The Obama administration plans to offer Saudi Arabia $60 billion worth of advanced aircraft, in what would be the largest arms deal in US history. The deal may also be expanded by tens of billions more to include naval and missile-defense upgrades, the Wall Street Journal reports. The administration intends to formally notify Congress of the plan this week or next, and will tout the deal’s potential to create at least 75,000 jobs.
But lawmakers could still block the sale, which would include 84 F-15 fighters and 178 helicopters. Critics complain that the deal supports a government with a weak human rights record, and could undercut Israeli security. But Israel is in line to receive a more advanced fighter at around the same time, and the administration argues that Saudi Arabia is a crucial US ally in the region. Plus, “it is better to create jobs here than in Europe,” says a Journal source.