AIPAC Raises Questions About Saudi Arms Sale

Political analysts have predicted that the new Republican congress would waste no time in challenging the Obama administration’s $60 billion arms deal to Saudi Arabia (see my recent post on the Republican Congress). And, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) is wasting no time in asking its members to pressure their representatives in Congress to “raise a series of questions” about the arms sale.

AIPAC is circulating a letter (PDF), drafted by the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Rep. Howard Berman (D-CA) and Illeana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and addressed to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, that asks:

We would like you to explain the rationale for a sale of such magnitude. What U.S. policy goals and interest are advanced by this sale and have we placed any conditions on it? What is the threat or threats that this sale is intended to address? Do the Saudis share our assessment of those threats, and will they be amenable to, and capable of, carrying out these missions?

Much attention has already gone to the motivations behind the arms sale, with realists concluding it is a clear attempt by the Obama administration to prepare the ground for a containment and deterrence policy against a nuclear armed Iran.

AIPAC’s support of the questions on the arms sale may well signal the increased pressure the Obama administration’s Iran policy will face both inside and outside of Congress, especially with a House Foreign Affairs Committee chaired by Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL).

Eli Clifton

Eli Clifton reports on money in politics and US foreign policy. He is a co-founder of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft. Eli previously reported for the American Independent News Network, ThinkProgress, and Inter Press Service.



  1. How about asking those questions about our weapons GIVEAWAYS to Israel.

  2. Andrew,
    How dare you question Israelis and APAIC members who control the US Congress and State Dept. A peaceful Saudi Arabia only helps to provide us and the world with its energy needs? The Saudis don’t even invade their neighbors every couple of years and kill thousands of innocent people with cluster bombs and white phosphorous gas and violate 100’s of UN resolutions. We should never question Israel! How dare you! The Saudis don’t cost us untold billions of dollars each year and have a history of actively spying on us and often selling our technologies to foreign countries. They don’t even build fences and settlements on other people’s property; they don’t even practice collective punishment or force millions of indigence people into refugees. Israel offers and gives us absolutely nothing but headaches, embarrassments and is the main motivation behind almost all our terrorists. Now, let see the Arabs top that.

  3. How about them high-tech billions of worth weapons israel gets from the US annualy, including nukes? israel is such a hypocrite along with aipac.

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