Senate kills Rand Paul’s bill to prohibit sales of F-16s to Egypt

posted at 10:31 am on February 1, 2013 by Allahpundit

Meant to blog this last night but got sidetracked by the day-long Hagel clusterfark. The vote on Paul’s bill wasn’t close: 79-19, with more Republicans voting against it (26) than for it (19). Why? For the same reason McCain looked the other way at Morsi’s Jew-baiting and backed continued aid to Egypt. Namely, leverage:

[T]he pro-Israel lobbying group American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) actually opposed Paul’s amendment. An AIPAC official explained to The Daily Caller News Foundation that the committee feared that the measure, if passed, would diminish U.S. influence in Egypt.

A few extra F-16s aren’t going to change the balance of air power between the IAF and Egypt’s air force but they do help — in theory — keep relations warm-ish between the U.S. and Egypt’s military. Jim Inhofe, who wanted the F-16 sales suspended but not canceled, as Paul’s amendment would have done, explained to the Daily Caller why he voted no on Paul’s bill:

“We need to continue to support the Egyptian military, which [Egyptian President Mohammed] Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood have currently distanced themselves from,” Inhofe said. “Egypt’s military is our friend — Morsi is our enemy.”

The country’s new defense minister, a Morsi appointee but one who was trained in the U.S., warned last week that if the Brotherhood and the opposition didn’t reconcile soon, Egypt would face collapse. Is that a hint of a coup? Inhofe wants to make sure we have the military’s goodwill in case it is, or of course in case Morsi orders the military to do something nutty like attack Israel. (Whether the new defense minister, Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, is himself a Brotherhood stooge or more interested in preserving the military’s prerogatives is an open question.)

There may be other reasons for wanting Egypt to continue using American equipment. I got this e-mail from a reader last week, after an earlier post about the F-16 sales. I’m not qualified to judge how accurate it is but it’s interesting enough that I thought I’d post it for reader feedback:

It is in our interest to continue supplying F-16s and tanks to Egypt, despite the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood, enemies of the US, run the government.

I am a former USAF navigator/weapon systems officer in F-4E Phantom fighters and former employee at the old General Dynamics F-16 factory in Fort Worth, TX.

Fighter jets need continual parts and technical support from the factory to fly. As long as Egypt uses US-made fighter jets, we have a leash on their use. If Egypt turns hostile, we can cut off support and their fighter fleet will be largely unflyable within a year.

When Khomeini took over Iran, they were flying US-made F-4s and F-14s. Through black market parts and cannibalization of other jets, they were able to keep only a few of them flying. So, the bottom line is that using advanced US military technology enforces a dependence upon us which we may withdraw at any time. If they convert their fleet to MiGs, we lose our leash on Egypt’s air force.

As long as we supply Egypt with hardware, we also maintain a liaison with their military, which is the true power center of the country. Many have noted that Egypt’s revolution did not turn bloody because the Egyptian military refused to violently intervene, which was credited to the decades of training that Egyptian field grade officers received in the US. That is where Egyptian officers were exposed to how the military of a democratic country acts. It paid off.

While governments come and go, the military of even volatile countries usually stays in place. It is in our interest to maintain a relationship with the Egyptian military, even though it seems counterintuitive to supply weapons to a hostile Islamist regime. We have to think beyond the Morsi government to prepare to influence a secular successor.

The downside of supplying weapons to the Egyptians is that they will probably pass examples of them along to the Russians and Chinese. However, we give them second class avionics, not the best stuff which gives our air force the advantage. And the F-16 is no longer cutting edge technology. We’re retiring them by the hundreds to the boneyard in the Arizona desert for storage.

Fair points all. I’m skeptical that it’d be terribly difficult for Egypt to replace most parts for the F-16 on the black market, but I’m speaking from ignorance here. Correct me if I’m wrong, please.

One other note about the Senate vote: Take a close look at who voted with Paul to oppose tabling his bill. Any names jump out? The most conspicuous hawks in the Senate — McCain, Graham, and new third amigo Kelly Ayotte — all voted to kill Paul’s bill, but one notable hawkish up-and-comer voted to keep it alive. Hmmmmm.



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If Egypt turns hostile, we can cut off support and their fighter fleet will be largely unflyable within a year.

Great, as long as Egypt doesn’t use its planes within a year of turning hostile, we have nothing to worry about!

DKCZ on February 1, 2013 at 10:34 AM

they need to sell those F-16s to the south side of Chicago.

GhoulAid on February 1, 2013 at 10:36 AM

Paul is great. I would like him somewhere in the next republican administration

Flapjackmaka on February 1, 2013 at 10:37 AM

I have no problem with us selling F-86 Sabres to the Muslim Brotherhood…What? They’re F-16s? Oh HELL no.

