U.S to sell F-15 fighter jets to Saudis– worth $30 Billion
December 29th, 2011
11:52 AM ET

U.S to sell F-15 fighter jets to Saudis– worth $30 Billion

The U.S. government is selling Saudi Arabia approximately $30 billion worth of F-15 combat jets, according to a statement from the Obama administration.

Here's the announcement from the White House:

The United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have signed a government-to-government agreement under the Foreign Military Sales program to provide advanced F-15SA combat aircraft to the Royal Saudi Air Force.

Valued at $29.4 billion, this agreement includes production of 84 new aircraft and the modernization of 70 existing aircraft as well as munitions, spare parts, training, maintenance and logistics.  These F-15SA aircraft, manufactured by The Boeing Company, are among the most sophisticated and capable aircraft in the world.

This agreement will positively impact the U.S. economy and further advances the president's commitment to create jobs by increasing exports.  According to industry experts, this agreement will support more than 50,000 American jobs, engaging 600 suppliers in 44 states, and providing $3.5 billion in annual economic impact to theU.S.economy.

This agreement reinforces the strong and enduring relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia, and demonstrates theU.S.commitment to a strong Saudi defense capability as a key component to regional security.

Statement by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Joshua Earnest


Topics: Military • President Obama • The News

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soundoff (52 Responses)
  1. fantastic idea not

    Lets Equip the Saudis who basically owns the Mecca, Muslim Capitol Headquarters of the world, with tech to fight Iran, but really will be used against Isreal

    December 29, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
    • Larry Simmons

      Ron Paul, Sarah Palin, or whoever you are, you know that's psycho talk, right?

      December 29, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
    • sithlord1

      Yeah this goes to show how arrogant Obama is. Just like pulling out of Iraq while the Iranian Shiites can now take it over. Its all going to be used for destroying Israel and Obama secretly supports the Islam nations. :)

      December 30, 2011 at 8:25 am |
      • Trace

        what a putz you are. Obama will go down in history as Al Queda's worst enemy for the destruction of over 200 of their most radical leaders including OBL. Do you know how stupid you sound?

        December 31, 2011 at 11:22 am |
    • Mike Deal

      With respect, that is nonsense. The Saudi leadership long ago accepted that the State of Israel is here to stay, and were willing to play a significant role in brokering peace after Oslo. They do see the radical Shia mullahs in Iran as an existential threat to themselves and Israel. No serious strategic player in the Israeli Defence Forces disagrees. Iran is a serious threat to the Sunni Saudis precisely because there are so many Shias in the oil producing regions of the Gulf, including north eastern Saudi Arabia. I doubt you will find anyone in the IDF leadership who does not support this sale.

      December 30, 2011 at 11:16 am |
  2. B

    We sell all of this High Tech weaponry to them and what positive result does it have for anything?

    We are just more -arms merchants- looking for oil resources.

    Meanwhile thousands of innocents are being murdered on the streets in Syria and the World watches !

    December 29, 2011 at 1:35 pm |
    • wleonard

      Dude the country doesn't have money. The US spends more money on it's military than the top 16 countries combined. 30 billion dollars in F15's is nothing. Quit complaining.

      December 29, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
      • Justice

        Yes lets give the Saudi's planes and the Mexicans guns. Obama is going to be responsible for the end of the world. I used to say that as a joke and now it's completely possible.

        December 30, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
  3. usamakesterrorists

    Nothing like selling military hardware to a possible future enemy. USA created the terrorists.....

    December 29, 2011 at 1:38 pm |
    • Idon'ttakeSHIT

      You're right. We will all be killed with the same High Tech Weapon we sell those Muslims. Just great isn't it?? There will be a time in the future when the Saudi Arabic will no longer be our friend...Remember this.....

      December 30, 2011 at 2:25 pm |
  4. jean2009

    @B and we know you would be among the first to complain should the United States install a no-fly zone...right?

    December 29, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • John

      SO those are our only choices? We thought about a no fly zone and decided on this instead? The way you libs think is truly amazing.

      December 29, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
      • jean2009

        No, it is probably not our only choice, but reading between the lines I'm sure if we did something about Syria killing their own citizens it would have to be something along the lines of a no-fly zone or troops on the ground.....so my guess is B would be up in arms about either one of those two things happening.

        However, I might add that selling the Saudi's (which is not Syria) $30 Billion worth of F-15's beats giving them $30 Billion worth of F-15's with or without our manpower flying them. If we are building these things it is better to sell than give. We can use the $30Billion or have you suddenly quit thinking we should be selling things abroad to compete?

