The Danger of the Saudi Aircraft Deal

[Omedia] Rafi Buchnik - A mammoth arms sale finalized in December 2005 between Britain and the Saudi monarchy will deliver 72 of the most advanced bombers in the world, the "Eurofighter-Typhoon," to Saudi Arabia over the next ten years. Yet the military-strategic import implicit in the quantitative and qualitative revamp of the Saudi Air Force has not been absorbed. Israeli apprehensions stem from the threat that elements connected with al-Qaeda would recruit Saudi Air Force personnel to plan or implement a qualitative terrorist attack from the air against Israeli targets. The "Eurofighter" represents a quantum leap in terms of increased aerial threat to Israel and is considered the "latest word" in technology. The presence of these advanced jets in the hands of the Saudi Air Force, especially given the terror threats against the stability of the regime in Riyadh, should not be taken lightly. Israel's objective must be to assure that this fleet of new aircraft will be deployed at a distance that will allow Israel to prevent or at least discover aerial activity that could threaten sensitive Israeli targets. Understandings like those formulated by the Americans and Saudis regarding limitations to the deployment of American-made F-15s would be the minimum Israeli requirement in this new situation.

2006-12-20 01:00:00

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