Way to go traitorus Congress d-bags…

Battlecruiser-operational on February 1, 2013 at 10:37 AM

(traitorous) Ah, spell check..

Battlecruiser-operational on February 1, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Free F-16s for the Muslim Brotherhood while they’re trying to ban “assault” weapons for American citizens.

Wake up, America.

Red Cloud on February 1, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Do they come with a remote kill switch?

OldEnglish on February 1, 2013 at 10:40 AM

But, what’s a billion and a half dollars or so among friends… What?

Fallon on February 1, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Yes you can use parts supply to keep a leash on the F-16′s, so long as they continue to use F-16′s. If they go Russian however, then it doesn’t matter.

Zaggs on February 1, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Paul is great. I would like him somewhere in the next republican administration

Flapjackmaka on February 1, 2013 at 10:37 AM

How about the White House? He sure is better by a nautical mile than last year’s crop.

Archivarix on February 1, 2013 at 10:41 AM

What fools these mortals be!File this post under Senate Idiocy and save it for the moment Egypt uses those weapons against us or Israel. Then rub their noses in it!

Boats48 on February 1, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Blue Buddha!

Bmore on February 1, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Another thing that may be lost on most senators, if Egypt deteriorates to a civil war, those F-16 may end up bombing civilians.

Zaggs on February 1, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Its a tough deal. Our table talk last night pretty much came to the conlusion we needed to stay in touch with Egypt’s military until we knew they were against us as well. If Egypt goes full muzzibro Suadi Arabia has some decisions to make.

DanMan on February 1, 2013 at 10:43 AM

Why arent we gifting jetfighters to Russia or China? I mean, c’mon… if we’re going to give our weapons to Egypt, we better bring enough for everyone.

Jeddite on February 1, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Now I don’t wanna hear one sentence about how Rand is incompetent because he can’t get anything done. He tried his best and the Senate aborted his attempt before it even reached the 2nd trimester.

MelonCollie on February 1, 2013 at 10:44 AM

Who cares that Rubio voted against it? He’s already shown his true colors.

Notorious GOP on February 1, 2013 at 10:45 AM

Meant to blog this last night but got sidetracked by the day-long Hagel clusterfark Tenth bottle of Newcastles ale.

Heh heh heh…

SWalker on February 1, 2013 at 10:47 AM

Yes AP.. We understand that Rubio is running for President. He hasn’t been subtle about this.

Illinidiva on February 1, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Well Allah, it is certainly possible to keep them flying through the black market, but it becomes prohibitively expensive, and they will lose capability no matter what. Also remember, Arabs are notoriously terrible at maintenance, leaving everything up to “God’s Will”. That’s a possibly crucial difference with the Iranians, who are Persian. That may very well explain how they’ve been able to maintain the F-4s, F-14s, and the P-3 (which still flies 3-4 times a week). Although I doubt the F-4s and F-14s are flying anymore. There is a limit to what you can do, and they haven’t been seen flying for years.

Also, when the US retired the F-14s, they very publicly and loudly destroyed every F-14, largely to show Iran they couldn’t try to sneak parts out of surplus to keep theirs (the last in the world) flying.

JeffWeimer on February 1, 2013 at 10:50 AM

The GOP rapid decay into oblivion continues.

Mr. Arrogant on February 1, 2013 at 10:51 AM

So, shouldn’t we sell military hardware to North Korea and Iran, too, if it means we can keep them on a leash?

changer1701 on February 1, 2013 at 10:51 AM

At this point, I welcome a military coup in Egypt. It’s the less worse option.

rbj on February 1, 2013 at 10:53 AM

So this “august” body of deliberative intellects (read: Senate) is what Forrest’s mom was talking about when she said, “stupid is as stupid does, Forrest.”

totherightofthem on February 1, 2013 at 10:59 AM

Meant to blog this last night but got sidetracked by the day-long Hagel clusterfark. The vote on Paul’s bill wasn’t close: 79-19, with more Republicans voting against it (26) than for it (19). Why? For the same reason McCain looked the other way at Morsi’s Jew-baiting and backed continued aid to Egypt. Namely, leverage:
======================================================

Heard this tidbit!

Morsi…….Enemy!

Eyptian Military…….. Friend??

canopfor on February 1, 2013 at 11:00 AM

@MelonCollie Go ahead, MC. Tell us how you REALLY feel. :-)

tommy71 on February 1, 2013 at 11:01 AM

As long as it helps our economy, as I’m sure amnesty for illegals will, I’m all for it.

What’s that you say? It won’t.

It’s like we have idiots running the country.

fogw on February 1, 2013 at 11:02 AM

SIGH

gophergirl on February 1, 2013 at 11:02 AM

I also like the kill switch idea mentioned above. Bet its been thought of and the remote is in the air via AWAC.

