Certification sought on 'smart' weapons

Letter circulated in US Congress obligates Saudis to prove they won't use weapons on Israel.

October 10, 2007 12:04
Certification sought on 'smart' weapons

cheney saudi king 298.88. (photo credit: AP)

Saudi Arabia must prove it will not use "smart" weapons against Israel to complete a proposed arms sale. A letter being circulated throughout the US Congress would make the $20 billion arms package for Saudi Arabia dependent on the president's written certification that certain "smart" weapons would never be used against the United States or its allies in the Middle East, Israel among them. US Reps. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Christopher Carney (D-Pa.) wrote the letter, which has the backing of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Saudi Arabia is in a formal state of war with Israel. The arms sale may include Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), which can turn unguided bombs into precision instruments. "If JDAM technology falls into the wrong hands, it could significantly harm US forces in the region and undercut Israel's qualitative military edge," the Kirk-Carney letter says. "Any sale of JDAM technology to Saudi Arabia must come with guarantees backed by strict conditions notified to Congress followed by regular reporting, tight Congressional oversight and intense consultations with our ally Israel."

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