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"In my home there are few publications that we actually get hard copies of, but [Arms Control Today] is one and it's the only one my husband and I fight over who gets to read it first."

– Suzanne DiMaggio
Senior Fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
April 15, 2019
Fact Sheets & Briefs

Proposed U.S. Arms Export Agreements From January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2009

March 2010

Contact: Jeff AbramsonNon-Resident Senior Fellow for Arms Control and Conventional Arms Transfers, [email protected]

Updated: March 2010

During 2009, the Pentagon notified Congress of an estimated $38.6 billion in proposed, government-to-government, conventional arms transfer agreements with 20 countries.

The United States conducts government-to-government transfers through the Defense Department’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. Not all notified sales result in final transactions. Under the 1976 Arms Export Control Act, Congress must be notified of proposed sales of “major defense equipment,” as defined on the U.S. Munitions List, that equals or exceeds $14 million; defense articles and services that are not defined as “major defense equipment” which total $50 million or more; and construction or design services amounting to or surpassing $200 million.[1] However, if the proposed sale involves NATO members, Australia, Japan, South Korea, or New Zealand, the notification thresholds are $25 million for major defense equipment, $100 million for other defense articles and services, and $300 million for construction or design services.[2] Once notified, Congress has 30 calendar days (15 in the case of NATO members, Australia, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand) to block a sale by passing a joint resolution of disapproval, though it has never stopped a sale once formally notified.

The proposed 2009 arms sales total was approximately half as much as the sum of the 2008 proposed sales ($75 billion), and more similar to the sums of 2007 ($39 billion) and 2006 ($37 billion). The 2009 proposed sales were about three times the 2005 total ($12 billion) and 1997-2005 average ($14 billion), unadjusted for inflation.

As in 2008, countries in the Middle East accounted for more than half the total value of proposed sales, with four of the top five countries (by total request value) located in the region. Proposed sales to Turkey were $9.0 billion, an increase of $8.4 billion from 2008, and the greatest boost in potential sales to one country during the period. Ankara’s request includes 14 CH-47F Chinook helicopters, often used for troop movement and other heavy-lift missions, and hundreds of Patriot missiles. Potential sales to Egypt were valued at $5.5 billion, up from $564 million in 2008, and also included Chinook helicopters. In addition to the Chinook, Cairo’s request featured more heavily armed weapons, including 24 F-16C/D fighter aircraft, 12 Apache Longbow helicopters, 450 Hellfire II missiles, 20 Harpoon II anti-ship cruise missiles. Other requests by Middle Eastern states came from Kuwait ($3.8 billion, up from $506 million in 2008), the United Arab Emirates ($3.4 billion, down from $9.0 billion in 2008), Iraq ($1.2 billion, down from $18.7 billion in 2008), Jordan ($814 million), and Bahrain ($74 million). No sales were proposed to Israel, which in 2008 requested more than $20 billion in weapons and services.

Brazil’s 2009 request totaled $7.0 billion, the second largest single country total in 2009 and up from $525 million in 2008. Unlike many other notifications, the proposed sale of more than 30 Super Hornet fighter aircraft and associated armaments was made in advance of an official letter of request from Brazil. Instead, it was submitted as part of an international competition so that, “in the event that the…[U.S.] proposal is selected, the United States might move as quickly as possible to implement the sale,” according to the notification. As of year’s end, Brazil had not announced whether the U.S. bid was accepted.

Below are the five countries that sought the highest values in U.S. arms exports in 2009 and some of their specific requests.

Country

Total Value

Weapons/Services

Turkey

$9.0 billion

  • 72 PATRIOT Advanced Capability (PAC-3) missiles
  • 197 MIM-104E PATRIOT Guidance Enhanced Missiles-T (GEM-T)
  • 14 CH-47F CHINOOK Helicopters

Brazil

$7.0 billion

  • 28 F/A-18E Super Hornet Aircraft
  • 8 F/A-18F Super Hornet Aircraft
  • 72 F414-GE-400 installed engines
  • 28 AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles
  • 28 AIM-9M SIDEWINDER missiles
  • 60 GBU-31/32 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM)

Egypt

$5.5 billion

  • 24 F-16C/D Block 50/52 Aircraft
  • 12 AH-64D APACHE Longbow Helicopters
  • 6 CH-47D CHINOOK Helicopters
  • 450 HELLFIRE II Air-to-Surface Anti-Armor Missiles
  • 20 Harpoon Block II Anti-Ship Cruise Missiles

Kuwait

$3.8 billion

  • Facilities and infrastructure construction support services
  • PATRIOT sustainment and repair/return program
  • 8 KC-130J Multi-mission Cargo Refueling Aircraft
  • Technical/Logistics Support for F/A-18 Aircraft

United Arab Emirates

$3.4 billion

  • 16 CH-47F CHINOOK Helicopters
  • 362 AGM-114N3 HELLFIRE missiles
  • 800 MK-84 2000-pound bombs
  • 400 MK-82 500-pound bombs
  • 400 BLU-109/B 2000-pound bombs
  • Logistics support and training for 12 C-130J-30 Aircraft and 4 C-17 Globemaster Aircraft. Aircraft being purchased through the U.S. direct commercial sales program.

Below are all 20 countries that sought U.S. arms exports in 2009 according to FMS notifications and the total value of their identified requests (in billions of U.S. dollars):

CountryTotal Value
($ Billions)
Turkey9.000
Brazil7.000
Egypt5.514
Kuwait3.830
UAE3.436
Saudi Arabia2.207
South Korea1.461
Iraq1.200
Chile.940
Australia.860
Jordan.814
Ghana.680
Morocco.463
Singapore.365
Netherlands.314
Mexico.153
Thailand.150
Peru.082
Bahrain.074
Italy.063

Below are the total values of all notified requests each year from 1997 to 2009 in billions of U.S. dollars as compiled each year, in current dollars (unadjusted for inflation):

Year   Total Value
($ Billions, current dollars)
200939
200875
200739
200637
200512
200412
20037
200216
200119
200012
199921
199812
199711

Caitlin Taber assisted in the research and writing of this fact sheet.

ENDNOTES
1. The Department of State is also required to report to Congress any commercial sales it approves of “major defense equipment” that amount to $14 million or more, defense articles and services that equal or exceed $50 million, and any items defined as “significant military equipment.” As in the case of FMS sales, Congress can block the sale with a joint resolution of disapproval within 30 calendar days of notification (15 in the case of NATO members, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand). There are no official compilations of commercial agreement data comparable to the FMS notifications and what exists is often incomplete and less precise than data on government-to-government transactions (Grimmett, Richard F., Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 2001-2008, Washington, D.C., Congressional Research Service, September 4, 2009, p. 18). The annual Section 655 report, prepared by the State and Defense Departments for Congress, details commercial licenses approved, but states have four years to act under the licenses. The State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls has final responsibility for license applications for commercial defense trade exports and all issues related to defense trade compliance, enforcement, and reporting.

2. Congress approved the higher notification thresholds for NATO members, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand in legislation passed in September 2002. In October 2008, Congress added South Korea to this list.

Sources: Congressional Research Service, Defense Security Cooperation Agency, and Department of State.

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Proposed U.S. Arms Export Agreements From January 1, 2008 to December 31, 2008

March 2009

Contact: Jeff AbramsonNon-Resident Senior Fellow for Arms Control and Conventional Arms Transfers, [email protected]

Updated: March 2009

During 2008, the Pentagon notified Congress of an estimated $75.4 billion in proposed, government-to-government, conventional arms transfer agreements with 25 countries, Taiwan, and an international consortium made up of NATO allies together with Sweden and Finland.

The United States conducts government-to-government transfers through the Defense Department’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. Not all notified sales result in final transactions. Under the 1976 Arms Export Control Act, Congress must be notified of proposed sales of “major defense equipment,” as defined on the U.S. Munitions List, that equals or exceeds $14 million; defense articles and services that are not defined as “major defense equipment” which total $50 million or more; and construction or design services amounting to or surpassing $200 million.[1] However, if the proposed sale involves NATO members, Australia, Japan, South Korea, or New Zealand, the notification thresholds are $25 million for major defense equipment, $100 million for other defense articles and services, and $300 million for construction or design services.[2] Once notified, Congress has 30 calendar days (15 in the case of NATO members, Australia, Japan, South Korea, and New Zealand) to block a sale by passing a joint resolution of disapproval, though it has never stopped a sale once formally notified.

The proposed 2008 arms sales total was the highest in more than ten years, nearly twice the sums of 2007 ($39 billion) and 2006 ($37 billion) and nearly six times the 2005 total ($12 billion). Eight countries requested more than a billion dollars worth of U.S. arms. They were Australia, Iraq, Israel, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the United Kingdom.

