The White House approved two arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE totaling over $600 million. The sale to two of Washington’s closest Arab partners in the Middle East comes as America’s regional reputation is tanking over US support for Israel’s onslaught against the besieged Gaza Strip.
On Monday, the State Department announced it had approved a $583 million sale of RE-3A Tactical Airborne Surveillance System Aircraft Modernisation and related equipment. The equipment will be used to modernize surveillance aircraft from the 1980s.
The Biden administration also approved the $85 million sale of 18 AN/TPQ-50 radar systems to the United Arab Emirates. The radar system is designed to detect the direction of mortar fire, and SRC INC will be the primary contractor.
The arms sales come as Washington is losing favor among the people in the Middle East over Israel’s brutal military operations in Gaza. A cable authored by an American diplomat in the Middle East warned last month that Israel’s destructive and deadly military campaign in Gaza “is losing us Arab publics for a generation.”
However, the Biden administration’s policy on the Middle East has centered on expanding the Trump-era Abraham Accords. The accords saw Washington make a series of concessions to Muslim nations to get their governments to normalize ties with Israel.
At the core of the Abraham Accords is an agreement from the Muslim states to abandon their pledge to withhold normalization with Israel until it grants the Palestinians an independent state. In exchange, the Arab states have received access to acquire advanced US weapon systems.