        I totally agree that we are a world class arms dealer..... which can come back and bite us in the future.

        However John...I am shocked .....you mean you are not with the GOP on supporting our Military Industrial Complex and you now agree with Eisenhower. Or, is it that for you it is now a convenient complaint because there is not a Repugnant in the White House?

        Bottom line.....I am not surprised that you obviously don't know the difference between Saudi Arabia and Syria.

        December 29, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
      • jean2009

        Oh a BTW John. It is the US Government (all of us) who is selling those arms....and FYI those 50,000 jobs are a lot more than the 6000 (maybe tops) jobs touted for the Keystone pipeline.

        I can remember the end of WWII, and how those arms dealers worked hard keeping us in the arms business....Korea....Cold War....yep! Sad but unfortunately true military arms makes jobs.
        I also remember George W. and his $20 Billion arms deal with the Saudi's in 2007-2008.
        Read the New York Times for July 28, 2007- "U.S. Set to Offer Huge Arms Deal to Saudi Arabia"
        For that deal we had to promise Israel $30 billion in aid...wonder what it will cost us this time?

        December 29, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
      • John

        Bottom line, I am not surprised you assume things then fool yourself into thinking they are facts. This administration stops the job creating pipeline and the libs say "the repubs said they would create jobs – where are the jobs". Then, the same administration turns around and does this?? 2012 can't arrive soon enough – "the more the monkey climbs the pole the more we see his butt".

        December 30, 2011 at 8:45 am |
      • jean2009

        @John The current information about job growth and jobs creation proves again you totally wrong....as always you try to rewrite history or distort facts to fit your own warped world view.

        December 30, 2011 at 10:24 am |
      • John

        What is the "current information about job growth"? Under Bush – who you continue to hate long after he has left office – 5% unemployment was a very bad #. Now, under BO, 9% is a good number (and we all know the number is closet to17% all things considered).
        Here is what we know – stimulas did not work other than providing a one liner to libs i.e. "things would have been much worse without stimulas". The auto bail out was a major waste of money. Ford is now recording record profits – they received no bailout. The bank bailouts, including Fannie and Freddy – were a major disaster and continue to have a negative impact. How about the libs in Wisconson? How wrong were they? No teachers were laid off, hundreds of millions are now being saved.
        BTW, don't try to point fingers elsewhere because you know I feel Bush started many of the poor policies this administration has continued.

        December 30, 2011 at 11:03 am |
      • jean2009

        @John Even if it is a little dated I think these charts prove the stimulus did work and is still working.
        try: the Impact of the Recovery, In a Few Easy Charts -dated August 21, 2011 by Jared Bernstein @
        http://jaredbernsteinblog.com/the-recovery-act-worked-in-a-few-easy-charts/ – On the Economy...Facts, Thoughts, and Commentary by Jared Bernstein.
        And graphs again at: The Washington Monthly -Steven Benen-Political Animal blog for November 25, 2011
        "The Stimulus Worked, redux"
        I like the first two paragraphs:

        "Most Americans don’t believe the 2009 stimulus worked. Most pundits, like all Republicans, accept the notion that the Recovery Act “failed” as incontrovertible fact.

        And then, there’s reality."

        FYI- John.....In the end reality always wins

        December 30, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
      • Trace

        John, I think the past three years results shows the "libruls" actually know what they are doing, as opposed to making a complete mess of things in the middle east, and totally destroying the U.S. economy as did the previous administration. So we really don't need your expert Conservative Advise on how to screw things up. We've already seen it first hand. Why don't you sit back and learn how foreign policy is supposed to executed ...Ok? Thanks and have a great day

        December 31, 2011 at 11:27 am |
  5. Michael IV

    Why does this president do everything in his power to "level" the playing field with other countries? Selling our weaponry that we have spent trillions of dollars on R&D over the centuries to other countries doesn't sound like a wise idea? Didn't we do this with Saddam way back when we thought he was "friendly"? All of this just seems like some quick, ill thought out move to pay for his ever growing government.

    December 29, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • GET REAL

      You act like the President did this solely on his own, you act like he has all the power, Remember he has two other brances of govt that says yes or no, haven't you seen enough of the struggle between the house and senate. you give POTUS too much credit for this sale.

      December 29, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
    • Mike Deal

      The US never sold weapons to Saddam, in fact, there was at all times an arms embargo and some corporate executives at Teledyne who though they could circumvent it through selling components and technology for cluster bombs to Chile did time. The charge that the US sold weapons to Saddam is one of those urban myths that will never die because people love to believe them. Saddam got his artillery from South Africa (designed by Bull, the technology for which was illegally exported), armored cars from Argentia, cluster bombs from Chile, but the overwhelming majority of his hardware came from the Soviet Bloc and China.

