The Arab Spring, the Iraq withdrawal and subsequent military cuts have led some naysayers to speculate that America’s influence in the Middle East will decline. But Via Meadia thinks these predictions may be premature. Bloomberg reports:
Turkey will purchase two Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT) F-35 fighter jets and and 15 helicopters from Textron Inc. (TXT) for the police department, the Defense Industries Undersecretary said today in a statement.
The F-35s allows Turkey to formally participate in the exclusive U.S.-led nine nation Joint Strike Fighter consortium. It is expected that Turkey will eventually purchase dozens more F-35s—provided that the program doesn’t face further delays. And following last week’s $30 billion defense deal with Saudi Arabia and the announcement of a major U.S.-Israeli missile defense drill, it appears that America is poised to continue to wield significant influence in the region. The Obama Administration’s recently announced plan to cut $500 billion from the Pentagon’s budget has raised some eyebrows, and the Middle East remains challenging terrain where there is always something new to worry about, but the US remains, by far, the paramount power in a dangerous part of the world.