Obama Moves to Expand U.S. Weapons Sales Abroad

Saturday, July 31, 2010
F-16 Fightng Falcon (photo: Lockheed Martin)

The United States is already the biggest supplier of weapons in the world, but President Barack Obama is not satisfied. As part of his plan to double the amount of U.S. exports by 2015, Obama wants to ease certain restrictions on military hardware sold abroad.

Nations such as India stand to benefit from the changes on export controls. The Asian nation wants to buy 126 fighter planes worth more than $10 billion, 10 large transport aircraft worth $6 billion, and other multi-billion dollar defense sales. Other U.S. allies that have purchased weapons systems from other countries in the past, due to existing restrictions, “would draw immediate benefit from the reforms,” reports McClatchy Newspapers.
Independent defense experts and even some Republicans on Capitol Hill have expressed concerns about Obama’s desire to ease rules on weapons sales, citing the potential for equipment to fall into the wrong hands. The Obama administration claims that they are just streamlining the weapons export process, while still protecting sensitive technology. Others suspect that the new rule would help major defense contractors dump their outdated weapons systems and continue to produce planes and systems that the U.S. no longer needs.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Obama Seeks to Expand Arms Exports by Trimming Approval Process (by Maggie Bridgeman, McClatchy Newspapers)


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