The Bush Administration has approved the sale of cutting edge fighter/bombers to Israel even amidst the financial meltdown in Washington. Some 25 F-35 Strike Fighters with state of the art technology worth about 16 billion dollars and with an option to buy 50 more has been approved by the Pentagon. With the Russians pumping advanced military systems into Iran and Syria the United States is not about to deny Israel access to aircraft that can do whatever needs to be done to ensure Israeli security. Consider the following quotes from the Debka File: http://www.debka.com/headline.php?hid=5622
The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency has approved the $15.2 billion sale of 25 F-35 Strike Fighters for Israel with an option for another 50, saying it is vital to US national security interests to assist Israel develop “a strong and ready self-defense capability.”
Israel is the first foreign nation to receive the up-to-the-minute Lockheed Martin F-35 Strike Fighter, which will replace the older F-16 fighters and enhance its air-to-air and air-to-ground defenses and by virtue of five exceptional features:
The first consignment of 25 F-35’s has a conventional take-off and landing (CTOL) configuration, while the next 50 are short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL) aircraft. In the event of an armed conflict, the Israel Air Force calculates that its long runways will be in danger of attack by Iran, Syria, Hizballah and Hamas.
The deal was approved after senior Israeli and US officials met in Washington this month and assurances were tendered that sensitive technologies would not be passed to third parties.
Given the geopolitical instability exhibited by the ongoing financial crisis, and the widespread economic damage produced by the oil price spike, the USA has apparently abandoned all ideas of American involvement in an attack on Iran. The USA can’t be directly involved but it’s clearly signaled its willingness to be indirectly involved by the sale of these advanced aircraft to Israel.
The State of Israel will now have what it needs to deal with the Iranian threat effectively in spite of the Russian interference in the region. The Russian have used the Middle East as an opportunity to vent its spleen at the USA for our condemnation of the Georgia adventure and our subsequent advocacy for Georgian and Ukrainian membership in NATO. Since the Russians are angry and feeling so misunderstood, they’ve made an attack on Iran much more difficult to spite the USA. By selling advanced anti aircraft missile batteries to Iran, the Russians may well have guaranteed the sale of advanced warplanes to Israel. Consider these quotes from the Times Online: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/europe/article4781027.ece
Russia has already delivered 29 Tor-M1 missile systems under a $700 million (£386 million) deal with Iran in 2005.
Reports have circulated for some time that the Kremlin is preparing to sell its S300 surface-to-air missile system to Iran, offering greater protection against a possible US or Israeli attack on the Islamic republic’s nuclear facilities. The missiles have a range of more than 90 miles (150km).
Clearly the Iranian quest for weapons of mass destruction continues unabated. In a surprising twist to the censure of the Iranian freighter by Somali pirates consider some quotes from an article in Fox News:
As Somali pirates brazenly maintain their standoff with American warships off the coast of Africa, the cargo aboard one Iranian ship they commandeered is raising concerns that it may contain materials that can be used for chemical or biological weapons.
On Aug. 21, the pirates, armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades, stole onto the decks of the merchant vessel Iran Deyanat.
They ransacked the ship and searched the containers. But in the days following the hijacking, a number of them fell ill and died, suffering skin burns and hair loss, according to reports.
The pirates were sickened because of their contact with the seized cargo, according to Hassan Osman, the Somali minister of Minerals and Oil, who met with the pirates to facilitate negotiations.
The pirates reportedly were in talks to sell the ship back to Iran, but the deal fell through when the pirates were poisoned by the cargo, according to Andrew Mwangura, director of the Kenya-based East African Seafarers’ Assistance Program.
“Yes, some of them have died,” he told the Long War Journal. “Our sources say [the ship] contains chemicals, dangerous chemicals.”
Chemical experts say the reports sound inconsistent with chemical poisoning, but may reflect the effects of exposure to radiation.
“It’s baffling,” said Jonathan Tucker, a senior fellow at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. “I’m not aware of any chemical agent that produces loss of hair within a few days. That’s more suggestive of high levels of radioactive waste.”
Given the always questionable activities of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the need for someone to pull their nuclear fangs the sale of these state of the art aircraft appears to be justified in spades. The days of America being the world’s policeman may, in fact, be at an end but we’ve passed some very important tools to Israel who may indeed take on the task of stopping Iran. The sale of these aircraft was necessary as the specter of a devastating Middle East War continues to grow by the day.