Countries in the Middle East accounted for more than half the total value of proposed sales, with Israel, Iraq, and the United Arab Emirates making the three largest requests worldwide. Potential sales to Israel rose from $2.5 billion in 2007 to more than $20 billion in 2008, including a $15.2 billion proposal for up to 75 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter aircraft and associated equipment. Israel's request for large military craft also included C-130J-30 transport aircraft and and Littoral Combat Ships. Although of lesser monetary value, Israel identified interest in thousands of small diamter bombs, and tens of thousands of anti-tank weapons and training rockets. Iraq's $18.7 billion in possible purchases, up from $4.45 billion in 2007 and $2.25 billion in 2006, included a wide arrange of military items, as well as technical and constuction assistance. Combat-oriented equipment listed in the notifications included M1A1 tanks, light armored vehicles, armed helicopters, Hellfire and other missiles, coastal patrol boats, and more than 100,000 assault rifles. Potential sales to the United Arab Emirates were valued at just more than $9 billion, down from $10.4 billion in 2007. Similar to 2007, the 2008 request included many missile and anti-missile systems, as well as the first foreign sale of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense fire units. Other requests by Middle Eastern states came from Saudi Arabia ($2.86 billion), Turkey ($580 million), Egypt ($564 million), Kuwait ($506 million), Qatar ($400 million), and Jordan ($390 million).

Taiwan's potential purchases of $6.4 billion, nearly twice the 2007 value of $3.72 billion, included hundreds of Patriot missiles, 30 Apache attack helicopters and 1,000 Hellfire missiles. Despite protests by Chinese officials, Congress did not alter this or any of the notified sales in 2008.

For the first time this decade, Romania joined the group of top countries requesting U.S. arms, proposing the purchase and upgrade of dozens of F-16C/D aircraft.

Below are the five countries that sought the highest values in U.S. arms exports in 2008 and some of their specific requests.

Country

Total Value

Weapons/Services

Israel

$20.82 billion

  • 25 F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Conventional Take-Off and Landing (CTOL) aircraft with an option to purchase at a later date an additional 50 F-35 CTOL or Short Take-Off and Vertical Landing aircraft
  • 9 C-130J-30 transport aircraft
  • 4 Littoral Combat Ships (LCS-I variant)
  • 3 PATRIOT System Configuration 3 Modification kits to upgrade 3 PATRIOT fire units
  • 1,000 GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs (SDB1)
  • 28,000 M72A7 66mm Light Anti-Armor Weapons (anti-tank rockers), and 60,000 M72AS 21mm Sub-Caliber Training Rockets.

Iraq

$18.71 billion

  • 280 M1A1 Abrams, 392 Light Armored Vehicles, 700 M1151 armored gun trucks,
  • 6 C-130J-30 transport aircraft
  • 26 Bell Armed 407 helicopters and engines, 24 Bell Armed 407 helicopters or 24 Boeing AH-6 helicopters and engines
  • 200 AGM-114M HELLFIRE missiles, 15,000 2.75-inch Rockets,
  • 4,000 AN/PVS-7D night vision devices
  • 180,000 M16A4 assault rifles, 25,000 M4 Carbines, 2,550 M203 grenade launchers
  • 20 30-35meter Coastal Patrol Boats and 3 55-60 meter offshore support vessels.

United Arab Emirates

$9.03 billion

  • 3 Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) Fire Units with 147 THAAD missiles
  • 78 complete AVENGER fire units including Vehicle Mounted Stinger Launch Platform fire units, 780 STINGER-Reprogrammable Micro-Processor Block 1 Anti-Aircraft missiles, and 24 STINGER Block 1 Buy-to-Fly missiles
  • 390 AGM-114N HELLFIRE missiles
  • 288 AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) Air Intercept Missiles
  • 4 PATRIOT Advanced Capability (PAC-3) Intercept Aerial Missiles with containers, 19 MIM-104D Guided Enhanced Missiles-T with containers (GEM-T), 5 Anti-Tactical Missiles, and 5 PATRIOT Digital Missiles
  • 14 UH-60M BLACK HAWK helicopters with engines.

Taiwan

$6.46 billion

  • 330 PATRIOT Advanced Capability (PAC-3) missiles
  • 30 AH-64D Block III APACHE Longbow Attack Helicopters
  • 173 STINGER Block I Air-to-Air missiles, 1,000 AGM-114L Longbow HELLFIRE missiles, and 66 M299 HELLFIRE Longbow Missile Launchers
  • 182 JAVELIN guided missile rounds and 20 JAVELIN command launch units
  • 32 UGM-84L Sub-Launched HARPOON Block II missiles, 2 UTM-84L HARPOON Block II Exercise missiles, 2 Advanced HARPOON Weapons Control System (Version 2), 36 HARPOON containers, 2 UTM-84XD Encapsulated HARPOON Certification and Training Vehicles.

Romania

$4.50 billion

  • 24 F-16C/D Block 50/52 aircraft with either the F100-PW-229 or F110-GE-129 Increased Performance Engines (IPE) and APG 68(V)9 radars; refurbishment and upgrades of 24 F-16C/D Block 25 aircraft being provided as excess defense articles with the F100-PW- 220 Increased Performance Engines (IPE) and APG-68(V)1 radars.

ENDNOTES

1. The Department of State is also required to report to Congress any commercial sales it approves of “major defense equipment” that amount to $14 million or more, defense articles and services that equal or exceed $50 million, and any items defined as “significant military equipment.” As in the case of FMS sales, Congress can block the sale with a joint resolution of disapproval within 30 calendar days of notification (15 in the case of NATO members, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand). There are no official compilations of commercial agreement data and it is often incomplete and less precise than data on government-to-government transactions (Grimmett, Richard F., Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 1999-2006, Washington, D.C., Congressional Research Service, September 26, 2007, p. 20). The annual Section 655 report, prepared by the State and Defense Departments for Congress, details commercial licenses approved, but states have four years to act under the licenses. The State Department’s Office of Defense Trade Controls has final responsibility for license applications for commercial defense trade exports and all issues related to defense trade compliance, enforcement, and reporting.

2. Congress approved the higher notification thresholds for NATO members, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand in legislation passed in September 2002. In October 2008, Congress added South Korea to this list.

Sources: Congressional Research Service, Defense Security Cooperation Agency, and Department of State.

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Proposed U.S. Arms Export Agreements From January 1, 2007 to December 31, 2007

February 2008

Contact: Jeff AbramsonNon-Resident Senior Fellow for Arms Control and Conventional Arms Transfers, [email protected]

During 2007, the Pentagon notified Congress of an estimated $39 billion in proposed, government-to-government, conventional arms transfer agreements with 23 countries and Taiwan.

The United States conducts government-to-government transfers through the Defense Department’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. Not all notified sales result in final transactions. Under the 1976 Arms Export Control Act, Congress must be notified of proposed sales of “major defense equipment,” as defined on the U.S. Munitions List, that equals or exceeds $14 million; defense articles and services that are not defined as “major defense equipment” which total $50 million or more; and construction or design services amounting to or surpassing $200 million.[1] However, if the proposed sale involves NATO members, Australia, Japan, or New Zealand, the notification thresholds are $25 million for major defense equipment, $100 million for other defense articles and services, and $300 million for construction or design services.[2] Once notified, Congress has 30 calendar days (15 in the case of NATO members, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand) to block a sale by passing a joint resolution of disapproval, though it has never stopped a sale once formally notified.

The proposed 2007 arms sales total was $2.4 billion higher than the 2006 sum of almost $37 billion and more than three times the 2005 tally of $12.3 billion. Eleven countries requested more than a billion dollars worth of U.S. arms. They were Australia, Egypt, India, Iraq, Israel, Kuwait, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the United Kingdom.

The UAE requested the highest value of U.S. arms, asking for $10.4 billion in possible purchases. Its inaugural bid to acquire short- and medium-range anti-missile Patriot systems accounted for $9 billion of the UAE total. The UAE, which several years ago acquired 80 F-16C/D fighters from the United States, sits across the Persian Gulf from Iran, a country steadily working to enhance its ballistic missile capabilities. Another Iranian neighbor, Iraq, ranked second in total possible U.S. weapons purchases. Iraqi requests, however, were more focused on procuring weapons, ammunition, and equipment to bolster its ground forces to battle anti-government and anti-U.S. forces inside Iraqi borders. Other top potential buyers from the Middle East region include Israel ($2.5 billion), Kuwait ($1.7 billion), Egypt ($1.27 billion), and Saudi Arabia ($1.25 billion).

After a two-year absence, Taiwan returned to the top ranks of U.S. arms buyers by moving forward on a nearly $2-billion purchase of a dozen anti-submarine aircraft first offered in 2001 by the United States. Taiwan also requested upgrades to its existing Patriot systems and a variety of missiles and bombs to arm its combat aircraft. China strongly objects to U.S. arms sales to Taiwan, which Beijing contends is a renegade province that must eventually come under Beijing’s control. It has not ruled out the use of force to achieve that objective, particularly if Taiwan asserts its independence.

