Big Stick

U.S. Plans $60B Saudi Arms Deal

The Obama administration is planning on a $60 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, the biggest U.S. weapons sale ever, and is working on selling tens of billions of dollars’ worth more to the kingdom. The White House will tout the deal, involving advanced fighter jets and helicopters, as a big jobs creator, one that could employ as many as 75,000 people. But a key goal is to strengthen ties to Middle Eastern countries that provide a counterbalance to Iran. Congress will be notified this week of a plan to sell the Saudis 84 F-15 fighter jets (and upgrade another 70), plus 70 Apache helicopters, 72 Black Hawks, and 36 Little Birds. A $30 billion deal to revamp the Saudi navy is also in the works.