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US foreign military sales have shot past $50 billion in a record-breaking year
the U.S. also hopes to boost sales with India, which is mulling a $1.4 billion deal for 22 Apache helicopters.
"Today, I can confirm that this is already a record-breaking year for foreign military sales. We have already surpassed $50 billion in sales in fiscal year 2012,"
This figure already represents a 70 percent increase over government-to-government sales by the United States in 2011, itself a record-set
“During the oil price hikes of 1971 and 1973 the US negotiated an agreement to pay Saudi Arabia higher prices for crude, on the understanding that Saudi Arabia would recycle the petrodollars, many of them through arms deals,” said Professor Scott. “So recently the imports of American hardware to Saudi Arabia have grown significantly.”
As for direct commercial sales, whereby companies sell directly to foreign governments as opposed to government-to-government sales, an official report released the previous week only accounts for 2011. That year brought US contractors some $44 billion with top customers including Jordan, Japan, Israel, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Can this mean that a country importing US weapons may fall under America’s influence?
“Yes, this link may be correct,” observed Professor Scott. “Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt, for instance, was the third-largest recipient of the US aid, which arrived in the shape of finances and arms. In return, Cairo granted security in the region, which first meant acceptance of Israel.”
When the United States chose to recognize the PRC as the government of China in 1979, it nonetheless felt a moral obligation to help the people of Taiwan defend themselves.
There are also strategic considerations at work. Taiwan is part of a chain of islands extending the length of China’s coastline whose owners are allied to the U.S. This “first island chain,” stretching from Japan through Taiwan and the Philippines to the Strait of Malacca, gives the U.S. an invaluable geopolitical position, both to monitor developments within the PRC and to protect some of the world’s most important sea lanes.
President Aquino is fast-driving the Philippines into deeper military and geopolitical involvements with the United States, which jibes with the latter’s strategy to “rebalance” American military power towards the Asia-Pacific.
It seeks US support to deal with China’s aggressive assertion of territorial claims over the West Philippine/South China Sea, including the Scarborough/Panatag shoals and the Spratlys.
Before the P-Noy government can formalize its commitments to allow America to increase troop presence here and reuse Clark and Subic, among other facilities, to pursue US strategy
The bulk of America’s warships will be permanently deployed in the Asia-Pacific region by 2020
Philippine President Benigno Aquino is committed to developing a “minimum credible deterrent capacity,” and the US has pledged to help the country step up its defenses in the face of a Chinese threat.
In return for its help, the US will be given greater access to Philippine ports and airports, and according to some reports may even reopen several major bases that were shut down decades ago.
China's top newspapers warned on Tuesday that the United States' plans to bolster its naval presence in the Asia-Pacific region threaten to widen rifts between the two big powers.
India has called on the United States to "recalibrate" its new strategy in the Asia-Pacific region during talks between Indian Defense Minister A.K. Antony and visiting US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Wednesday in the Indian capital, said local media Thursday.
During the talks, Panetta outlined the new US Asia-Pacific strategy, saying, "America is at a turning point. After a decade of war, we are developing the new defense strategy in particular, we will expand our military partnerships and our presence in the arc extending from the Western Pacific and East Asia into the Indian Ocean region and South Asia. Defense cooperation with India is a linchpin in this strategy."
The US will send 84 Boeing F-15 jets to its key Middle Eastern ally, and upgrade 70 existing Saudi F-15s.
The agreement is part of a $60bn arms deal covering 10-15 years, approved by the US Congress last year.
The US has about 100 major warships in the region; that number will not climb beyond 110 even after the "re-balancing" that is proposed. China, meanwhile, is expected to go from 86 major warships in 2009 to 106 by 2020, and these will be operating from nearer their bases.
Originally posted by ModernAcademia
I wonder what China is thinking about all of this right now?