Inside the beltway

Inside the beltway

Letter to Secretaries Clinton and Gates

November 10, 2010

The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton The Honorable Robert M. Gates

Secretary of State Secretary ofDefense

US. Department ofState US. Department ofDefense

2201 C Street, N.W. 100 Defense Pentagon

Washington, D.C. 20520 Washington, D.C. 20301-1000

Dear Madam Secretary and Mr. Secretary:

We write concerning the notification to Congress of arms sales to Saudi Arabia with a reported value of approximately $60 billion, the largest in United States history. Some ofus have been briefed about aspects ofthe sales; others have not. Congress takes seriously its responsibility under the Arms Export Control Act to review potential sales ofdefense articles and services abroad. Therefore, we are writing to raise concerns and pose a number of strategic questions about the impact such sales would have on the national security interests ofthe United States and our allies.

We would like you to explain the rationale for a sale of such magnitude. What U.S. policy goals and interests are advanced by this sale and have we placed any conditions on it? What is the threat or threats that this sale is intended to address? Do the Saudis share our assessment ofthose thTeats, and will they be amenable to, and capable of, carrying out these missions? We are also concerned about the potential repercussions for our friends and for our own forces in the region in the event ofpolitical change in Saudi Arabia.

We are also concerned about whether these transfers are being integrated into broader US. national security policies. As you know, a recently-released report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) concluded that the Departments of State and Defense “did not consistently document how arms transfers to Gulf countries advanced U.S. foreign policy and national security goals …”.

We also continue to be troubled about aspects ofSaudi regional policy. For example, we have serious concerns about the nature ofSaudi involvement in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, particularly since the Saudis have failed to take steps toward normalization ofrelations with Israel or to augment their financial support to the Palestinian Authority.

Likewise, Saudi officials have often made clear their anxiety over the prospect of an Iranian nuclear weapons capability. But what action, if any, has Saudi Arabia taken to address this threat? For example, have the Saudis used their considerable leverage in the international oil market to diminish Iran’s oil revenue? And what have the Saudis done to stem terrorist financing? What steps has Saudi Arabia taken to support U.S. counter-proliferation efforts and to substantially improve their own non-proliferation record? We would like to know ifthese types of issues were addressed in the course ofnegotiating these arms sales with the Saudis.

We also want a clear understanding ofhow these sales are likely to impact others in the region. America has long been committed to Israel’s qualitative military edge (QME) -that is, its ability to prevail against any combination ofregional threats. While we understand the Administration has worked productively with Israel to address Israeli security concerns, we would like to know how these arms sales will affect Israel’s QME and what steps we have taken, or are planning to take, to maintain and strengthen Israel’s edge.

We believe that arms transfers, particularly those ofthis magnitude and involving such sophisticated equipment, require careful Congressional scrutiny and oversight in order to ensure that our national security interests are advanced and our allies are protected. We look forward to your response to the questions we have raised and to discussing these matters with you in the weeks ahead.


Members of Congress Signed on to Berman and Ros-Lehtinen Letter to Administration