As in past years, a significant portion of the proposed deals were requests for upgrades, modifications, and support for previously purchased aircraft, armed vehicles, and missile systems. Still, many countries sought an array of new aircraft and missile purchases. Below are the six countries that sought the highest values in U.S. arms exports in 2007 and some of their specific requests.

Country

Total Value

Weapons/Services

The United Arab Emirates

$10.4 billion

  • 288 Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile interceptors
  • 9 Patriot Fire Units, including 10 phased array radar sets, 10 engagement control stations on trailers, and 37 launching stations.
  • 216 Guidance Enhanced Missile-T (GEM-T)
  • 224 AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles
  • 200 Guided Bomb Unit Joint Direct Attack Munition Tail Kits
  • More than 1,100 2,000-pound and 500-pound bombs.

Iraq

$4.45 billion

  • 980 High Mobility Multi-Purpose Wheeled Vehicles
  • 123,544 M-16A4 rifles and various ammunition
  • Upgrades for 30 UH-1 Huey helicopters, various armored vehicles, and trucks
  • Logistics support for three C-130E aircraft
  • Various medical supplies, equipment, and training
  • Miscellaneous spare parts and ammunition

Australia

$3.76 billion

  • 24 F/A-18E/F Super Hornets
  • Armaments for F/A-18E/F Super Hornets, including 47 AIM-9X SIDEWINDER missiles

Taiwan

$3.72 billion

  • Upgrades and refurbishments for three existing Patriot anti-missile fire units
  • 144 SM-2 Block IIIA STANDARD ship-based missiles
  • 12 P-3C anti-submarine aircraft with T-56 engines
  • 60 AGM-84L HARPOON Block II missiles
  • 218 AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles and 235 AGM-65G2 Maverick missiles

Morocco

$2.89 billion

  • 24 T-6B Texan aircraft
  • 24 F-16C/D Block 50/52 combat aircraft with engines
  • 60 M109A5 155mm self-propelled howitzers

Israel

$2.5 billion

  • 2,000 Radio Frequency TOW 2A anti-tank missiles
  • 1,700 HELLFIRE missiles of various types
  • 100 Patriot Guided Enhanced Missiles Plus (GEM+)
  • 90,000,000 gallons of JP-8 aviation fuel and 42,000,000 gallons of diesel fuel
  • 200 AIM-120C-7 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles
  • 500 AIM-9M SIDEWINDER missiles
  • 30 RGM-84L HARPOON Block II missiles
  • 3,500 MK-84 general purpose bomb units

ENDNOTES

1. The Department of State is also required to report to Congress any commercial sales it approves of “major defense equipment” that amount to $14 million or more, defense articles and services that equal or exceed $50 million, and any items defined as “significant military equipment.” As in the case of FMS sales, Congress can block the sale with a joint resolution of disapproval within 30 calendar days of notification (15 in the case of NATO members, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand). There are no official compilations of commercial agreement data and it is often incomplete and less precise than data on government-to-government transactions (Grimmett, Richard F., Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 1999-2006, Washington, D.C., Congressional Research Service, September 26, 2007, p. 20). The annual Section 655 report, prepared by the State and Defense Departments for Congress, details commercial licenses approved, but states have four years to act under the licenses. The State Department’s Office of Defense Trade Controls has final responsibility for license applications for commercial defense trade exports and all issues related to defense trade compliance, enforcement, and reporting.

2. Congress approved the higher notification thresholds for NATO members, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand in legislation passed in September 2002.

Sources: Congressional Research Service, Defense Security Cooperation Agency, and Department of State.

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Proposed U.S. Arms Export Agreements From January 1, 2006 to December 31, 2006

August 2007

Contact: Jeff AbramsonNon-Resident Senior Fellow for Arms Control and Conventional Arms Transfers, [email protected]

Updated: August 2007

During 2006, the Pentagon notified Congress of an estimated nearly $37 billion in proposed, government-to-government, conventional arms transfer agreements with 25 countries and the 26-member NATO alliance.

The United States conducts government-to-government transfers through the Defense Department’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. Not all notified sales result in final transactions. Under the 1976 Arms Export Control Act, Congress must be notified of proposed sales of “major defense equipment,” as defined on the U.S. Munitions List, that equals or exceeds $14 million; defense articles and services that are not defined as “major defense equipment” which total $50 million or more; and construction or design services amounting to or surpassing $200 million.[1] However, if the proposed sale involves NATO members, Australia, Japan, or New Zealand, the notification thresholds are $25 million for major defense equipment, $100 million for other defense articles and services, and $300 million for construction or design services.[2] Once notified, Congress has 30 calendar days (15 in the case of NATO members, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand) to block a sale by passing a joint resolution of disapproval, though it has never stopped a sale once formally notified.

The proposed 2006 arms sales total was more than three times the $12.3 billion sum proposed in 2005.  Whereas only three countries requested more than one billion dollars in U.S. arms sales in 2005, nine countries requested sales exceeding that mark in 2006: Australia, Canada, Iraq, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates.

Amid continuing turmoil in Iraq and growing concerns about Iran’s nuclear activities, almost 70% of the proposed sales were sought by countries in the Middle East. Iraq itself entered the ranks of top clients with $2.25 billion in possible purchases. The post-Saddam regime’s first proposed FMS purchase (C-130 aircraft engines worth $132 million) occurred in 2005.

A traditional U.S. arms purchaser, Saudi Arabia requested the highest sum ($11.3 billion) in possible buys, including the largest single arms request of $5.8 billion to modernize its national guard. That proposed purchase included mostly logistical equipment, such as long-range radio systems and night vision goggles. Pakistan, the runner-up for the most expensive arms sales request tally, sought $6 billion in arms in 2006, a dramatic rise from its previous year total of $282 million. The significant increase coincides with a budding U.S.-India relationship, which includes New Delhi’s consideration of U.S. combat aircraft for a pending purchase of 126 combat aircraft. The United States hails Pakistan, a neighbor of Afghanistan, as a critical ally in the declared “global war on terror.”

As in past years, a significant portion of the proposed deals were requests for upgrades, modifications, and support for previously purchased aircraft, armed vehicles, and missile systems. In contrast, new missiles were not as popular among purchasers in 2006 as in previous years, but several countries sought to procure aircraft.

 

Country
Total Value
Weapons/Services
Saudi Arabia
$11.3 billion
  • Modernization of the Saudi Arabian National Guard (SANG), including 724 new Light Armored Vehicles (LAV) and 6,494 Single Channel Ground and Airborne Systems (SINCGARS)
  • 58 M1A1 Abrams tanks and upgrades for existing M1A2s
  • 175 F-15S aircraft engines
  • 24 UH-60L Utility/Assault Black Hawk helicopters
  • Miscellaneous spare parts
Pakistan
$6 billion
  • 2,776 Radio Frequency (RF) TOW-2A Missiles, 422 RF Bunker Buster missiles, and associated equipment
  • 130 HARPOON Block II Missiles and associated equipment
  • 36 F-16 Block 50/52 aircraft and various engine and aircraft equipment upgrades
  • 3,921 High Frequency Radio Systems
  • 3 E-2C Hawkeye 2000 Airborne Early Warning Suite for P-3 aircraft
Turkey
$3 billion
  • 30 advanced F-16 Block 50 Aircraft, with equipment and services
  • 50 SLAM-ER missiles
Australia
$3 billion
  • 3 MK 41 Vertical Launch Systems
  • Modification of 3 MK 7 AEGIS Weapon Systems
  • 4 C-17 GLOBEMASTER III aircraft and miscellaneous support equipment
  • 18 F117-PW-100 aircraft engines
South Korea
$2.4 billion
  • Contractor, Technical, and Logistics Support for RC-800 Tactical Reconnaissance Aircraft and Reconnaissance Ground Stations
  • 48 SM-2 Block IIIB STANDARD missiles
  • 58 HARPOON Block II missiles
Iraq
$2.25 billion
  • Logistic support for helicopters, vehicles, and weapons
  • 24 King Air 350ER aircraft and associated equipment and services
  • 522 High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWVs) or 276 Infantry Light Armored Vehicles
  • Long Range Air Traffic Control Radar

ENDNOTES

1. The Department of State is also required to report to Congress any commercial sales it approves of “major defense equipment” that amount to $14 million or more, defense articles and services that equal or exceed $50 million, and any items defined as “significant military equipment.” As in the case of FMS sales, Congress can block the sale with a joint resolution of disapproval within 30 calendar days of notification (15 in the case of NATO members, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand). There are no official compilations of commercial agreement data and it is often incomplete and less precise than data on government-to-government transactions (Grimmett, Richard F., Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 1998-2005, Washington, D.C., Congressional Research Service, p. 20). The annual Section 655 report, prepared by the State and Defense Departments for Congress, details commercial licenses approved, but states have four years to act under the licenses. The State Department’s Office of Defense Trade Controls has final responsibility for license applications for commercial defense trade exports and all issues related to defense trade compliance, enforcement, and reporting.

