Volume 1, Number 29
The initial 30-day clock for Congress to review the $60 billion U.S.-Saudi arms deal expires next week. Although some members of Congress have promised to fight it, lawmakers will have little time to muster a joint resolution of disapproval required to stop it at this stage, should they want to do so. Nonetheless, the unprecedented size of this deal warrants Congressional hearings and greater oversight.
Despite strong objections from
Several recent U.S. government reports identified significant difficulties in tracking U.S. small arms and light weapons meant for Afghan national forces and an improvement in monitoring such weapons meant for Iraq.
According to a January study by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the United States did not maintain complete records for 87,000 of 242,000 U.S.-procured weapons for the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). The study also found records to be unreliable for 135,000 weapons obtained from 21 other countries for the ANSF. (Continue)
Notifications made to Congress in 2008 of requested U.S. arms sales reached their highest monetary level in more than a decade. Countries in the Middle East accounted for more than half of the $75 billion in government-to-government requests, which also included controversial arrangements with Taiwan. Notifications do not always result in deliveries, and experts warn against expecting the high level of possible deals to continue. (Continue)