Regarding Potential Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia

1. Rep. Howard L. Bennan

2. Rep. lleana Ros-Lehtinen

3. Rep. Gary Ackennan

4. Rep. Dan Burton

5. Rep. John Adler

6. Rep. Rodney Alexander

7. Rep. Jason Altmire

8. Rep. Robert E. Andrews

9. Rep. Joe Baca

10. Rep. Michele Bachmann

11. Rep. Spencer Bachus

12. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett

13. Rep. Shelley Berkley

14. Rep. Judy Biggert

15. Rep. Brian P. Bilbray

16. Rep. Gus M. Bilirakis

17. Rep. Timothy H. Bishop

18. Rep. Marsha Blackburn

19. Rep. Roy Blunt

20. Rep. Jo Bonner

21. Rep. Mary Bono Mack

22. Rep. John Boozman

23. Rep. Madeleine Z. Bordallo

24. Rep. Dan Boren

25. Rep. Leonard Boswell

26. Rep. Charles W. Boustany, Jr.

27. Rep. Robert Brady

28. Rep. Bruce L. Braley

29. Rep. Vern Buchanan

30. Rep. Ken Calvert

31. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito

32. Rep. Michael E. Capuano

33. Rep. Dennis Cardoza

34. Rep. Christopher P. Carney

35. Rep. Michael N. Castle

36. Rep. Jason Chaffetz

37. Rep. Judy Chu

38. Rep. Howard Coble

39. Rep. Steve Cohen

40. Rep. Gerald E. Connolly

41. Rep. Jim Costa

42. Rep. Joe Courtney

43. Rep. Mark Critz

44. Rep. Joseph Crowley

45. Rep. Henry Cuellar

46. Rep. John Culberson

47. Rep. Geoff Davis

48. Rep. Susan Davis

49. Rep. Peter A. DeFazio

50. Rep. Diana DeGette

51. Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro

52. Rep. Charles Dent

53. Rep. Theodore E. Deutch

54. Rep. Joe Donnelly

55. Rep. Mike Doyle

56. Rep. Brad Ellsworth

57. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson

58. Rep. Eliot L. Engel

59. Rep. Bob Filner

60. Rep. John Fleming

61. Rep. Virginia Foxx

62. Rep. Barney Frank

63. Rep. Trent Franks

64. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen

65. Rep. John Garamendi

66. Rep. Scott Garrett

67. Rep. Jim Gerlach

68. Rep. Louie Gohmert

69. Rep. Charlie A. Gonzalez

70. Rep. Sam Graves

71. Rep. Gene Green

72. Rep. Brett Guthrie

73. Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez

74. Rep. Deborah L. Halvorson

75. Rep. Phil Hare

76. Rep. A1cee L. Hastings

77. Rep. Dean Heller

78. Rep. Jeb Hensarling

79. Rep. Wally Herger

80. Rep. James A. Himes

81.Rep. Maurice Hinchey

82. Rep. Paul W. Hodes

83. Rep. Tim Holden

84. Rep. Rush D. Holt

85. Rep. Mike Honda

86. Rep. Duncan D. Hunter

87. Rep. Bob Inglis

88. Rep. Jay Inslee

89. Rep. Steve Israel

90. Rep. Jesse L. Jackson, Jr.

91. Rep. Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr.

92. Rep. Steve Kagen

93. Rep. Dale Kildee

94. Rep. Peter T. King

95. Rep. Steve King

96. Rep. Mark Steven Kirk

97. Rep. Larry Kissell

98. Rep. Ron Klein

99. Rep. John Kline

100. Rep. Doug Lamborn

101. Rep. Leonard Lance

102. Rep. John B. Larson

103. Rep. Tom Latham

104. Rep. Steven C. LaTourette

105. Rep. Christopher John Lee

106. Rep. John Lewis

107. Rep. Daniel Lipinski

108. Rep. Frank A. LoBiondo

109. Rep. Cynthia M. Lummis

110. Rep. Daniel E. Lungren

111. Rep. Stephen F. Lynch

112. Rep. Connie Mack

113. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney

114. Rep. Kenny Marchant

115. Rep. Doris O. Matsui

116. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy

117. Rep. Kevin McCarthy

118. Rep. Tom McClintock

119. Rep. Thaddeus G. McCotter

120. Rep. James P. McGovern

121. Rep. Mike McIntyre

122. Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon

123. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers

124. Rep. Michael Michaud

125. Rep. Candice S. Miller

126. Rep. Christopher S. Murphy

127. Rep. Patrick J. Murphy

128. Rep. Tim Murphy (P A)

129. Rep. Sue Wilkins Myrick

130. Rep. Jerrold Nadler

131. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton

132. Rep. Pete Olson

133. Rep. John Olver

134. Rep. William L. Owens

135. Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr.

136. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr.

137. Rep. Erik Paulsen

138. Rep. Mike Pence

139. Rep. Ed Perlmutter

140. Rep. Gary C. Peters

141. Rep. Chellie Pingree

142. Rep. Joseph R. Pitts

143. Rep. Todd Russell Platts

144. Rep. Ted Poe

145. Rep. Jared Polis

146. Rep. Tom Price

147. Rep. Mike Quigley

148. Rep. Denny Rehberg

149. Rep. Laura’Richardson

150. Rep. David P. Roe

151. Rep. Mike Rogers (AL)

152. Rep. Mike Rogers (MI)

153. Rep. Peter J. Roskam

154. Rep. Mike Ross

155. Rep. Steven R. Rothman

156. Rep. Edward R. Royce

157. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersburger

158. Rep. Linda T. Sanchez

159. Rep. Loretta Sanchez

160. Rep. John P. Sarbanes

161. Rep. Steve Scalise

162. Rep. Janice D. Schakowsky

163. Rep. Mark H. Schauer

164. Rep. Adam B. Schiff

165. Rep. Jean Schmidt

166. Rep. Allyson Y. Schwartz

167. Rep. Pete Sessions

168. Rep. John Shadegg

169. Rep. Brad Shennan

170. Rep. Albio Sires

171. Rep. Adrian Smith

172. Rep. Christopher H. Smith

173. Rep. Cliff Steams

174. Rep. John Sullivan

175. Rep. Betty Sutton

176. Rep. John S. Tanner

177. Rep. Glenn W. Thompson

178. Rep. Patrick J. Tiberi

179. Rep. Paul D. Tonko

180. Rep. Edolphus Towns

181. Rep. Niki Tsongas

182. Rep. Michael Turner

183. Rep. Fred Upton

184. Rep. Chris Van Hollen

185. Rep. Peter J. ViscIosky

186. Rep. Greg Walden

187. Rep. Timothy J. Walz

188. Rep. Zach Wamp

189. Rep. Debbie Wassennan Schultz

190. Rep. Henry A. Waxman

191. Rep. Anthony D. Weiner

192. Rep. Peter Welch

193. Rep. Charles A. Wilson

194. Rep. Joe Wilson

195. Rep. Frank R. Wolf

196. Rep. David Wu

197. Rep. John Yannuth

198. Rep. Don Young

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