      December 30, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • GET REAL

      I too am a bit nervous selling our technology to anyone from the middle east, having said that, If not us someone else will and if we can create jobs, well cross our fingers. We can't and shouldn't feel that all of the Mid East are bad people. I completely agree with Mike Deal, we never sold arms to Saddam.

      December 30, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • Trace

      Michael IV, This president's policies may be a little too complex for you to understand. Certainly if you think he is arming radicals against our nation, then its apparent you don't have the intellectual heft to understand this approach. But...let me try to help you....Do you remember the reason for the 1st gulf war? Saudi Arabia and Quate (sic) were being threatened by Saddam Hussein. We, the U.S. then launched an offense and drove Saddam back to his own borders. After that, Bushy the 2nd screwed up and went looking for WMD's...but I digress. The point is that if Saudi Arabia, which is an ally to the U.S. could defend themselves, we don't have to spend money as the world's police protecting them. Ok...Now that you have this little lesson, please proceed accordingly. Get off the Fox news stupidity and think logically. ....Think Mubarak, gone without a single US life lost / little if any expense to the U.S. Tax payers, Ben Alli , gone without a single US life lost / little if any expense to the U.S. Tax payers. Ghaddafi, gone without a single US life lost and you know the rest. I know its hard for people to understand that Bushy Jr was lost in the sauce, but Obama actually thinks before acting.

      December 31, 2011 at 11:37 am |
  6. Dean

    The oil must flow.

    December 29, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  7. Maine Liberal

    If there is any question as to who really runs the goverment here is the answer - Military Industrial Complex

    December 29, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  8. jean2009

    I would also suggest reading: Socio-Economic Impact of Arms Transfers to Developing Countries- by Ajit Singh http://www.review.upeace.org/pdf.cfm?articulo=75&ejemplar=14

    December 29, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  9. C-Lo

    Wow, quite the conundrum for libs and conservatives on this one! Let's break this down:

    We have a POTUS who won a Nobel for his "philosophies" on world peace "selling" high-tech weapons systems to a country libs have continuously reminded us is the birth place of OBL.

    The US gov't doesn't actually sell the weapons, they mearly authorize private industry (part of the hated Military Industrial Complex) to build and sell them.

    Complements that this will support 50,000 us jobs, but no talk about at what cost (though Jean did mention the fact that it could come back to bite us...you think?!)

    Conservatives have to suck it up and complement him for supporting the MIC and defense industry, but can still deride him for selling them to an enemy of Israel.

    As for me, I say "what the heck" arm the entire middle east and let them at it themselves. Maybe Ron Paul's protectionism and isolationism doesn't sound so kooky afterall!

    December 29, 2011 at 5:35 pm |
    • jean2009

      And you will agree that a President doesn't have the authority to authorize the sale without congress..... and yes the sale of military arms can always come back to bite us...as it has in the past.

      December 29, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
      • C-Lo

        No, sorry Jean, http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/22/2778.html. President has exclusive control over this, only requiring sufficient reporting to congress.

        And from http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/09/20/opinion/main20108642.shtml "Decisions over foreign arms sales are typically delegated to the president." This article discussed congress atempting to FORCE the sale of planes to Taiwan because of the threat of China.

        Interesting dichotomy to say the least.

        December 30, 2011 at 9:49 am |
      • jean2009

        @C-Lo You have to take that to its end result, the fact is the approval for any sell of arms has to be through a joint resolution of congress for the arms sell to be approved. Also quoting Cornell.

        Plus, all arms sells must comply with the Arms Export Control Act (AECA) and Nonproliferation Treaties. http://www.exportcontrol.org

        So no, the president cannot willy-nilly sell arms to any country on a whim.

        December 30, 2011 at 10:43 am |
      • C-Lo

        That's strange...I had included in my comment that congress had to approve trade agreements, which includes making sure the potential recipients are going to play by the rules and not re-sell the equipment, but the bottom line is that it still comes down to the POTUS making the official and specific transaction, which in my view lays the final responsibility on him (whoever "him" or possibly "her" in the future) may be.

        I hope you also took notice that I didn't pass judgment one way or another on this issue, which I think you did because there were no personal attacks :-)

        Anyway, Jean, regardless of our differences, I wish you well in the new year.

