Bush Plans Huge Arms Deal With Saudis

Saudi role in Iraq complicates $20B deal
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 28, 2007 8:43 AM CDT
CRAWFORD, TX -- President George W. Bush visits with Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah on Monday, April 25, 2005, at the President's ranch in Crawford, Texas.   (KRT Photos)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – The White House is proposing a $20 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia and five Gulf neighbors, despite increasing dismay over the Saudis' undermining the US-backed Iraqi government, the New York Times reports. The deal, likely to generate resistance in Congress, makes no demands for Saudi cooperation on Iraq; its aim is to counter Iranian power in the region.

The Israelis, put off by the package of bombs and equipment upgrades being offered to Arab states, have also been promised a major increase in military aid over the next decade, the Times says.  Bush aids say Saudi Arabia has been talking to other suppliers, and that—Iraqi politics aside—the US had better jump at the chance to bolster the alliance.