Should the United States Sell Fighter Jets to the Gulf?

The timing and phasing of recent U.S. arms deals in the Middle East underscore the complicated balance for the United States of addressing the concerns and needs of multiple partners in the region who frequently view each other with suspicion. The White House approved the sale of fighter aircraft to Qatar and Kuwait in late […]

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Putin’s Belligerence Reaches a Tipping Point

Turkey shot down a Russian fighter jet today after it violated the country’s airspace. The Turkish military claims it issued ten warnings before shooting down the aircraft, while Russia denies any breach of Turkish territory. The incident marks the most serious direct confrontation between a NATO member and Russia in half a century. Russian President […]

Is Israel About to Lose Its Edge in the Air?

In a September 2 letter to Congress, Secretary of State John Kerry insisted that Washington would ensure Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge (QME) in the wake of the Iran nuclear deal. The letter highlighted items the Obama administration has provided Israel, including the delivery of Jerusalem’s first F-35 stealth fighters slated for next year. But expectations […]

Russian Forays Into Turkish Airspace Challenge Ankara’s Syria Policy… And NATO

Russian warplanes entered Turkish airspace from Syria twice over the weekend, sending Turkish F-16s scrambling. In separate incidents on Monday, a Russian-made Syrian MiG-29 jet placed two Turkish F-16s patrolling the border under radar lock for several minutes. Later that day, Syrian surface-to-air missile batteries locked on to another flight of Turkish F-16s. The incidents […]

Iraqi Military’s Lack of Airpower Enabling ISIS’s Advance

This week’s stunning advance by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham (ISIS) presents some serious questions about the legitimacy of Iraqi security forces (ISF) and Washington’s policy of giving billions in military aid to troubled Middle Eastern governments. Since the fall of Fallujah in early January, the Iraqi military has failed to put down the […]

An Edge in the Desert

Weapons are pouring into the Middle East at an unprecedented rate. The Pentagon recently announced that it would sell six tilt-rotor Osprey aircraft to Israel for $1.3 billion, American hardware (including Apache helicopters) is being rushed to the Iraqi government to help in its battle against al Qaeda, and Washington has also restored military aid to Egypt after a brief hiatus. But Uncle […]