F-16s And M1 Tanks Whether You Want Them or Not.

by Daniel Russ on September 12, 2013



Julia Simon from NPR News reports that the Egyptians are taking shipments of M1-Abrams main battle tanks by the hundreds. This is an example of the kind of reporting I would give my eye tooth to see rather than the Jody-Arias/Kim Kardashian/ Kanye West obsessed dribble we get today. Today, the shaky Egyptian political landscape needs leaders and it needs vision. But what exactly is coming out of the White House or the United States?


Tank and Planes it turns out. From NPR:


Every year, the U.S. Congress appropriates more than $1 billion in military aid to Egypt. But that money never gets to Egypt. It goes to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, then to a trust fund at the Treasury and, finally, out to U.S. military contractors that make the tanks and fighter jets that ultimately get sent to Egypt.

The U.S. started sending M1A1 Abrams tanks to Egypt in the late ’80s. In all, the U.S. sent more than 1,000 tanks to Egypt since then — valued at some $3.9 billion — which Egypt maintains along with several thousand Soviet-era tanks.

“There’s no conceivable scenario in which they’d need all those tanks short of an alien invasion,” Shana Marshall of the Institute of Middle East Studies at George Washington University, told me.

Robert Springborg, at the Naval Post graduate School in Monterey, Calif said, at least 200 of the tanks the U.S. has sent to Egypt have never been used.

If you’re going to give high value armament away, then by all means give our best land battle tank to an ally undergoing violent political spasms at a time when they don’t need another tank, don’t want one and the US can ill afford to give away.


Then again, when you have lobbyists and military contractors, why stop at giving away tanks? Let’s give them F-16s.


Our American military advisers in Cairo have for many years been advising against further acquisitions of F-16s,” Springborg said. Egypt already has more F-16s than it needs, he said.

I understand a few dozen machinists might have to find other employment if we stop giving tanks to a volatile country that doesn’t want them. This is how powerful the military lobby is.

Perhaps we can take our money and fix some things at home.


Source: NPR




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