        December 30, 2011 at 11:03 am |
      • jean2009

        @C-Lo Actually a better site to hash this out is the online pdf section titled: "Arms Export Control Act and Congressional Co-determination Over Arms Sales". This was a battle waged between congress and the president during the Nixon-Ford Administrations and was still ongoing during the Carter-Reagan Administrations, the matter was even taken to the Supreme Court. I think pages 310-312 spell out the powers of Congress and of the President.

        http://digitalcommons.wcl.american.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1654&context=auilr

        December 30, 2011 at 11:13 am |
      • Mike Deal

        The AECA requires sales over certain thresholds to be notified to Congress, and Congress then has a period of time in which to disapprove by a joint resolution (which can be vetoed). The original AECA contained a "Congressional veto" provision, but in INS v. Chadha, the Supreme Court held that "Congressional vetos" of Executive branch decisions even under delegated powers violated the presentation clause of the Constitution.

        I note that when Thomas Jefferson served as the first Secretary of State after ratification of the Constitution he refused calls to prohibit exports of American long rifles to British colonies in the Caribbean: Jefferson wrote that the right of Americans to make and export arms was a Constitutional right which the federal government had no power to prohibit in time of peace.

        December 30, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • Mike Deal

      Actually, this is a Foreign Military Sale, which means that the US Department of Defense buys them from the makers, adds a mark up to recover costs, and then sells them to the KSA. This is all highly regulated and controlled under the Arms Export Control Act and the Federal Acquisition Regulations. The F15SA is actually an advanced version, more capable than the F15s in US inventory, and orginally engineered for export sales to Singapore and South Korea. The US is not procuring any new F-15s or F-16s because we're waiting on the F-35 (Obama having shut down the F-22 line).

      Given that some of the F15s USAF flies today are older than their pilots, perhaps USAF should buy a few to replace older F15s while we wait for Lockheed to sort out the problems on the F-35.

      December 30, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • Trace

      C-Lo, my conservative friend....let's not out think this one ...Ok? We all know what the US economic position is right. We can longer fight multiple wars in multiple places; thanks in no small part to the follies of the previous administration. OBL said that he would destroy "the great American infidel nation by forcing them to spend the country into economic ruin"...That's why the 911 attack was on the trade center, the heart of world commerce. And in compliance, Bushy Jr, decided to proceed with doing just that. Obama realizes the U.S. can no longer be the world's police, because we are broke. But, there is this thing called "smart power". Smart power means making strategic alliances with many different countries and helping them stand up and support themselves, while charging them the costs for the necessary equipment and support. Remember, the F-15's are 2nd generation top off the line. In fact, there will be very few wars decided by manned jet fighters. The technology as evolved beyond those assets. So again, Obama proves he is adapting to the conditions at hand while maintaining US superiority.

      December 31, 2011 at 11:49 am |
      • jean2009

        Thanks Trace for being a sound voice of reason in a world of discontent. We don't always have to like what we do, but we should understand the reason behind it. George Bush did just what OBL wanted him to do ...spend....borrow...spend....borrow... not always in that order. What 2 unfunded wars will do to an economy....is bankrupt.
        At the end of WWII we had fought a world war on two fronts and every factory we had was functioning as a war effort. Men came home and factories were no longer hiring, because the war was over; everything had to be retooled for peace time. The irony is we have men coming home from war again, and they will need jobs.

        December 31, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  10. xyz198155

    creating jobs in the US at the cost of killing more people in the battlefield or more innocents as collateral damage does not result in good Karma for the US. The US will pay a price for all of its actions in the world!

    December 30, 2011 at 8:54 am |
  11. jean2009

    The pdf file of the history of the AECA is commonly named: The Arms Export Control Act and Congressional Codetermination Over Arms Sales by Peter K. Tomka dated 1986 at the American University Law Review website.

    December 30, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • C-Lo

      Which, if i remember correctly, was in partial response to the Iran Contra affair. See, the Regan Administration did generate positive changes....and you hate him so.

      December 30, 2011 at 11:34 am |
      • Mike Deal

        The Arms Export Control Act was passed in 1977, and was part of the mass of post Watergate legislation, not a reaction to Iran Contra. Its been amended from time to time, e.g., to replace the Congressional veto with a joint resolution, and to require that arms brokers register and be licensed in addition to arms manufacturers and exporters. The brokering amendment was long after Iran Contra so it is hard to say that it was a direct reaction, but certainly memory of Iran Contra played a part.

        December 30, 2011 at 11:53 am |
      • jean2009

        Change yes...due to Reagan and Nixon/Ford's bad behavior. LOL!

