Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Think Tank Report Shows $110B Saudi Arms Deal Is "Fake News"

With much fanfare, President Trump visited Saudi Arabia last month and his administration announced that he had negotiated a $110 billion arms deal with the kingdom.

That's what he does - makes deals. Right?

But hold on second there, Skippy. There's a reason why Trump likes the term "fake news."

Because that's what he makes. Fake News.

Turns out there isn't any "deal" in place with the Saudis.

From senior fellow Bruce Riedel at The Brookings Institute, a non-partisan think tank:

I’ve spoken to contacts in the defense business and on the Hill, and all of them say the same thing: There is no $110 billion deal. Instead, there are a bunch of letters of interest or intent, but not contracts. Many are offers that the defense industry thinks the Saudis will be interested in someday. So far nothing has been notified to the Senate for review. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the arms sales wing of the Pentagon, calls them “intended sales.” None of the deals identified so far are new, all began in the Obama administration.

None of the deals identified so far are new, all began in the Obama administration.

An example is a proposal for sale of four frigates (called multi-mission surface combatant vessels) to the Royal Saudi navy. This proposal was first reported by the State Department in 2015. No contract has followed. The type of frigate is a derivative of a vessel that the U.S. Navy uses but the derivative doesn’t actually exist yet.

Another piece is the Terminal High Altitude Air Defense system (THAAD) which was recently deployed in South Korea. The Saudis have expressed interest in the system for several years but no contracts have been finalized. Obama approved the sale in principle at a summit at Camp David in 2015.

Also on the wish list are 150 Black Hawk helicopters. Again, this is old news repackaged. What the Saudis and the administration did is put together a notional package of the Saudi wish list of possible deals and portray that as a deal. Even then the numbers don’t add up. It’s fake news.

Oh, and that "tax bill" that Trump told the world last week is currently "moving along in Congress" and "doing very well?"

Yeah, there's no tax bill either.

According to Vox.com:

• No tax bill has been introduced to the US House of Representatives.
• No tax bill has been introduced to the US Senate.
• The White House has not released a tax plan that is detailed enough for experts to assess its economic or fiscal impact.

Fake news, folks. Fake news.

No comments:

Post a Comment