DanMan on February 1, 2013 at 11:02 AM

The point about parts and technical support is valid, and true. (I designed and tested advanced military engines).

tngmv on February 1, 2013 at 11:10 AM

MelonCollie on February 1, 2013 at 10:44 AM

…yet he voted to confirm Kerry. Has he said why?

DanMan on February 1, 2013 at 11:11 AM

Why don’t we really get on their good side and gift them with a few F-22s, F-117s, and the occasional B-2?

Liam on February 1, 2013 at 11:12 AM

I don’t agree with Senator Paul’s tactic of trying to attach this to the debt ceiling bill (which is why I suspect it failed). That complicates the debt ceiling strategy on which Republicans finally seem to be moving with a single voice.

But that said, there are a few Republicans with some explaining to do.

Alexander (R-TN)
Ayotte (R-NH)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Blunt (R-MO)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Corker (R-TN)
Enzi (R-WY)
Flake (R-AZ)
Graham (R-SC)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kirk (R-IL)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Portman (R-OH)
Toomey (R-PA)
Wicker (R-MS)

Marcus Traianus on February 1, 2013 at 11:12 AM

Fighter jets need continual parts and technical support from the factory to fly. As long as Egypt uses US-made fighter jets, we have a leash on their use. If Egypt turns hostile, we can cut off support and their fighter fleet will be largely unflyable within a year.
=================================================================

Hmmmm…an Insurance Policy!!

canopfor on February 1, 2013 at 11:16 AM

Egypt is broke, without our aid the country would revert to the middle ages in a week.

And last I looked, nether the Russians or the ChiCom give their jets away for free.

The idea that if we don’t give them weapons, they’ll get them from someone else, is simply ludicrous.

Rebar on February 1, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Take a close look at who voted with Paul to oppose tabling his bill. Any names jump out?

The conservative faction is starting the 2016 kabuki dance.

This is a great thing. It sends a message early that RINO’s will be challenged hard and on every front. It lays down a marker. The nominee will require better credentials than just saying “I’m severely conservative.”

I hope there’s something left in 3 1/2 years to fight for.

ironbill on February 1, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Egypt may not have a problem procuring parts for M1 Abrams or F-16s (not sure how much I’d trust a Chinese copy of an F16 part…). The problem Egypt has is that they don’t have the skill or expertise to maintain the vehicles themselves – that’s done by American contractors. I think that could possibly be a card up-the-sleeve for us were something to go south in a serious way between Egypt and Israel.

John_G on February 1, 2013 at 11:23 AM

…yet he voted to confirm Kerry. Has he said why?

DanMan on February 1, 2013 at 11:11 AM

I would hazard a guess that Kerry is the least sucktastic of all the lousy choices he has to pick from. Which isn’t much of an excuse, I admit, but that’s the bitter reality.

MelonCollie on February 1, 2013 at 11:24 AM

So just to sum up:

If you are an American citizen you don’t have a right to own a rifle or a magazine with a higher capacity than 7.

If you are a jihadist government hostile to Israel and freedom in general then you get tanks and fighter jets.

gwelf on February 1, 2013 at 11:31 AM

As we speak, the Egyptians are killing and murdering Coptic Christians, as well as other minorities. We should not be sending them these tools of war.

MoreLiberty on February 1, 2013 at 11:32 AM

The vote on Paul’s bill wasn’t close: 79-19, with more Republicans voting against it (26) than for it (19). Why? For the same reason McCain looked the other way at Morsi’s Jew-baiting and backed continued aid to Egypt.

…You call them Republicans…we know better!… and McCain is a senile sh!t!
We have to build the Party from the 19 who have operating brain cells…the 26 blue-dog democrats/republicans have to go!

KOOLAID2 on February 1, 2013 at 11:35 AM

I like Rand Paul on everything except immigration. Unfortunately illegal immigrants (including those who received amnesty in 1986) have played a major role in destroying our country … and will continue to do so.

bw222 on February 1, 2013 at 11:35 AM

Grouped By Vote Position on the F-16 Bill. Reads like a Who’s Who of RINOs:

Alexander (R-TN)
Ayotte (R-NH)

Baldwin (D-WI)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Baucus (D-MT)
Begich (D-AK)
Bennet (D-CO)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Burr (R-NC)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)

Coons (D-DE)
Corker (R-TN)
Donnelly (D-IN)
Durbin (D-IL)
Enzi (R-WY)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Flake (R-AZ)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Graham (R-SC)
Hagan (D-NC)
Harkin (D-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heinrich (D-NM)
Heitkamp (D-ND)
Hirono (D-HI)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)

