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Tuesday, September 21, 2021

F-35 jets, US senators failed to stop sales to the UAE

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On Wednesday, The US senators failed to stop the United States from selling F-35 jets to the UAE. Most senators dismissed fears that President Donald Trump was setting off a dangerous arms race.

Selling weapons to the UAE supported US jobs. Provided backing to our friends who see common enemies and are working directly to move their country and their region in a much better direction, said Republican Senator Roy Blunt.

Democrats failed to convince a minimum of 50 senators in two procedural votes that Trump was acting hastily before President-elect Joe Biden takes over next month.

Sale worth USD 23 Billion

The outgoing Trump administration has approved $23 billion in 50 stealth-capable F-35 jets, unarmed drones, and more than 14,000 bombs and munitions to the UAE. It is one of the biggest arms deals in the 4-year tenure of Donald Trump. Further, it is the second-largest sale of US drones to a single country.

Earlier, Trump had threatened the Senators that he would Veto the resolutions if the sale of F-35 jets is not passed. Therefore the Senate and House of Representatives needed at least Two-Third of votes to overturn the decision.

What the Senators said?

 A statement released from the White House said the weapons would allow the UAE to check the aggressive behavior of Iran. Also, the deal prevents threats issued because of the peace deal with Israel.”

Two US senators of the Democratic Party from Arizona, Kyrsten Sinema, and Mark Kelly joined Republicans on the drone sales. The crossover involves Raytheon, a major employer in their state. Sinema also rejected the bid to stop the F-35.

Another US Senator, Rand Paul, a Republican who usually backs Trump, was the sole crossover to team up with Democrats.

The Republican senator said that dropping advanced military technology into the region does not encourages peaceful relations. 

Lockheed Martin manufactures the F-35, one of the costliest warplanes in the world. The jets carry high-end sensors and data-collection tools. Also, they can be used for airstrikes, intelligence gathering, and air-to-air combat.

Israel’s Take

The UAE would buy 50 F-35 Joint Strike Fighters — equivalent to Israel’s fleet, said the State Department. 

In the past, Israel has opposed the sale of F-35s to any nation in the Middle East. As they considered the F-35s a military advantage.

But Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dropped objections after the US-brokered Abraham Accords between Israel and the UAE.

Bahrain and Sudan have also moved to normalize relations with Israel. Previously, they were discussing with the US how to expand their military edge further.

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