2. Congress approved the higher notification thresholds for NATO members, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand in legislation passed in September 2002.

-Researched by Abby Doll

Sources: Congressional Research Service, Defense Security Cooperation Agency, and Department of State.

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The 2006 Biological Weapons Convention Review Conference Reader

November 2006

Contact: Daryl Kimball, Executive Director, (202) 463-8270 x107

Updated: November 2006

Articles and Interviews on Tackling the Threats Posed by Biological Weapons

(The full fact sheet is available in pdf format. The introduction is excerpted below.)

On November 20, representatives of many of the 155 states-parties to the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC) will gather in Geneva for three weeks of deliberations on how to strengthen the biological weapons ban. At a time when multilateral arms control is in deep crisis, the Sixth Review Conference of the BWC will face the tremendous challenge of agreeing on concrete actions to reduce the threat of disease as a weapon of war and terror.

In this reader, leading experts summarize new and old dangers associated with biological weapons and recommend ways of addressing them. Included are articles previously published in Arms Control Today, as well as an exclusive interview with Ambassador Masood Khan, the designated president of the review conference, who shares his vision of a successful meeting.

Since the last full and substantive review of the BWC in 1996, the global prohibition of biological weapons has come under pressure from several directions.

The September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the anthrax letter attacks that followed have spawned new fears of bioterrorism. Governments have yet to fully adapt the BWC, an agreement among states, to this new challenge.

To be sure, BWC member states have made some progress in implementing the treaty’s rules and prohibitions at the national level, as advocated by the United States. But there is a darker side to the reaction to bioterrorism. Governments, particularly the Bush administration, have also responded with a vast increase in biodefense spending. Although some of these activities may lead to better medical countermeasures against a possible attack, experiments that appear to cross the line of what is permitted by Article I of the BWC “could undermine the ban on offensive development enshrined in the treaty and end up worsening the very dangers that the U.S. government seeks to reduce,” as Jonathan Tucker pointed out in an October 2004 ACT contribution.

One way to address this problem is greater openness about sensitive activities. As Nicolas Isla and Iris Hunger argued earlier this year, “[A] good starting point for building confidence in compliance is to increase transparency.” In Geneva, states-parties have an excellent opportunity to make the annual information exchanges between states-parties more comprehensive and useful.

At the same time, the knowledge required to develop more deadly biological weapons has spread more widely than ever before. Mark Wheelis warns us that “biology is in the midst of what can only be described as a revolution” and that “this technology will have great power both for peaceful and hostile uses.”

The contributors to this reader agree that the response to the potential misuse of the life sciences for hostile purposes must be multilayered and suggest several possible actions that states-parties might take in Geneva. Jonathan Tucker, for example, calls for more effective and internationally harmonized biosafety and biosecurity measures. Christopher Chyba suggests novel mechanisms for the oversight of dualuse research in the life sciences. John Hart, Frida Kuhlau, and Roger Roffey advocate more stringent codes of conduct for biodefense scientists.

Yet, even these important efforts may not be sufficient to avert the danger of a new biological arms race. In the long run, the BWC requires collective action at the level of governments, industry, and individual scientists. A legally binding international agreement to establish an Organization for the Prohibition of Biological Weapons, comparable to but smaller than the International Atomic Energy Organization or the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, remains an essential goal. Only such an institution would have the mandate to monitor state-level compliance with the BWC continuously and organize joint responses to possible breaches of the convention. Creating such a multilateral framework would also strengthen the sense of ownership of all states-parties and reverse the current trend to portray biological weapons proliferation as a problem limited to a few “states of concern.”

It should be possible to overcome some of the differences that led to the failure of the last review conference in 2001 because, as Trevor Findlay remarks, “there has been some quiet movement that is changing the context of the bio-verification debate.” Today, verification is a broad concept that encompasses many of the useful activities that member states and other international organizations already undertake at the national level to improve compliance.

Nicholas Sims cautions that expectations for the sixth review conference are modest and that its primary task will be to “reach agreement on where that treaty regime stands in 2006 and how best to steer its constructive and balanced evolution cautiously through to the seventh review conference in 2011, when conditions may be more favorable to advance.”

If he is correct, the most important short-term task is to continue the dialogue among states-parties that has developed over the last three years of annual meetings, to make the intersessional process more relevant to current issues, and to enable states-parties to take concrete action prior to the next review conference in 2011.

Even if it is not possible to restart discussions on a multilateral verification framework at this time, states-parties should agree at least to discuss measures that might contribute to a future monitoring mechanism. Improving exchanges of information among member states about treaty-relevant activities, taking advantage of the United Nations’ capacity to investigate instances where biological weapons may have been used, and setting up a small but efficient secretariat to support various activities under the BWC would be significant moves in this direction.

The threat from biological weapons is real. The BWC must be able to react to new scientific and technical developments, such as the “nonlethal” biochemical weapons under development in the United States and Russia. As John Borrie warns, “These kinds of problems that threaten the norm created against hostile use of the life sciences are not going away, and the BWC must tackle them at some point or lose credibility and relevance.”

After many years of setbacks and compromises, diplomats and experts dealing with the BWC have become skillful in the art of lowering expectations. It is a hopeful sign that Ambassador Khan has promised that he “will not use the lowest common denominator as the yardstick for success, but the median point that represents common ground.”

The Arms Control Association hopes that the ideas and proposals contained in this publication will help states achieve a successful outcome to the review conference.

Chemical/Biological Arms Control

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The Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT) At a Glance

September 2017

Contacts: Daryl Kimball, Executive Director, (202) 463-8270 x107; Kingston Reif, Director of Disarmament and Threat Reduction Policy, (202) 463-8270 x104

The May 2002 Strategic Offensive Reductions Treaty (SORT), also known as the Moscow Treaty, commits the United States and Russia to reduce their deployed strategic nuclear forces to 1,700-2,200 warheads apiece. This warhead limit takes effect and expires on the same day, December 31, 2012. After this date, both sides are free to decrease or increase the size of their deployed strategic forces.

Background: President George W. Bush entered the White House in 2001 vowing to cut U.S. nuclear weapons to “the lowest possible number consistent with our national security.”[1] Similarly, Russian President Vladimir Putin supported lowering deployed U.S. and Russian strategic forces to less than 1,500 warheads. At that time, U.S. and Russian arsenals each contained close to the 1991 START I limit of 6,000 “accountable” warheads apiece,[2] but the Kremlin’s forces were projected to decline more rapidly and deeply because of financial and technical limitations.

The two presidents differed on how to pursue smaller forces. Bush advocated unilateral reductions so the United States could readily alter the size and composition of its arsenal over time. But Putin favored codifying reductions in a treaty to help preserve some parity and predictability between the United States and Russia. Facing persistent pressure from both the Kremlin and top U.S. lawmakers, the Bush administration agreed to negotiate a legally-binding accord.

Nonetheless, the final product conformed closely to the Bush administration’s predisposed positions of minimizing constraints and maintaining flexibility. In March 2003, the Senate approved the treaty 95-0, and it entered into force June 1, 2003. SORT contains only five articles and totals less than 500 words.

Reductions: Unlike past strategic arms control agreements between Moscow and Washington, SORT does not specify which warheads are to be reduced or how reductions should be made.

The treaty states that the two sides will limit their strategic forces in accordance with earlier statements made by Presidents Bush and Putin.[3] These vague statements allow each side to interpret and implement its reductions as it sees fit. The United States has stated the treaty limits the number of warheads on its “operationally deployed” intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs), as well as warheads loaded on heavy bombers or stationed at heavy bomber bases. Some spare strategic warheads stored at heavy bomber bases, however, are not counted against the treaty limit. Moscow has not publicly stated what warheads it considers limited by the treaty. A May 2005 Department of State report noted, “ Russia could use the U.S. definition…or some other counting method to quantify its reductions.”[4]

There is no limit on how many strategic warheads the United States and Russia can keep in storage or reserve.[5] On July 9, 2002, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell testified to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, “The treaty will allow you to have as many warheads as you want.”

No warheads or delivery vehicle must be destroyed under the accord. Past strategic treaties spelled out precise destruction obligations and processes for eliminating delivery vehicles to ensure that “reduced” warheads could not be quickly redeployed. No previous accords mandated actual warhead destruction, but then-Presidents Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin agreed in March 1997 to explore warhead destruction as part of the two countries’ next reductions treaty.

SORT has no interim reduction levels or sublimits. The United States, however, has repeatedly stated it intends to lower its strategic warheads to 3,500-4,000 by 2007. Russia has not revealed any interim goals.

The treaty also does not regulate or constrain how deployed warheads are fielded. “Each party shall determine for itself the composition and structure of its strategic offensive arms,” the treaty declares. In effect, this means the United States and Russia can continue deploying multiple warheads on a single ICBM—a configuration banned by the 1993 START II accord. However, START II never entered into force and Russia repudiated the agreement on June 14, 2002—a day after the United States withdrew from the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty outlawing nationwide strategic ballistic missile defenses.

