Why would F-35 sales to UAE/Bahrain only be made possible after they established diplomatic ties with Israel?



I heard that the reason for the normalization and establishment of diplomatic ties between Israel and UAE/Bahrain is so that the US could sell exports-controlled military goods to UAE and Bahrain. What I don't understand is what establishing diplomatic ties with Israel has to do with it?


Posted 2020-09-16T13:34:31.143

Reputation: 204


I do see mention in the Washington Post that "Senior U.S. and UAE officials say the peace agreement is smoothing the way for the Trump administration to proceed with the sale of long-sought F-35 stealth fighter jets and other sophisticated weaponry to the Persian Gulf state." But I don't know any of the details of how they are connected and it's not explained. So, good question.

– Brian Z – 2020-09-16T13:51:23.793

Well I also saw a video that there is a chain of controversies in manufacturing F-35 as its construction isnt economically viable and how various parties are lobbying to keep F-35 construction alive to prevent shut down of the manufacturing plants which are spread out across the states. I shall add reference when I find it. – gfdsal – 2020-09-16T14:05:54.357



US arms sales are limited by

Obviously, changing policy is easier than changing laws, and domestic law requires the US administration to take the military situation for Israel into account for their arms deals. Among other things, the law requires

(B) a detailed evaluation of—
(i) how such sale or export alters the strategic and tactical balance in the region, including relative capabilities; and

If various Arab states are no longer official enemies of Israel, then arming them affects the strategic balance in a different way.


Posted 2020-09-16T13:34:31.143

Reputation: 49 884

1"S.2673 - United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014", Now that makes sense for US to get involve in ammending Arab - Isreal relations for weapons sales. – gfdsal – 2020-09-16T18:04:39.597

1I'm not seeing anything in S.2673 that prohibits sale of arms to Arab states. As far as I can see the legislation just allows transfers to Israel. – Jontia – 2020-09-17T09:42:38.917

1@Jontia What is important in S.2673 is the bond with Israel. You can read "United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014 - (Sec. 4) Expresses the sense of Congress that Israel is a major U.S. strategic partner". – dxvargas – 2020-09-17T10:23:12.833


Israel is a strong US ally in the region. The ties between the two countries have become ever more important as the Trump administration works closely with the Israeli government to achieve a variety of policy objectives.

As discussed on Aljazeera in August

Under understandings dating back decades, Washington has refrained from Middle East arms sales that could blunt Israel's "qualitative military edge". This has applied to the F-35, denied to Arab states, while Israel has bought and deployed it.

However that same article makes clear that Israel's stance on this matter has not changed. Despite Trump's recent statements it is not clear that such changes were part of the UAE/Israel negotiations, nor that such sales will actually go ahead.

“They’re very wealthy countries for the most part, like the UAE, and they would like to buy the fighter jets, and I personally would have no problem with it,” Trump said. “Some people do, they say maybe they go to war.”

It could be assumed that establishing UAE/Israel diplomatic relations is a first step to changing this stance. But at the moment I don't believe there is solid evidence of this as a process or stepping stone.


Posted 2020-09-16T13:34:31.143

Reputation: 18 509

Sure it would have made sense if US isnt already selling weapons and jets to UAE and KSA, but they already do, what makes sale of F-35 so special? Its not gonna offer competitive advantage if we compare quantity of jets US have sold to KSA, UAE combined. – gfdsal – 2020-09-16T13:56:59.423

@gfdsal the key phrase is "qualitative military edge" the F-35 is better than the other things they are selling. – Jontia – 2020-09-16T15:04:48.347

1Well sure I agree with you, but something tells me that KSA is stronger strategic partner of US then Isreal (KSA is the biggest buyer of USA weapons ($9 billion so far) and 2nd biggest suppler of oil to USA) yet still cant get hands on F-35. I suspect that there might be something else in play which perhaps we wont know. – gfdsal – 2020-09-16T15:55:58.673

Wouldn't selling advanced fighter jets to the Arab states decrease the chance of a war (deterrence)? – Vikki - formerly Sean – 2020-09-16T22:55:18.707

2@Sean: How so? Deterrence of whom? Other Arab states? Israel is in no position to fight the combined armies of the Arab states in the first place (ignoring suicidal options like launching nukes); it's never fought a major war more than a few dozen miles from its borders (and largely left its borders at all only in response to an outside attack or nuclear threats in the making). Iran stopped fighting wars in the open years ago in favor of proxy wars through groups like Hezbollah, and advanced fighter jets are pretty useless against guerilla warfare. No one else needs to be deterred. – ShadowRanger – 2020-09-17T02:33:54.117