KUWAIT CITY, Jan 24: Two powerful US Senators are asking questions over why US fighter jets deals with Qatar and Kuwait have been delayed for two years — while at the same time putting the blame for the delays on the Barack Obama administration, reports Al-Rai daily quoting US defense news website. Qatar’s request for the F-15E Strike Eagle and Kuwait’s request for the F-18E/F Super Hornet are two years old.
According to a congressional source, the Defense Department and the State Department both support the sales, while the White House has put on the brakes. That belief was reinforced on Jan 20 when the Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, a frequent critic of the Obama administration, questioned the delay at a time when America’s Sunni allies are looking for reassurance in the midst of diplomatic thaw in relations between the US and their chief rival in the region, Iran. “I have no doubt that the Obama administration has pursued a new relationship with Iran because it believes doing so would diminish sectarian tensions in the region, but the reality is that the administration’s overtures to Iran have only exacerbated those tensions,” McCain said.