Thursday, June 22, 2017

Qatar and Washington - Bedfellows in Terrorism?

Let's open this posting by looking at a three recent tweets from Donald Trump:







Let's look at the United States relationship with this sponsor of terrorism by looking at some recent defense industry contracts with Qatar that have been announced by Washington.

1.) On November 17, 2016, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced that the State Department had made a determination approving a possible sale to the Government of Qatar for 72 F-15QA aircraft with a total cost of $21.1 billion.

Here's a quote from the news release:

"This proposed sale enhances the foreign policy and national security of the United State by helping to improve the security of a friendly country and strengthening our strategically important relationship. Qatar is an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Persian Gulf region. Our mutual defense interests anchor our relationship and the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) plays a predominant role in Qatar's defense.
The proposed sale improves Qatar's capability to meet current and future enemy air-to-air and air-to-ground threats. Qatar will use the capability as a deterrent to regional threats and to strengthen its homeland defense. Qatar will have no difficulty absorbing these aircraft into its armed forces.
The proposed sale of this aircraft, equipment, training, and support services will not alter the basic military balance in the region."

The primary contractor for this sale is Boeing Corporation.

2.) On December 8, 2016, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced that the State Department had made a determination approving a possible sale to the Government of Qatar for spare C-17 heavy aircraft engines, equipment and support with a total estimated cost of $81 million.  The news release used the same boilerplate justification as in the case of the November 17, 2016 sale.  Again, the primary contractor for this sale is Boeing Corporation.

3.) On December 8, 2016, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency announced that the State Department had made a determination approving a possible sale to the Government of Qatar for continuation of logistics support services for eight C-17 aircraft and equipment, upgrades to satellite systems and operations lading ramps with a total estimated cost of $700 million.   Once again, the same boilerplate justification was used and, not surprisingly, the primary contractor for this sale is Boeing Corporation.

While all three of these contracts were struck under the Obama Administration, it is interesting to see how Washington is quite comfortable dealing with Qatar, a "purveyor of terrorism".  In addition, a recent meeting between U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis and Qatar's Minister of State for Defense Affairs, Khalid al-Attiyah, resulted in the signing of a $12 billion contract to purchase F-15 fighter jets, finalizing the deal announced on November 17, 2016. 

Let's close this posting by looking at why Boeing is such a big player in Washington's world.  From Open Secrets, here's how much Boeing has donated to American politicians going back to 1990:


The total of $28.302 million in political donations was split 46 percent to Democrats and 53 percent to Republicans.

Here are the top recipients for the 2016 election cycle:


Even Donald Trump received $41,512 in donations from Boeing, about one fifth of the amount received by Hillary Clinton. 

Here's how much Boeing has spent on lobbying in Washington:


Over the period from 1998 to 2017, Boeing has spent a total of $246,923,310 on getting the power brokers in Washington to see things their way, putting them in 10th place overall as shown here:


As we can see from this posting, Washington's power elite are quite capable of not practicing what they preach.  While, on one hand, they condemn Qatar for their links to terrorism, they are only too happy to grant the nation significant armaments sourced from America's military-industrial complex.  I guess its job creation at any cost!


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