WASHINGTON (Nov. 4)
The Reagan administration’s proposed sale of $1 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia, which was submitted to Congress last week, is expected to go through with little or no opposition.
This was assured when the White House agreed on Oct. 5 to eliminate Maverick anti-tank missiles from the arms package during discussions with leading Senate opponents of the sale.
Supporters of Israel, both in Congress and in the organized Jewish community, had seen the Mavericks as posing a potential threat to Israel. Before the compromise was reached, there were enough votes in the Senate and House both to reject the sale and to override a presidential veto of the rejection.
Once the Mavericks were removed, there was little inclination to fight the arms sale, particularly in view of current United States military maneuvers in the Persian Gulf.
The proposed sale to the Saudis now includes 12 F-15 jet fighters, conversion kits to improve the performance and ease the maintenance of the F-15s the Saudis already have and conversion kits to upgrade 150 M-60AI tanks.
The administration has promised that the F-15s will be sent to the Saudis only as replacements for any of the 60 F-15s they now have that are no longer usable.
The sale goes through automatically if Congress does not pass a resolution rejecting the sale within 50 days of being notified by the administration.