston also pointed to the conflict of interest with Israel in this case, saying although Washington wants to sell US combat aircraft to its Persian Gulf allies, it does not wish to take away Israel’s military advantage in the Middle East.
US Senators John McCain, Bob Corker, Jack Reed and Claire McCaskill argued in their letter that a delay to sell such jets was unnecessary and the sale would not undermine Israel.
“We understand that these requests must be carefully considered, but a decision on them has been pending too long,” the senators wrote.
The proposed deal, valued at about $9 billion, includes F-16s, F-15s and F/A-18 jets.
The companies that build the aircraft, Lockheed Martin and Boeing, have recently warned they could be forced to close their production lines unless they secure new orders, the WSJ report said.
A senior Obama administration official said in a recent statement that “no decision has been made on fighter sales.”