After UAE, Qatar also said to submit request for F-35 jets

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Unread post10 Oct 2020, 10:12

After UAE, Qatar also said to submit request for F-35 jets
07 Oct 2020 TOI staff

"Gulf state’s ties with Hamas could make bid a non-starter for Americans, who are committed to maintaining Israeli military edge in the region

Qatar has reportedly asked the United States to buy advanced F-35 stealth fighters, in another test to America’s commitment to maintaining Israel’s military edge in the region in the face of wealthy Gulf states seeking advanced military hardware.

According to a Wednesday report by Reuters, which cited three people familiar with the matter, the Qataris submitted their request in recent weeks and no American response would be forthcoming until the details were handed over to Congress....

...The Qatari embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment, according to the report...."

Source: https://www.timesofisrael.com/after-uae ... ts-report/
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Unread post10 Oct 2020, 10:28

The Coming F-35 Fiasco [LONG article best read at source if youse interested]
08 Oct 2020 Bilal Y. Saab

"Now that Qatar is asking for the jet, it’s time to consider an entirely different approach to helping Gulf nations defend themselves....

...Doha has cleverly put Washington in a tight corner. If U.S. officials do sell the jet to the UAE, how could they say no to the Qataris, who just last week were told that they will be designated a major non-NATO ally? The same Qataris who host U.S. Central Command’s forward headquarters and the Combined Air Operations Center, so indispensable for U.S. military operations across the region and beyond?

And if Washington says no to the Qataris, will they reach out to Russia or China for fifth-generation aircraft? That’s not a recipe for success in great power competition, America’s top foreign policy priority....

...Other Arab partners, including the Saudis, Egyptians, and Jordanians, will most likely come knocking on our door to make their own cases for procuring the F-35. And they will have every right to do that. This potential domino effect is exactly what the Israelis fear and have warned Washington about.

So with all these political complexities behind the F-35 sale(s) looming, I wouldn’t be shocked if Washington pulled the plug on this whole operation, at least for the foreseeable future. I believe that’s exactly what will happen if Joe Biden is elected president because he owes nothing to the Emiratis and he already said that his administration would reconsider certain policies toward some Gulf Arab partners.

And even if Donald Trump wins a second term, the issue might — just might — cause such a political headache for the administration that the president might decide to cut his losses....

...While the Gulf Arab partners have conventional air dominance over Iran’s antiquated air force, that script is flipped at sea. The Gulf Arab navies are so weak that were it not for the U.S. Fifth Fleet constantly patrolling the waters of the region, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps would be wreaking havoc seven days a week. Yemen is the latest example of how critical it is for the Gulf Arab partners to upgrade their naval capabilities to prevent the Iranians from transferring weapons to militias loyal to them.

So maybe instead of the F-35, how about investing in minesweepers, destroyers, combat ships, and other capabilities to effectively engage in air-sea battle? If there’s one existential threat to the Gulf Arab partners, it is economic in nature. If they can’t export their oil, their economies will struggle, even collapse. We have a powerful presence at sea to deter Tehran from closing the Strait of Hormuz and assaulting our partners, but for how much longer?...

...You can blame the Gulf Arab partners all you want for stirring the F-35 pot, but it’s not their fault. We are the ones to blame for not committing to helping them develop proper defense governance mechanisms and rigorous arms procurement processes that will identify what their real military needs are.

If we truly helped Abu Dhabi, Doha, and their neighbors to develop coherent defense-acquisition policies and didn’t obsess over profiting from arms exports, they would no doubt come to the rational conclusion that the F-35, while attractive, is not a critical defense requirement for them."

Source: https://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2020/1 ... co/169135/
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