…it IS an arms race. No, really. The US is going to give a ton of military goodies to the gulf states, Israel, and Egypt.
There are several things here that strike me as glaringly wrong. First of all, this does smell like so much corporate welfare for the arms industry. The last I checked the Israelis still had about the most advanced military in the region, I’m not sure what else they need. I mean they even have nukes… oops, am I not supposed to say that? Let’s stop pussyfooting around, the Israelis have nukes, it’s the worst kept secret in the world.
As for selling arms to the Egyptians and the gulf states, in the case of Egypt I always wonder how far the Islamic Brotherhood is from being able to run the rather dictatorial Mubarak regime out of town. Remember how the Shah got F-14s, fat lot of good that got him when the public became fed up with him. In the case of the gulf states you have the same risk of coup d’etat, and it’s not like any of these countries are hard up for cash.
Furthermore, after doling out all these weapons, what is Iran going to think? Forget about whether Ahmadinejad is nuts or not because he doesn’t control the military. What would any leader in Iran think? What would any hypothetical leader slightly more militaristic than Gandhi think? I suspect the answer would be something about it being time to buy more weapons. It’s the only rational response.
And so it goes…