Verification: SORT has no provisions for assessing compliance. The Bush administration argued against such provisions, citing improved U.S.-Russian relations. Instead, the two sides said they would rely on the 1991 START verification regime for verifying implementation. However, START I expires December 5, 2009, three years before the SORT limit takes effect. The two governments agreed in the spring of 2006 to launch a working group to address START’s expiration.[6]

The treaty established the Bilateral Implementation Commission (BIC) as a confidential forum for discussing SORT implementation issues. The BIC meets twice per year.

In conjunction with SORT, the United States and Russia also created the Consultative Group for Strategic Security to explore additional strategic arms matters. Under this framework, the two sides formed three working groups, including one on “offensive transparency.”[7] This group met only four times—the last time in January 2005—before it was disbanded.

Withdrawal: Either party may withdraw from the agreement after providing a three months’ notice of its intent to do so. Atypical of most arms control treaties, the withdrawing party does not have to justify its action.


ENDNOTES

1. President Bush made this remark at a May 23, 2000 press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

2. The term accountable reflects the fact that the warhead figure is not precise. Instead, START I counting rules attribute a certain number of warheads per type of deployed delivery vehicle notwithstanding its exact capacity. For example, heavy bombers that are not equipped to carry long-range nuclear air-launched cruise missiles are counted as carrying only one warhead, regardless of the number of bombs or short-range missiles that they actually carry.

3. The statements cited by the treaty are:

  • President Bush on November 13, 2001: “The United States will reduce our operationally deployed strategic nuclear warheads to a level between 1,700 and 2,200 over the next decade, a level fully consistent with American security.”
  • President Putin on November 13, 2001: “ Russia is stating its readiness to proceed with significant reductions of strategic offensive arms. That is why today we are proposing a radical program of further reductions of [strategic offensive arms], at the least by a factor of three, to the minimum level necessary to maintain strategic equilibrium in the world.”
  • President Putin on December 13, 2001: “A particularly important task in these conditions is to legally formalize the agreements that have been reached on further drastic, irreversible, and verifiable reductions in strategic offensive arms, which we believe should be at the level of 1,500-2,200 nuclear warheads for each side.”

4. Department of State, Annual Report on Implementation of the Moscow Treaty, 2005,” May 20, 2005.

5. Washington announced in June 2004 that it plans to almost halve the total U.S. nuclear stockpile (deployed and non-deployed) of roughly 10,000 warheads by 2012.

6. The U.S. delegation to the working group is headed by Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Robert Joseph, while the Russian side is led by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak.

7. The other two working groups were devoted to missile defense and tactical (battlefield) nuclear weapons.

Strategic Arms Control and Policy

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Proposed U.S. Arms Export Agreements From January 1, 2005 to December 31, 2005

August 2006

Contact: Jeff AbramsonNon-Resident Senior Fellow for Arms Control and Conventional Arms Transfers, [email protected]

Updated: August 2006

During 2005, the Pentagon notified Congress of an estimated $12.329 billion in proposed, government-to-government, conventional arms transfer agreements with 22 countries and Taiwan.

The United States conducts government-to-government transfers through the Defense Department’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. Not all notified sales result in final transactions. Under the 1976 Arms Export Control Act, Congress must be notified of proposed sales of “major defense equipment,” as defined on the U.S. Munitions List, that equals or exceeds $14 million; defense articles and services that are not defined as “major defense equipment” which total $50 million or more; and construction or design services amounting to or surpassing $200 million.[1] However, if the proposed sale involves NATO members, Australia, Japan, or New Zealand, the notification thresholds are $25 million for major defense equipment, $100 million for other defense articles and services, and $300 million for construction or design services.[2] Once notified, Congress has 30 calendar days (15 in the case of NATO members, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand) to block a sale by passing a joint resolution of disapproval, though it has never stopped a sale once formally notified.

Greece, Saudi Arabia, and Australia were the only three interested buyers in 2005 that asked for more than a billion dollars worth of U.S. arms. Greece topped this trio with a $3.1 billion request for 40 F-16C/D fighter aircraft and associated weapons and equipment. A major procurer of U.S. arms since the 1991 Persian Gulf War, Saudi Arabia tallied nearly $2.9 billion in possible purchases, which were largely focused on modernizing and upgrading existing Saudi forces and weapons. Australia devoted most of its $1.2 billion total to missiles.

Although six more countries requested FMS deals in 2005 than in 2004, the total value of proposed sales dipped about $150 million. This slight reduction reflected the fact that most potential buyers in 2005—except for Greece—concentrated on pursuing missiles and other ancillary weaponry and equipment rather than major combat systems.

Country
Total Value
Weapons/Services
Greece

$3.1 billion

40 F-16C/D Block 52+ aircraft and associated equipment.

Saudi Arabia

$2.879 billion

Upgrade kits and services for 54 C-130E/H aircraft.

165 Fighter Data Link terminals.

Maintenance, spare and repair parts, and contractor services for a variety of aircraft and missiles.

Modernization of Saudi Arabian National Guard, including 144 armored personnel carrier vehicles and 51,400 F-2000 5.56mm assault rifles.

Australia
$1.258 billion

260 JASSM missiles (air-to-surface).

260 SLAM-ER missiles (air-to-surface).

Three MK 7 Aegis Weapons Systems.

175 SM-2 Block IIIA Standard missiles (ship-based anti-aircraft).

Singapore
$741 million

Weapons, training, and logistic support for F-15 combat aircraft, including 200 AIM-120C Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles
and 200 AIM-9X Sidewinder Missiles.

Israel
$630 million

100 Guided Bomb Units (GBU-28).

U.S. contractor management and logistics support for Israeli F-15 and F-16A/B combat aircraft engines, as well as spare and repair parts.

NOTES

1. The Department of State is also required to report to Congress any commercial sales it approves of “major defense equipment” that amount to $14 million or more, defense articles and services that equal or exceed $50 million, and any items defined as “significant military equipment.” As in the case of FMS sales, Congress can block the sale with a joint resolution of disapproval within 30 calendar days of notification (15 in the case of NATO members, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand). There are no official compilations of commercial agreement data and it is often incomplete and less precise than data on government-to-government transactions (Grimmett, Richard F., Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 1997-2004, Washington, D.C., Congressional Research Service, p. 15). The annual Section 655 report, prepared by the State and Defense Departments for Congress, details commercial licenses approved, but states have four years to act under the licenses. The State Department’s Office of Defense Trade Controls has final responsibility for license applications for commercial defense trade exports and all issues related to defense trade compliance, enforcement, and reporting.

2. Congress approved the higher notification thresholds for NATO members, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand in legislation passed in September 2002.

—Researched by Jeremy Wolland

Sources: Congressional Research Service, Defense Security Cooperation Agency, and Department of State.

Conventional Arms Issues

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Chronology of Bush Administration Claim that Iraq Attempted to Obtain Uranium from Niger (2001-2003)

August 2017

Contacts: Daryl G. Kimball, Executive Director, (202) 463-8270 x107

One of the chief arguments used by the Bush administration to justify the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 was that Saddam Hussein's Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear weapons program. For example, only three days before U.S.-led coalition forces invaded Iraq Vice President Dick Cheney claimed that Iraq had "reconstituted nuclear weapons." Central to the administration's argument were erroneous claims that Iraq had recently attempted to obtain lightly-processed uranium, or "yellowcake," from Africa and that it had attempted to acquire specialized aluminum tubes as part of a uranium enrichment program to produce fissile material, which is necessary for making nuclear weapons.

The claim regarding the uranium deal has become particularly contentious because President George W. Bush cited it in his January 28, 2003 State of the Union Address and because officials in the White House and the Office of Vice President Cheney waged a public campaign to discredit former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who publicly challenged the uranium claim in the summer of 2003. The administration's claims regarding Iraq's pre-war capabilities are the subject of the delayed, "second phase" of the investigation by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Contrary to White House assertions that the "intelligence was all wrong," as early as a year before the invasion U.S. intelligence assessments and senior U.S. officials disagreed about the reliability of the information supporting the main nuclear weapons-related assertions. Furthermore, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors working on the ground in Iraq found no evidence that Baghdad had reconstituted its nuclear weapons program.

The chronology of events involving the internal intelligence assessments and international inspections clearly demonstrates that senior Bush officials overlooked intelligence assessments that cast doubt on the claim that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear program.

The chronology also highlights that senior Bush administration officials also failed to take into consideration the findings and assessments of the IAEA inspectors working in Iraq from November 2002 to March 2003 that repudiated the nuclear program reconstitution allegation. The administration also gave short shrift to proposals from other UN Security Council members based on the inspectors' finding that called for a the continuation of the inspections, as well as the UN-mandated sanctions regime to contain and dismantle any remaining prohibited weapons activities in Iraq.