Johnson (D-SD)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kaine (D-VA)
King (I-ME)
Kirk (R-IL)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Manchin (D-WV)
McCain (R-AZ)
McCaskill (D-MO)
McConnell (R-KY)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Murphy (D-CT)
Nelson (D-FL)
Portman (R-OH)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schatz (D-HI)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Toomey (R-PA)
Udall (D-CO)
Udall (D-NM)
Warner (D-VA)
Warren (D-MA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wicker (R-MS)
Wyden (D-OR)

bw222 on February 1, 2013 at 11:44 AM

“We need to continue to support the Egyptian military, which [Egyptian President Mohammed] Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood have currently distanced themselves from,” Inhofe said. “Egypt’s military is our friend — Morsi is our enemy.”

There’s a long-term recipe for success…

JohnGalt23 on February 1, 2013 at 11:48 AM

This guy is doing all the right things for 2016.

Bob's Kid on February 1, 2013 at 11:50 AM

How about the White House? He sure is better by a nautical mile than last year’s crop.

Archivarix on February 1, 2013 at 10:41 AM

He has 5 times the chance to get nominated then his father. But 5×0 is still 0

Flapjackmaka on February 1, 2013 at 11:57 AM

Why doesn’t Rand Paul support not selling F16s to anyone?

verbaluce on February 1, 2013 at 12:00 PM

MelonCollie on February 1, 2013 at 11:24 AM

Yeah but putting Kerry in that spot is exactly like the muzzi tradition of building a mosque over a captured cathedral. It was an in your face move and Kerry would have been seated without any gop votes. The only worse person I can think of than the Winter Soldier is Bill Ayers hisself.

DanMan on February 1, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Why are we calling this a “sale” instead of a “gift”?

And, not to question the obvious brilliance of our betters in government, but if you want to keep the “sales” as leverage, wouldn’t you have greater leverage is this vote was a lot closer?

besser tot als rot on February 1, 2013 at 12:35 PM

Just a clarification. This was not a bill, but S. AMDT #9 that Paul put forth. The actual bill they were voting on was H.R. 325, the Debt Ceiling bill.

There were 5 AMDT’s and the votes were all to Table them. None of the AMDT’s passed.

The Republicans that voted to Support Paul’s AMDT were as follows:

Boozman(R-AR), Coats (R-IN), Cornyn (R-TX), Crapo (R-ID), Cruz (R-TX), Fischer (R-NE),Grassley (R-IA), Heller (R-NV), Lee (R-UT), Moran (R-KS), Paul (R-KY), Risch (R-ID),Roberts (R-KS), Rubio (R-FL), Scott (R-SC), Sessions (R-AL), Shelby (R-AL), Thune (R-SD),
Vitter (R-LA)

Senator Cruz was on Levin last night and indicated that there may be a separate bill to address this issue that Paul’s AMDT was about.

At least Paul was speaking out against this insanity. I watched the discussions and he was great defending his position on the Senate floor. He defended the U.S. and McCain defended the Muslim Brotherhood and our enemies.

bluefox on February 1, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Do they come with a remote kill switch?

OldEnglish on February 1, 2013 at 10:40 AM

Torg: Yes, sir. The ship appears to be run by computer. It is the only thing that is speaking.
Kruge: Speaking? Let me hear it.
Enterprise computer: [Torg walks over to a console, placing his communicator towards it] 9-8-7-6-5…
Kruge: [shouts] Get out! Get out of there! Get out!

Tenwheeler on February 1, 2013 at 12:50 PM

That was a long convoluted explanation for hoping to hold on to your “ball licking and hope for the best” position.

Hopefully a minimum of American children will be molested while you give free training to the pilots who will fly the free planes.

BL@KBIRD on February 1, 2013 at 2:45 PM

Why doesn’t Rand Paul support not selling F16s to anyone?

verbaluce on February 1, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Because Rand Paul, unlike you, is not a whiny child with the political sense of a houseplant.

MelonCollie on February 1, 2013 at 6:53 PM

As we speak, the Egyptians are killing and murdering Coptic Christians, as well as other minorities. We should not be sending them these tools of war.

MoreLiberty on February 1, 2013 at 11:32 AM

This ^^^^^^^

TEXASLEGAL on February 1, 2013 at 8:50 PM

Great, Rubio is Romney with a tan…

ChuckTX on February 2, 2013 at 10:23 AM

With this president, if Egypt does attack Israel (a war is always a good way to hold power when the natives get restive), the US won’t come to the aid of Israel. Therefore, every plane delivereed to Egypt diminishes the advantage that the Israeils have. And remember, we train the Egyptian pilots. As good as the Israelis are, we are not helping them.

georgeofthedesert on February 2, 2013 at 5:05 PM