        Basically this was a battle royal over a period of several years and through several administrations about which branch of government had which rights over this country's arms manufacturer's sale of arms...and it came down to sort of a stand-off mutual agreement that there be a co-determination; within the boundaries of certain conditions being met by both sides...which I think any reasonable person would agree, should be the case.

        December 30, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
      • jean2009

        1977 was the Carter Administration. However, countries who are sold arms have restrictions about how they can be used such as the Israeli use of weapons against the Palestinians in 1982. We can impose sanctions if the arms are not used for internal security and self protection.

        Also, you might want to read: Arming Iraq: A Chronology of U.S. Involvement by John King-March 2003.
        Which reviews the Iran-Iraq War and how the Reagan Administration worked to provide arms to Saddam Hussein. http://www.iranchamber.com/history/articles/arming_iraq.php

        December 31, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
  12. Joe Fattal

    I didn't knew that the Saudis can fly combat jets. They know how to hyjack airplanes but not combat jets.

    December 30, 2011 at 11:59 am |
  13. george of the jungle

    This is common practice not only with this administration but all of them. We need the money this generates. We still have the best airforce and everyone wants to drive their big fancy suv and trucks so what would you have us do? So stop already

    December 30, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • C-Lo

      Don't disagree with you George (for once), my issue is the same hypocracy that conservatives are so often accused of. If this had been Bush, would you have turned a cheek to it, or would you have accused him of promoting the Military Industrial Complex? And by "you" I mean both you specifically and the Left in general?

      I, for one, don't disagree with this sale, as I think the Saudis, as messed up as they are, are one of the more stable "allies" we have in the region.

      December 30, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
      • jean2009

        How nice it would be if we manufactured items to sale that didn't provide us so much cash (maybe refrigerators?). Now, that we are doing the deed with the Saudi's, we will no doubt be required to balance this sale out with an arms sale to someone else for that balance of power. Isn't that the way it always works?

        December 31, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  14. C-Lo

    "Check out the big brains on Mike."

    Thank you Mr. Deal for bringing some interesting facts and info on this subject. Where'd you get the info as what you provided is deeper than layman's knowledge.

    December 30, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  15. Trace

    Actually C-Lo, disparaging Mike does not change the fact he is exactly right. I won't go on about how I know, but there is no disputing the accuracy of the post.

    December 31, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
    • C-Lo

      Trace–That was meant to be a complement...not disparaging. Notice I thanked him for the info and wanted to know where he got it...I am assuming he's DOD, procurements (maybe). I know sarcasm runs deep on this site, but my comment wasn't meant in that way at all. Sorry if he might have taken it that way.

      January 3, 2012 at 8:55 am |
  16. Mute

    Guys seriously do you even bother yourselves to think

    THEY ARE SELLING JUNKS TO THEM

    Let them have it it just an absolute technology

    January 2, 2012 at 3:03 am |
  17. Ana

    He did not bow to The Queen who was his host in England. So why bow to King Abdullah who like him was aoethnr guest..Perhaps he was looking at SeniorityIn terms of seniority she has ruled since 1952 and Abdullah since 2005 She is a direct descendant of the first King of what became England Cerdi King of Wessex about 495AD His first claimed ancestor is Mani' ibn Rabi'ah al-Muraydi 1446AD and his first ancestor who ruled as a King from 1744 Muhammad ibn Saud (probably more realistically 1819 by Amir Turki ibn Abdullah bin Muhammad) and certainly Abdullah's father Abdul-Aziz in 1902.So if you look at the most definite claim to rule a Kingdom by the Saudis in 1902 her family have ruled for 1400 years longer.So why bow to this new King of a new Kingdom who was a guest like yourself and not bow to your host, a far more senior ruler and whose family are far more established as rulers.Perhaps he was considering the fact that having conquered independent states in the mid 20thc (Hijaz, Asir, Najran etc) that the Al Saud now call the country after themselves Saudi Arabia Perhaps it would go down better if Britain was called Windsori Britain. Certainly he would not have reflected on the recent conquests of the Al Saud family over much of the Arabian Peninsular while the democratic British dismantled a substantial Empire during the same period.Britain and the US are most probably each others closest allies and The Queen is the Head of State of that close democratic country , with a democratically elected government. Obama claims to be a Protestant Christian not a Muslim. Queen Elizabeth is head of the Protestant Church of England as her family have been for 450years. As President of the USA there is no need for him to bow to any monarch but why KowTow' to the Al Saud?

    March 1, 2012 at 8:39 pm |