Background

Following Iraq's defeat in the 1991 Persian Gulf War, the international community discovered that Baghdad had a much more advanced nuclear weapons program than the United States or the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had suspected. The IAEA was charged with undertaking inspections to ensure that Iraq complied with disarmament requirements mandated by UN Security Council Resolution 687, but the United Nations withdrew the inspectors in December 1998 shortly before "Operation Desert Fox," the U.S.-U.K. military operation to strike known Iraqi weapons facilities.

The IAEA, however, reported in 1999 that, based on the inspectors' work until that time, there was "no indication that Iraq possesses nuclear weapons or any meaningful amounts of weapon-usable nuclear material, or that Iraq has retained any practical capability (facilities or hardware) for the production of such material."

The IAEA also cautioned that this statement was "not the same as a statement of [the weapons] non-existence." A 2001 Department of Defense report added that Iraq "still retains sufficient skilled and experienced scientists and engineers as well as weapons design information that could allow it to restart a weapons program."

The absence of inspectors, combined with the remaining uncertainty regarding Iraq's nuclear program, created concern that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear weapons program. Long before President George W. Bush sought to do so, many arms control and nonproliferation advocates urged UN Security Council members to pursue steps that would lead to the reintroduction of weapons inspectors.

The UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1441 in November 2002, requiring Iraq to comply fully with its disarmament requirements under relevant Security Council resolutions. Inspections resumed later that month. IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei reported to the Security Council March 7 that the inspectors had found "no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapons programme in Iraq."

Prior to a vote on a resolution to authorize the possible use of force to enforce UN Security Council Resolutions, congressional Democrats requested an intelligence assessment on Iraq's weapons capabilities. The October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) stated that that most agencies agreed that Iraq was reconstituting its nuclear weapons program.

However, the State Department's Bureau for Intelligence and Research (INR) did not agree. Its dissenting views were included in the full NIE report but not in the unclassified executive summary. The INR dissent stated that "available evidence indicates that Baghdad is pursuing at least a limited effort to maintain and acquire nuclear weapon-related capabilities" but that the evidence is "inadequate" to support the claim that "Iraq is currently pursuing an integrated and comprehensive approach to acquire nuclear weapons."

Chronology

2001-2002

February 20, 2001: Secretary of State Colin Powell tells reporters that, although Iraq is pursuing weapons of mass destruction (WMD), "[c]ontainment has been a successful policy" in limiting Baghdad's ability to threaten other regional countries." "Containment" referred to such measures as UN-mandated sanctions placed on Iraq after the 1991 Persian Gulf War, as well as no-fly zones.

Late 2001-early 2002: The United States gathers what Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet later terms "fragmentary intelligence" about Iraq's attempts to acquire uranium from Africa.

According to a July 2004 report from the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the CIA Directorate of Operations (DO) reports October15, 2001 that Niger had agreed to "ship several tons of uranium to Iraq." The DO issues a second report February 5, 2002 providing "more details" about the previously-reported agreement, including "what was said to be 'verbatim text' of the accord." Both reports are based on information from a foreign government service, widely reported to be Italian intelligence.

Based on the second report, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) produces its own report February 12 which states that Niger agreed to provide Iraq with 500 tons of yellowcake [lightly-processed uranium ore] to Baghdad, concluding that "Iraq probably is searching abroad for natural uranium to assist in its nuclear weapons program."

Shortly after, Vice President Dick Cheney reads the report and requests the CIA's assessment. The Director of Central Intelligence's (DCI) Center for Weapons Intelligence, Nonproliferation, and Arms Control (WINPAC) sends a report to Cheney which includes doubts as to whether the two countries had concluded a uranium deal. It also notes that the relevant intelligence "comes exclusively from a foreign government service report that lacks crucial details." The report adds that the CIA is "working to clarify the information and to determine whether it can be corroborated."

The CIA's DO later issues a third report March 25 which is also based on Italian government intelligence reports. This report does not appear to provide any significant new information.

These reports ultimately prove to be inaccurate. The U.S.-led Iraq Survey Group - the task force later charged with coordinating the U.S.-led search for Iraqi prohibited weapons - finds no evidence that Iraq tried to procure uranium from other countries, according to 2004 and 2005 reports from the group's top CIA adviser. And the CIA concludes in March 2003 that all of the original intelligence reporting was "unreliable" because it was based on forged documents, the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction reports March 31, 2005.

Late February 2002: The CIA's DO Counterproliferation Division (CPD)
sends former Ambassador Joseph Wilson to Niger to investigate reports about Iraq's attempts to acquire uranium from that country. Wilson later writes in The New York Times July 6, 2003, that "it was highly doubtful that any such transaction had taken place" because Niger's uranium industry is closely regulated by its government and is controlled by a consortium of foreign companies monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Wilson briefs this conclusion to the CIA when he returns in March 2002.

According to a March 8 report from CIA's DO, Wilson also tells the agency that former Nigerien Prime Minster Ibrahim Mayaki described a 1999 meeting with an Iraqi delegation. Prior to the meeting, an intermediary told Mayaki that the Iraqis wanted to discuss "expanding commercial relations" between the two countries - an overture Mayaki described to Wilson as an attempt to discuss yellowcake sales, the CIA report says. But Mayaki told Wilson that the two sides did not discuss uranium. Wilson tells Arms Control Today August 18, 2003 that Mayaki mentioned as an afterthought the possibility that the Iraqis wanted to discuss a uranium deal.

March 1, 2002: The State Department Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) distributes a report stating that claims regarding Iraqi attempts to obtain uranium from Niger are not credible. The analyst who drafted the assessment later tells Senate Intelligence Committee staff that "he had been told that the piece was in response to interest from" Cheney's office in the suspected deal.

March 5, 2002: Responding to a request from Cheney earlier in the month, WINPAC analysts send an "analytic update" regarding the Niger issue to Cheney's morning briefer. According to this report, Italian intelligence has been "unable to provide new information [to the United States], but continues to assess that its source is reliable."

The report also mentions that agency officials will be debriefing Wilson later that day, though apparently does not mention him by name.

March 8, 2002: The CIA's DO "widely distributes" a summary of Wilson's report to intelligence community entities. The CIA does not brief Cheney directly about Wilson's report, according the to the Senate Intelligence Committee, because agency analysts do not "believe that the report added any new information to clarify the issue."

Previous reports from U.S. Ambassador to Niger, Barbro Owens-Kirkpatrick and Deputy Commander in Chief, United States European Command, General Carlton Fulford provided no information that Niger planned to sell uranium to Iraq.

May 2002-October 2002: The intelligence community appears to produce inconsistent reporting about the suspected uranium deal, according to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

August 26, 2002: Cheney declares that "we now know that Saddam has resumed his efforts to acquire nuclear weapons…. Many of us are convinced that Saddam will acquire nuclear weapons fairly soon."

September 2002: The CIA expresses "reservations" to British intelligence about information regarding Iraqi efforts to acquire African uranium after the United Kingdom informs the agency about its plans to include the allegation in a forthcoming report about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, according to a July 11, 2003 statement from Tenet.

However, according to a July 2004 UK report regarding British intelligence on Iraq, the "CIA advised caution about any suggestion that Iraq had succeeded in acquiring uranium from Africa, but agreed that there was evidence that it had been sought."

September 24, 2002: The United Kingdom issues a report on Iraq's WMD program, stating that "there is intelligence that Iraq has sought the supply of significant quantities of uranium from Africa. Iraq has no active civil nuclear power programme or nuclear power plants, and therefore has no legitimate reason to acquire uranium."

According to three UK reports issued in 2003 and 2004, some British foreign ministry and intelligence officials continue to say that London had independent, reliable intelligence indicating that Iraq was indeed attempting to obtain uranium from Niger. But the United Kingdom has not disclosed this intelligence and the available public evidence suggests that it would not prove the uranium claim true.

October 1, 2002: A classified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE), a portion of which is later made public July 18, 2003, states, "A foreign government service reported that as of early 2001, Niger planned to send several tons" of uranium to Iraq, adding that "Niger and Iraq reportedly were still working out arrangements for this deal, which could be for up to 500 tons of yellowcake."

The NIE also says that "reports indicate Iraq also has sought uranium ore from Somalia and possibly the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We cannot confirm whether Iraq succeeded in acquiring uranium ore and/or yellowcake from these sources."

The NIE also contains a State Department INR dissent that characterizes "claims of Iraqi pursuit of natural uranium in Africa" as "highly dubious." National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice does not read the INR dissent, a senior administration official says July 18, 2003.

October 1-2, 2002: U.S. intelligence officials tell the Senate Intelligence Committee about the U.S. intelligence community's differences with the British report containing the Iraq uranium claim

October 5-7, 2002: Tenet calls Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley to request that a line referring to Iraqi attempts to obtain "substantial amounts of uranium oxide" be removed from a draft of a speech President George W. Bush is scheduled to give October 7.

The CIA's Associate Deputy Director for Intelligence sends a memorandum to Hadley and White House speechwriter Michael Gerson October 5, asking them to remove a similar line referring to Iraq's attempted acquisition of "500 metric tons of uranium oxide from…Africa."

