John VI Cantacuzenes Alert. Israel has every reason to deplore this.
By Ryan R. Jones for All Headline News, with thanks to Nariz:
Jerusalem, Israel (AHN) – Visiting U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on Thursday told his Israeli hosts that the Bush administration will go forward with the sale of smart bombs to Saudi Arabia, despite Jerusalem’s protests.
Israel fears Saudi’s possession of the weapons will erode its qualitative military edge in the region, and has argued that if the current regime in Riyadh is overthrown – not an uncommon occurrence in the Middle East – the highly-accurate Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) bombs could reach the hands of extremists.
Gates sought to allay the Israeli concerns, insisting that Washington remains committed to the Jewish state’s military edge over neighbors that have three times tried to destroy it.
In remarks carried by The Jerusalem Post, Gates said Israel should see the deal in terms of the “overall strategic environment,” supporting earlier reports that the JDAM sale to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states is meant to bolster regional opponents of Iran’s growing influence.