Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Obama's foiled $77-million army transport deal with Gaddafi


The White House discreetly approved a $77 million business deal with Libya to deliver around 50 reconditioned armored cars months before the widespread protests happened and President Obama called for Col. Muammar al-Gaddafi to step down.
However, the Congress questioned the Obama administration's support for the agreement saying that the deal will strengthen the dictator's military mobility and thereby favoring the UK firm, BAE Systems, Inc.--the US 12th largest government contractor, theAP said.
Washington has been increasing its arms sale to Tripoli over the years. In 2007, the US approved $5 million for defense sales to Libya, which peaked to $46 million the following year under the Bush administration--including the $1 million for explosives and combustible agents.
Under the Obama administration, defense sales to the oil-rich state decreased to $17 million in 2009 but would have swelled to $77 million had the deal materialized in 2010.
The multi-million dollar business agreement was aborted without action said the report.
Mark Toner of the State Department said the deal was suspended together with the rest of "what limited defense trade we had with Libya."
Shipments to Libya had been thoroughly screened under the Obama and Bush governments.
US military sales to the North African state is nothing compared to the EU that approved a $470 million sale of weapons in 2009, which include Italy's army aircrafts, Maltese small arms, and UK-made ammos.
Details of this report here.
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