The agency also sends a memorandum to the White House October 6 providing additional detail about the Iraq uranium claim and noting the U.S. intelligence community's differences with the United Kingdom over the intelligence. The memorandum is passed to both Hadley and Rice.
No reference to Iraqi uranium procurement attempts appears in Bush's October 7 speech.

Hadley and White House Communications Director Dan Bartlett reveal these details in a July 22, 2003, press briefing.

October 8, 2002: After several weeks of debate, the House of Representatives passes a resolution providing Bush with the authority to use military force against Iraq to enforce UN Security Council resolutions. The Senate follows suit October 11 and Bush signs the resolution October 16.

October 9, 2002: An Italian journalist provides the U.S. Embassy in Rome with "copies of documents pertaining" to the suspected uranium deal, according to the Senate Intelligence Committee. The embassy gives copies of the documents to both the State Department and CIA.

INR subsequently distributes copies of the documents to the relevant U.S. intelligence agencies, alerting them that it has "serious doubts about the authenticity of the documents," according to the 2005 WMD Commission report. Nevertheless, the agency continues to reference the suspected uranium transaction in several later assessments. WINPAC does not learn until mid-January 2003 that other intelligence agencies received the documents, the CIA later tells the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

October 16, 2002: Bush signs the congressional resolution authorizing him to use military force against Iraq.

The resolution authorizes Bush to use military force to "defend the national security of the United States against the continuing threat posed by Iraq" and "enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq."

It also requires Bush to submit to Congress his "determination" that reliance on "further diplomatic or other peaceful means alone" will either be insufficient to protect U.S. national security "against the continuing threat posed by Iraq" or "not likely to lead to enforcement of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq."

November 22, 2002: A French foreign ministry official tells State Department officials that Paris has "information on an Iraqi attempt to buy uranium from Niger" which it regards as "true," according to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

The forged documents also formed the basis for this intelligence, France later informs the United States.

December 17, 2002: WINPAC produces an analysis of Iraq's December 7 declaration to UN weapons inspectors. UN Security Council Resolution 1441, adopted November 8, 2002, required Iraq to submit a declaration "of all aspects of its [weapons of mass destruction] programmes." The declaration is supposed to provide information about any prohibited weapons activity since UN inspectors left the country in 1998 and to resolve outstanding questions about Iraq's WMD programs that had not been answered by 1998.

The analysis omits INR's dissenting viewpoints and states that Baghdad's declaration "does not acknowledge efforts to procure uranium from Niger."

The next day, the Department of State's Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Public Affairs Richard Boucher asks Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton for assistance in drafting a response to Iraq's declaration. Bolton assigns the task to the State Department's Nonproliferation Bureau, who prepares a fact sheet based on a draft of a December 20, 2002 speech by U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John Negroponte.

December 19, 2002: The State Department fact sheet charges Iraq with omitting its "efforts to procure uranium from Niger" from its declaration. INR does not clear the fact sheet, according to knowledgeable sources. INR requests that the fact sheet be modified to say the uranium procurement effort is "repeated" and notes its assessment that the validity of the allegation is "dubious," but the final fact sheet does not contain INR's suggested language. WINPAC approves the Niger language when it reviews the fact sheet, but later asks that Negroponte's final speech use "Africa" instead.

The IAEA requests information from the United States regarding the uranium claim "immediately after" the fact sheet's release, according to a June 20, 2003, letter from the IAEA to U.S. Congressman Henry Waxman (D-CA). This information is not supplied until February 4, 2003, according to a July 1, 2003, State Department letter to Waxman.

2003

January 20, 2003: Bush submits a report to Congress stating that Iraq omitted "attempts to acquire uranium" from its December 7 declaration to the United Nations.

January 23, 2003: Rice writes in The New York Times that Iraq's declaration "fails to account for or explain Iraq's efforts to get uranium from abroad." A White House report issued the same day asserts that Iraq's weapons declaration "ignores efforts to procure uranium from abroad."

January 26, 2003: Powell asks, "Why is Iraq still trying to procure uranium and the special equipment needed to transform it into material for nuclear weapons?" during a speech in Switzerland.

January 27, 2003: IAEA Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei tells the Security Council that IAEA inspectors "have to date found no evidence that Iraq has revived its nuclear weapons programme since the elimination of the programme in the 1990s."

January 28, 2003: Bush asserts that "the British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa" during his State of the Union address.

January 29, 2003: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld states during a press briefing that Iraq "recently was discovered seeking significant quantities of uranium from Africa."

February 4, 2003: State Department officials give the IAEA the information the agency requested about Iraq's attempts to obtain uranium from Niger, telling the agency that it "cannot confirm these reports and [has] questions regarding some specific claims."

February 5, 2003: Powell presents evidence, based on U.S. intelligence, about Iraq's prohibited weapons programs to the Security Council. He does not mention Iraqi attempts to obtain uranium from Africa.

February 14, 2003: ElBaradei reports to the Security Council that "we have to date found no evidence of ongoing prohibited nuclear or nuclear-related activities in Iraq," adding that "a number of issues are still under investigation and we are not yet in a position to reach a conclusion about them."

February 16, 2003: Hadley writes in The Chicago Tribune that "[a]ccording to British intelligence, the [Iraqi] regime has tried to acquire natural uranium from abroad."

February 24, 2003: Russia and France submit a memorandum to the Security Council stating that military force should not yet be used because there is "no evidence" that Iraq possesses illicit weapons. The resolution suggests several measures to strengthen the UN weapons inspections, noting that they have already "produced results." China also supports the resolution.

The resolution, however, cautions that Baghdad's cooperation, although improving, is not "yet fully satisfactory." Additionally, the memorandum does not rule out the use of military force as a "last resort" and states that "inspections…cannot continue indefinitely."

March 3, 2003: The IAEA notifies the U.S. Mission in Vienna that, based on its analysis of the relevant documents, as well as interviews with Iraqi officials, the agency has concluded that the documents are forgeries.

March 4, 2003: The United States learns that the French had based their intelligence assessments regarding the suspected uranium sale on the same forged documents.

March 7, 2003: ElBaradei tells the Security Council that the documents allegedly detailing uranium transactions between Iraq and Niger are "not authentic," adding that "these specific allegations are unfounded."

March 9, 2003: Powell acknowledges that the documents concerning the alleged Iraq-Niger uranium deal might be fake.

March 11, 2003: WINPAC issues an assessment which does "not dispute" the IAEA's conclusions regarding the documents. Although the report states "we are concerned that these reports may indicate Baghdad has attempted to secure an unreported source of uranium yellowcake for a nuclear weapons program," it describes the intelligence as "fragmentary and unconfirmed."

March 16, 2003: Cheney states on NBC's "Meet the Press" that the IAEA's March 7 assessment that there is no evidence of an active Iraqi nuclear weapons program is "wrong."

March 19, 2003: U.S.-led coalition military forces invade Iraq.

April 5, 2003: The National Intelligence Council states that the intelligence community agrees that the documents in question are forgeries. The report adds that "other reports from 2002-one alleging warehousing of yellowcake for shipment to Iraq, a second alleging a 1999 visit by an Iraqi delegation to Niamey [Niger]-do not constitute credible evidence of a recent or impending sale."

June 8, 2003: Rice acknowledges on "Meet the Press" that the intelligence underlying the Niger claim "was mistaken," but also states that "no one in our circles knew that there were doubts and suspicions that this might be a forgery."

June 17, 2003: The CIA produces a memorandum for Tenet stating that "since learning that the Iraq-Niger uranium deal was based on false documents earlier this spring, we no longer believe that there is sufficient other reporting to conclude that Iraq pursued uranium from abroad." The memorandum is not distributed outside the agency, according to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

July 6, 2003: The New York Times publishes Ambassador Wilson's op-ed.

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Proposed U.S. Arms Export Agreements From January 1, 2004 to December 31, 2004

January 2005

Contact: Jeff AbramsonNon-Resident Senior Fellow for Arms Control and Conventional Arms Transfers, [email protected]

Updated: January 2005

During 2004, the Pentagon notified Congress of an estimated $12.477 billion in proposed, government-to-government, conventional arms transfer agreements with 16 countries, including Taiwan.

The United States conducts government-to-government transfers through the Defense Department's Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. Not all notified sales result in final transactions. Under the 1976 Arms Export Control Act, Congress must be notified of proposed sales of "major defense equipment," as defined on the U.S. Munitions List, that equals or exceeds $14 million; defense articles and services that are not defined as "major defense equipment" which total $50 million or more; and construction or design services amounting to or surpassing $200 million.[1] However, if the proposed sales involve NATO members, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand, the notification thresholds are $25 million for major defense equipment, $100 million for other defense articles and services, and $300 million for construction or design services.[2] Once notified, Congress has 30 calendar days (15 in the case of NATO members, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand) to block a sale by passing a joint resolution of disapproval, though it has never stopped a sale once formally notified.

