Along with defending freedom and democracy around the world, the United States also charged with protecting our nation’s interests. This includes ensuring that the sovereignty and trade capabilities of our allies are intact. This is accomplished through the power projection of our military, training our allies to defend themselves, coordinating joint efforts, and sales of arms and resources. As part of this ongoing campaign, the U.S. recently concluded an $11 billion arms sale to the State of Qatar.
Qatar is one of the U.S.’s main allies in the Middle East. In December of last year, the United States, represented by U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, signed a 10-year defense cooperation agreement with Qatar’s defense minister, Hamad bin Ali al-Attiyah. Qatar agreed to keep the five Guantanamo detainees that were traded for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for one year; Qatar’s involvement was instrumental to the trade.
The July 14th arms agreement included the sale of Apache attack helicopters, as well as Javelin and Patriot air-defense systems. The deal, estimated at $11 billion, was signed at the Pentagon by Hagel and al-Attiyah. This is the biggest U.S. arms sale this year.
In recent years, Washington has made a priority of improving the air defenses of our Gulf allies.
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Military Connection: US Sells $11b in Arms to Qatar: By Debbie Gregory