VALLEY PATRIOT EXCLUSIVE
According to a report last month by The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs, the Obama Administration is blocking an arms deal with Israel. The report states that “Israel’s request for six AH-64D Apache Longbow attack helicopters was blocked by the Obama Administration in June …”
Meanwhile, Massachusetts Congresswoman Niki Tsongas told The Valley Patriot that she spoke with the Israeli embassy, the Pentagon, and State Department and the final purchase price of the Apaches continues to be negotiated between Boeing (the manufacturer of the helicopter), Israel and the United States. Congresswoman Tsongas says that she strongly supports Israel’s right to defend itself. She also believes in the special and close relationship that exists between Israel and the US.
But a Valley Patriot source and former White House official states that the deal has been and is still being blocked. “The Memorandum of Understanding was signed late last summer between the company and Israel. The MOU was then submitted with a request for a license, and once approved, the MOU is then negotiated into a final contract.” The Obama administration however, has twice denied the license, which means Obama is blocking the arms deal.” Sources say. Asked if the Bush Administration ever denied a license for an arms deal with Israel and was told by sources in the industry “no”.
The Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reported last month that since Obama has taken office there has not been one arms deal with Israel.. Over the same time period, the Administration has approved millions in sales to Arab nations.
On the Department of Defense website it states that in December 2009, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of possible Foreign Military Sales to Egypt, Saudia Arabia, Jordan and United Arab Emirates.
On December 16th the Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Saudi Arabia of 2,742 BGM-71E-4B-RF Tube-Launched, Optically-Tracked, Wire-Guided (TOW-2A) Radio Frequency missiles and associated parts, equipment, training and logistical support for a complete package worth approximately $177 million.
On December 17th they notified Congress of a possible Foreign Military sale to United Arab Emirates of logistics support, training and related systems for four C-17 Globemaster III aircraft being procured through a Direct Commercial Sale. The complete package, including associated parts and equipment is worth approximately $501 million.
On December 17th a possible Foreign Military Sale to Egypt was reported for the Fast Missile Craft (FMC) program and associated parts, equipment, training and logistical support for a complete package worth approximately $240 million,
Again, on December 17th a possible Foreign Military Sale to Egypt was reported of 20 RGM-84L/3 HARPOON Block II Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles and associated parts, equipment, training and logistical support for a complete package worth approximately $145 million.
On December 22nd of a possible Foreign Military Sale to the United Arab Emirates of logistics support, training and related systems for 12 C-130J-30 aircraft being procured through a Direct Commercial Sale. The complete package, including associated parts and equipment is worth approximately $119 million.
Also in December, a possible Foreign Military Sale to Egypt of 450 AGM-114K3A HELLFIRE II missiles and associated parts, equipment, training and logistical support for a complete package worth approximately $51 million.
According to these major arms sales reports, the proposed sales will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of friendly countries which have been and continue to be important forces for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.
But, according to Ha’aretz , Israel is very wary of these arms deals .“One of the deals troubling Israel was the sale to Egypt of four batteries of Harpoon Block II anti-ship cruise missiles…. The Harpoon II is an advanced, accurate missile, capable of overcoming the countermeasures and electronic warfare suites generally available for defense.”
It has also been recently reported in The Jerusalem Post that Russia is selling helicopters to Lebanon. “Russia has agreed to provide Lebanon with an unspecified number of helicopter gunships instead of MiG-29 fighter jets, the Lebanese president’s office said.”
It has been reported that Israel has drones and some might argue that these supplant the need for the Apache helicopters that the Obama Administration is blocking. But this argument is fallacious according to Dr. Charles Ormsby , former vice president of TASC, a Boston-based defense think tank and an part owner of The Valley Patriot newspaper. When asked to compare unmanned drones to Apache helicopters, Dr. Ormsby stated that “ these two weapons have very different missions. Drones are primarily for covert surveillance and surgical strike against relatively soft targets (for example vehicles or people) and usually operate alone. The Apache helicopter is designed for overt/sustained attack against military targets (tanks, massed enemy forces, etc.) or as part of a coordinated attack in concert with other military assets.”
Since the report from The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs was published about Obama blocking the arms deal with Israel, outrage has been voiced on the internet and on Facebook. A fan page on Facebook called “Obama: Make the Arms Deal with Israel” starting making its way through Facebook and within a week had almost 500 fans. The fans say that they are calling the White House and their legislators to show their support for Israel and the Apache helicopter deal.