Two traditional purchasers of U.S. arms—Turkey and Taiwan—topped all potential buyers in seeking the largest sums of weapons in 2004. Turkey requested nearly $4 billion in upgrades and armaments for 218 F-16 combat aircraft perviously acquired from the United States, while Taiwan asked to procure two long-range early warning radars worth almost $1.8 billion. Pakistan and Afghanistan, which reemerged as destinations for U.S. arms transfers as part of the U.S.-led war on terror following more than a decade of being denied access to American weapons, were the only other countries in 2004 to seek more than a billion dollars in U.S. military buys. Pakistan sought a range of advanced weaponry, including early warning aircraft and anti-tank missiles, totaling roughly $1.3 billion. Still in the process of forming a professional military, Afghanistan requested $1 billion to recruit, train, and house its budding army.

The Pentagon notified Congress of $5 billion more in possible arms agreements in 2004 than the preceding year even though four fewer countries sought U.S. weapons deals. One factor for the larger 2004 sum was that potential recipients pursued more expensive purchases. Turkey, Taiwan, and Afghanistan each requested separate deals worth more than $1 billion, while in 2003 no proposed individual deal surpassed the $1 billion mark.

The Top Five Recipients of Proposed FMS Deals From January 1 to December 31, 2004

Country
Total Value
Weapons/Services
Turkey
$3.984
Equipment and weapons upgrades for 218 F-16 combat aircraft. The weapons include 225 AIM-9X SIDEWINDER missiles, 5 AIM-9X Dummy Air Training
missiles, and 20 AIM-9X Captive Air Training missiles.
Taiwan
$1.776 billion
2 Ultra High Frequency long-range early warning radars.
Pakistan
$1.285
8 P-3C aircraft with T-56 engines.

2,000 TOW-2A anti-armor missiles.

6 PHALANX Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWS) and upgrades for 6 PHALANX CIWS.

Harris High Frequency/Very High Frequency radio systems, including 1,635 20-Watt High Frequency (HF) Man Packs, 1,635 20-Watt HF Vehicular Systems, 50 150 Watt HF Vehicular Systems, six 400-Watt HF Base Station Systems, and two Radio Frequency Remote Control Systems.

Afghanistan
$1 billion
Facilities and infrastructure for recruitment, garrison, and training for the Afghan National Army.
Japan
$903 million
20 PATRIOT Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missile interceptors.

40 SM-2 Block IIIB Tactical Standard missiles.

9 SM-3 Block 1A Standard missiles.

NOTES

1. The State Department is also required to report to Congress any commercial sales it approves of "major defense equipment" that amount to $14 million or more, defense articles and services that equal or exceed $50 million, and any items defined as "significant military equipment." As in the case of FMS sales, Congress can block the sale with a joint resolution of disapproval within 30 calendar days of notification (15 in the case of NATO members, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand). There are no official compilations of commercial agreement data and it is often incomplete and less precise than the data on government-to-government transactions (Grimmett, Richard F. "Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 1996-2003," Washington D.C.: The Library of Congress, p. 15). The annual Section 655 report, prepared by the State Department and Defense Department for Congress, details commercial licenses approved, but states have four years to act under the licenses. The State Department's Office of Defense Trade Controls has final responsibility for license applications for commercial defense trade exports and all issues related to defense trade compliance, enforcement, and reporting.

2. Congress approved the higher notification thresholds for NATO members, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand in legislation passed in September 2002.

—Researched by Daniel Zeitlin

Sources: Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Department of State, and Arms Control Association

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Proposed U.S. Arms Export Agreements From January 1, 2003 to December 31, 2003

April 2004

Contact: Jeff AbramsonNon-Resident Senior Fellow for Arms Control and Conventional Arms Transfers, [email protected]

Updated: April 2004

During 2003, the Pentagon notified Congress of an estimated $7.431 billion in proposed, government-to-government, conventional arms transfer agreements with 20 countries, including Taiwan.

The United States conducts government-to-government transfers through the Defense Department's Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program. Not all notified sales result in final transactions. Under the 1976 Arms Export Control Act, Congress must be notified of proposed sales of "major defense equipment," as defined on the U.S. Munitions List, that equals or exceeds $14 million; defense articles and services that are not defined as "major defense equipment" which total $50 million or more; and construction or design services amounting to or surpassing $200 million.[1] However, if the proposed sales involve NATO members, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand, the notification thresholds are $25 million for major defense equipment, $100 million for other defense articles and services, and $300 million for construction or design services.[2] Once notified, Congress has 30 calendar days (15 in the case of NATO members, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand) to block a sale by passing a joint resolution of disapproval, though it has never stopped a sale once formally notified.

Middle Eastern countries accounted for nearly half the value of all proposed sales, totaling some $3.36 billion in arms requests. Egypt led all possible buyers with nearly $1.29 billion in potential deals, including 125 M1A1 Abrams tank kits and 414 air-to-air missiles. Saudi Arabia's $1.23 billion in possible agreements-most of which were not actual weapons, but for continued modernization of its national guard-ranked second. Jordan, which sought eight Blackhawk helicopters and upgrades for 17 F-16A fighters, tallied $651 million in arms requests. Taiwan ($775 million) and the Czech Republic ($650 million) were the other two countries showing the most interest in American weapons.

During 2002, the Pentagon notified Congress of $15.534 billion in possible agreements with 29 countries, more than twice the 2003 total. Recently enacted legislation, which increased reporting thresholds on proposed Pentagon sales to NATO members, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand, is one possible explanation for the much smaller figure.

Country
Total Value
Weapons/Services
Egypt
$1.29 billion
414 AIM-9M-1/2 Sidewinder Air-to-Air Missiles.

2 C-130H-based Roll-on/Roll-off airborne Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) Systems.

10,040 non-standard rounds of commercial 120mm Armor Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot-Tracer (APFSDS-T) Kinetic Energy Tungsten Advanced cartridges.

100 M1114 High Mobility Multi-purpose Wheeled Vehicles (HMMWV), 400 M1113 HMMWVs, 50 M997A2 HMMWV ambulances, and spare engines.

Co-production of 21 M88A2 Hercules Heavy Recovery Vehicle Kits, and 21 M2 machine guns.

Co-production of 125 M1A1 Abrams tank kits with Commander's Independent Thermal Viewer, Firepower Enhancement Package, and Armor Upgrades. 125 M256 Armament Systems, 125 M2 .50 caliber machine guns, and 250 M204 7.62mm machine guns.

Saudi Arabia
$1.23 billion
4 AN/AAQ-24(V) NEMESIS Directional Infrared Countermeasures Systems.

Continued Modernization of the Saudi Arabian National Guard, by providing minor defense articles and defense support services.

Taiwan
$775 million
102 Multifunctional Information Distribution Systems (MIDS)/Low Volume Terminals, and 20 MIDS On Ships Terminals.
Jordan
$651 million
1 AN/AAQ-24(V) NEMESIS Directional Infrared Countermeasures System.

17 F-16A Mid-Life Upgrade kits, 12 F-100 engine PW-220E modification kits, 17 Falcon UP and Falcon STAR F-16A/B structural upgrade kits.

8 UH-60L Blackhawk helicopters with T-700-GE-701C engines, 4 spare T-700-GE-701C engines, M130 chaff dispenser.

Czech Republic[3]
$650 million
12 F-16A Block 15 Air Defense Fighter aircraft, 2 F-16B Block10 Operational Capabilities Upgrade (OCU) aircraft, 2 F-16A Block 10 OCU aircraft for cannibalization, 16 Pratt and Whitney F-100-PW-220 engines including 2 spare engines, and 35 LAU-129 launchers.

NOTES

1. The State Department is also required to report to Congress any commercial sales it approves of "major defense equipment" that amount to $14 million or more, defense articles and services that equal or exceed $50 million, and any items defined as "significant military equipment." As in the case of FMS sales, Congress can block the sale with a joint resolution of disapproval within 30 calendar days of notification (15 in the case of NATO members, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand). There are no official compilations of commercial agreement data and it is often incomplete and less precise than the data on government-to-government transactions (Grimmett, Richard F. "Conventional Arms Transfers to Developing Nations, 1995-2002," Washington D.C.: The Library of Congress, p. 15). The annual Section 655 report, prepared by the State Department and Defense Department for Congress, details commercial licenses approved, but states have four years to act under the licenses. The State Department's Office of Defense Trade Controls has final responsibility for license applications for commercial defense trade exports and all issues related to defense trade compliance, enforcement, and reporting.

2. Congress approved the higher notification thresholds for NATO members, Australia, Japan, and New Zealand in legislation passed in September 2002.

3. Instead of finalizing the sale of the F-16s with the United States, the Czech Republic decided to lease 14 new Gripen fighters from Gripen International, a British-Swedish company.

—Researched by Gabrielle Kohlmeier

Sources: Defense Security Cooperation Agency, Department of State, and Arms Control Association

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