Foreign Policy

Military Offsets

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Foreign policy: It's a complex, multifactoral matter, often difficult for the layman to understand. From the AP:

The United States offered Israel an unprecedented $30 billion of military aid over 10 years on Thursday, bolstering its closest Mideast ally and ensuring the state's military edge over its neighbors long into the future. The package was meant in part to offset U.S. plans to offer Saudi Arabia advanced weapons and air systems that would greatly improve the Arab country's air force.

Link via Rational Review.

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  1. I see no way this can possibly have any ill effects.

  2. I think we should give Israel the top half of each member of the Bush Administration. This will offset my plans to give the bottom half of each member of the Bush Administration to Saudi Arabia.

  3. Saying “just let them kill each other” is brash and insensitive. Arming both sides at American citizen expense…. oh lord

  4. We’ll be able to provide more money to both sides as soon as Ron Bailey’s carbon tax is implemented.

  5. At least we aren’t buying carbon offsets. That would get people REALLY mad!

    🙂

  6. We give money to Israel. They buy our military equipment. This makes defense contractors like Israel. Their management and workers lobby Congress to be nice to Israel.

    The bad news is, Saudi Arabia has to spend its own money to bribe defense contractors and Congress. The good news is, they’ve got lots of money.

    The good news is, both Israel and Saudi Arabia bribe us to be nice to them. The bad news is, they want different and conflicting things. The good news is, we’ve got their money.

    (Yes, Israel got the money from us in the first place. Nothing is perfect. At least the defense contractors are happy. Anyway, if we let people keep their money instead of paying taxes, they’d probably waste it on stuff like the collected works of Ayn Rand.)

  7. The package was meant in part to offset U.S. plans to offer Saudi Arabia advanced weapons and air systems that would greatly improve the Arab country’s air force.

    The difference, of course, is that Saudi Arabia pays, often above market value, for these weapons ; whereas US tax payers pay for those sent to Israel.

  8. The same thing happens here… although with federal subsidies rather than weapons. The government subsidizes tobacco farming while funding a massive bureacratic effort to reduce tobacco use. So it goes.

  9. The Israelis are big boys, now. They should be paying for their own military.

  10. I heard they got the idea from some fellow named Milo Minderbinder.

  11. Sal,

    Still reading that book. I love it. If Washington ever gets bombarded by its own planes, we’ll know who’s behind it.

  12. The difference, of course, is that Saudi Arabia pays, often above market value, for these weapons ; whereas US tax payers pay for those sent to Israel.

    Ah, but where does Saudi Arabia get the money? Right, by selling us oil at 10x the cost of production. Israel doesn’t have oil, so they have to take a more direct approach into our wallets.

  13. If Washington ever gets bombarded by its own planes, we’ll know who’s behind it.

    Iran? Well, that was a while ago, so they probably don’t still work.

  14. To paraphrase Heinlein, a well-armed planet is a polite planet. Am I right or am I right?

  15. Ah, but where does Saudi Arabia get the money? Right, by selling us oil at 10x the cost of production.

    And how much does Saudi Arabia pay for weapons. I would guess far more than 10x the production cost. If you don’t want Saudi oil, don’t buy it. You can choose not to buy Saudi oil. But, you can’t refuse to pay tax and consequently fund the Israeli military.

  16. One word: Blowback

  17. If you don’t want Saudi oil, don’t buy it. You can choose not to buy Saudi oil. But, you can’t refuse to pay tax and consequently fund the Israeli military.

    Oh, I dunno. I suspect that if you’re in a position not to buy Saudi oil (which means you aren’t driving, aren’t taking the bus, aren’t flying, and thus are probably living in a cabin like Ted Kaczynski), you’re probably not paying much in the way of taxes and thus not funding the Israeli military.

  18. The ten subterranean homosexual jewish bankers in geneva always know what strings to pull.

  19. I’m sure not one person involved with this plan ever stepped back and said, “Wow, this is a really stupid fucking idea.”

  20. Stephen the G:

    c’mon. From what I’ve seen on the internets, your rod (or johnson, or whatever it’s called in today’s parlance) certainly is NOT a string.

    *internet five. oh yeah!

  21. Actually I don’t know that we do get much of our oil from Saudi Arabia. I know we use a lot, and they sell a lot but I think we get moust of our oil domesticly and from Canada and Venuswala(sp)

  22. Regardless of how much oil the Saudis sell to the US (~11% IIRC) all oil sales are done in dollars, all or most of Saudi’s oil revenue lies in US banks.

  23. They’re not pulling strings, they’re yanking chains.

  24. This actually makes a lot more sense than it appears. Pick a couple of players in an area and help them oppose the ones you don’t like. Classic strategy. And at under 10 billion a year for the lot of them–Israel, Saudi, Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar–a heck of a lot cheaper than Operation Enduring Quagmire.

    Military aid by country (“Security Assistance”): http://www.state.gov/t/pm/c17570.htm#t

  25. Why in God’s name are we doing something this insane?

  26. How else are we supposed to bring about the Rapture?

  27. Jake-

    ride your bicycle without a seat on a brick road?

  28. No, no… that’s “rupture.”

  29. This isn’t unprecedented. We’ve been giving them $3 billion/year in military aid for a long time.

  30. Yet a nother reason to scale down and eventually eliminate foreign aid.

  31. Remind me again, which nation were most of the September 11th hijackers from?

  32. I guess Israel’s too far South to be part of NATO.

  33. JBinMO | August 17, 2007, 2:52pm | #

    Actually I don’t know that we do get much of our oil from Saudi Arabia. I know we use a lot, and they sell a lot but I think we get moust of our oil domesticly and from Canada and Venuswala(sp)

    I thought they called missouri the show-me state, cuz

    http://www.eia.doe.gov/pub/oil_gas/petroleum/data_publications/company_level_imports/current/import.html

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