WASHINGTON (Jul. 21)
A congressman and a retired admiral today criticized the Ford Administration’s proposed $350 million air defense system sale to Jordan. Rep. Morris K. Udall (D, Ariz), one of several congressmen who have introduced a resolution in the House to block the sale, said while Congress expected to receive a proposal to sell arms to Jordan it did not expect to get one so large.
“This $350 million deal would bring about a definite threat to the present balance of power in the Middle East and an obvious negative impact on the effort to bring peace to that troubled part of the world,” Udall said.
Retired Admiral Elmo Zumwalt, former Chief of U.S. Naval Operations, in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today, said the sale would encourage Jordan to take part in any future war with Israel. He said the sale was excessive and dangerous, would upset the balance of power and the U.S. would be risking its friendly relations with both Jordan and Israel. Zumwalt also stressed that the sale would force Israel to consider both preemptive attack and deep penetration of Jordan to avoid a war of attrition along the Jordan River.