U.S. Military Support
The United States does sell guns to Bahain, which may be harming pro-demcracy protesters. According to the Associated Press artcle U.S. arms sales to Bahrain scrutinized,
Much of the flow of military hardware to Bahrain was for aircraft and military electronics, but the U.S. also licensed $760,000 in exports of rifles, shotguns and assault weapons in 2010.
UNITED STATES ARMS SALES
The United States government coordinates billions of dollars in arms sales to Bahrain, including helicopters, tanks and artillery. According to the State Department’s Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs,
Since the 1991 Gulf War, the U.S. has provided military and defense technical assistance and training to Bahrain from Foreign Military Sales (FMS), commercial sources, excess defense article sales (EDA) and under the International Military and Education Training (IMET) program.
The U.S. Office of Military Cooperation in Bahrain is attached to the U.S. Embassy and manages the security assistance mission. U.S. military sales to Bahrain since 2000 total $1.4 billion.
Principal U.S. military systems acquired by the BDF include eight Apache helicopters, 54 M60A3 tanks, 22 F-16C/D aircraft, 51 Cobra helicopters, 9 MLRS Launchers (with ATACMS), 20 M109A5 Howitzers, 1 Avenger AD system, and the TPS-59 radar system. Bahrain has received $195 million in FMF and $410 million in U.S. EDA acquisition value delivered since the U.S.-Bahraini program began in 1993. The Bahrain Defense Force also placed orders for 9 UH-60M Blackhawk helicopters and 2 Mk-V Fast Patrol Boats. Delivery of both systems was planned for 2009.
Military exercises are conducted on a regular basis to increase the BDF’s readiness and improve coordination with the U.S. and other GCC forces. The BDF also sends personnel to the United States for military training. This training includes courses from graduate level professional military education down to entry level technical training. [bold emphasis is mine]
Yes, the Bahraini military personnel that are torturing wounded patients in the hospital may have been trained in the United States.
BRITISH ARMS SALES
Britain was selling tear gas and CS grenades to Bahrain in 2010, despite Bahrain’s dismal human rights record, but suspended weapons sales this year due to Bahrain’s abuses. However, the United States has reaffirmed its commitment to Bahrain and will continue to be a major supplier.
REGIONAL ARM SALES
The United States is also heavily arming Saudi Arabia, which has invaded Bahrain and assisted its terror campaign. The U.S. approved a $60 billion dollar arms deal to Saudi Arabia in 2010, which is the largest military deal in U.S. history.
Saudi Arabia has even requested to expand the huge deal in an offer to U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on April 6, three weeks after the Saudi invasion.
The United States needs to rethink its foreign policy in the Middle East. Its vast arms sales to repressive dictators are not promoting democracy, social reform or stability.