Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Military Space News .




MILPLEX
More F-16s for Egypt fuels arms debate
by Staff Writers
Cairo (UPI) Dec 11, 2012


The U.S. decision to send Egypt 20 Lockheed Martin F-16 fighter jets as the new Islamic president in Cairo is making dictatorial moves will fuel growing criticism in the United States and Europe of arming regimes that shun democracy.

The fighter planes, the first four of which are due for delivery Jan. 22, are part of a 2010 $1 billion foreign aid package, pre-dating the February 2011 downfall of President Hosni Mubarak, a pivotal U.S. ally in the Middle East.

The $213 million F-16 order, paid for by U.S. taxpayers, will provide a major upgrade of the Egyptian air force's striking power, spearheaded by nearly 200 older F-16s.

As such it will be seen as a significant gesture of U.S. support for Mubarak's successor, Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood and Egypt's first Islamic president.

In recent days Morsi has sought to give himself sweeping powers that cannot be challenged by Parliament or Egypt's judicial system. That triggered violent protests in Cairo.

The announcement the F-16 delivery program will begin as scheduled in 2013 despite the upheaval in Egypt, and what many see as Morsi's dictatorial inclinations, has underlined a growing alarm about Western military support for undemocratic regimes.

"The Obama administration wants to simply throw money at an Egyptian government that the president cannot even clearly state is an ally of the United States," declared U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., chairwoman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

The U.S. administration of President Barack Obama is desperate to retain as much influence as possible over Egypt and other Arab states that have overthrown autocratic rulers since the pro-democracy uprisings of the so-called Arab Spring erupted in January 2011 and continues nearly two years later.

It also needs to provide orders for the U.S. defense industry, which in these days of deep cuts in military spending is increasingly dependent on foreign sales to maintain production lines.

This is also true for Europe's arms industries, particularly those in Britain, France, Germany and Italy.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has in recent months come under criticism for backing arms sales to undemocratic states such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in the Persian Gulf.

The oil-rich region, which was effectively ruled by Britain until 1971, has been the mainstay of the United Kingdom's arms industry ever since and it's also vital for U.S. arms exports as well.

British lawmakers have incensed gulf monarchies in recent months by their denunciation of human rights abuses in those states, leaving Cameron's Conservative-Liberal coalition facing the prospect of dwindling arms sales and a serious drop in oil contracts as well.

Cameron and a high-powered delegation of ministers and defense chiefs flew to the gulf to sweet talk the Saudis and their partners, urging the leaders of Saudi Arabia, the Emirates and Oman to buy 100 Typhoon jets, worth $9.6 billion, built by BAE systems, Britain's biggest defense conglomerate, and its European partners.

They got a chilly reception and no confirmed orders but then neither did France's new president, Francois Hollande, who'd gone there a few weeks earlier on the same mission.

"On the nauseating political doublespeak scale, David Cameron's claim to 'support the Arab Spring' on a trip to sell weapons to gulf dictators ... hit a new low," said commentator Seumas Milne in Britain's liberal The Guardian daily, a fierce critic of the arms trade.

"No stern demands for free elections from the autocrats of Arabia -- or call for respect for human rights routinely dished out even to major powers like Russia and China."

Milne declared that arms sales in the gulf are "effectively a mafia-style protection racket, in which gulf regimes use oil wealth their families have commandeered to buy equipment from Western firms that they will never use ...

"But support for the gulf dictatorships -- colonial-era feudal confections built on heavily exploited foreign workforces -- is central to Western control of the Middle East and its energy resources."

Recent U.K. government figures show London is owed hundreds of millions of dollars for loans to dictatorships in Argentina, Indonesia, Iraq and Zimbabwe for British weapons used against their own people protesting regime excesses.

.


Related Links
The Military Industrial Complex at SpaceWar.com
Learn about the Superpowers of the 21st Century at SpaceWar.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





MILPLEX
Brazil's Rousseff grounds fighter choice until economy takes off
Paris (AFP) Dec 11, 2012
Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff on Tuesday tied the decision on a fighter jet in a deal worth billions of dollars to the country's economy picking up. "We have pushed back the choice... and this will take some time depending on how long it takes the Brazilian economy to recover," Rousseff said at a joint press conference with her French counterpart Francois Hollande. Brazil is looking ... read more


MILPLEX
Russia shuts down Azerbaijan radar station: Baku

Turkey assures Russia Patriot missiles for defence: diplomat

Japan authorises N. Korea rocket interception

Dutch to send Patriot missiles to Turkey-Syria border

MILPLEX
Tehran denies Iranian missile experts in North Korea

Iran to observe North Korea missile test

Severodvinsk submarine launches first cruise missile at ground targets

Patriots: The 'hit-to-kill' star missiles of the US armoury

MILPLEX
US drone strike kills at least three in Pakistan

Iran tells US to 'recount' drones

AeroVironment to Offer Tier II Vertical Takeoff and Landing

Sudan drone down in Khartoum area: official media

MILPLEX
US Air Force selects Raytheon to develop future Protected SATCOM System

General Dynamics Awarded Contract Under New U.S. Army Rapid-Acquisition Communications Program

Astrium to provide military X-band satcoms to six UK Royal Navy vessels

Lockheed Martin to Demonstrate Key Component of Tactical MilSat Communications System

MILPLEX
US Army Integrated Air and Missile Defense Battle Command System Software Released

Raytheon BBN Technologies awarded DoD funding to enhance text understanding

Argentina on track to buy 14 Brazil APCs

Raytheon receives US Army contract for JAGM continued technology development

MILPLEX
More F-16s for Egypt fuels arms debate

Brazil's Rousseff grounds fighter choice until economy takes off

Trichet could become new EADS chairman: report

EADS deal ends state grip, boosts shares and Daimler

MILPLEX
India minister: we must accept China in our backyard

US seen as 'first among equals' in 2030: intel report

EU says Nobel will spur reforms to keep Europe at peace

Philippines eyes greater US military presence

MILPLEX
Nature Materials Study: Boosting Heat Transfer With Nanoglue

New optical tweezers trap specimens just a few nanometers across

How 'transparent' is graphene?

A graphene nanotube hybrid




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement