The Secretary of State,
Washington, DC, February 6, 2008.
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: I am writing to you regarding the proposed sale of Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAMs) to Saudi Arabia under the rubric of the Gulf Security Dialogue. Over the last year, we have consulted closely with Congress and our partners in the region on the proposed sale. This sale is important to U.S. national interests in the Gulf region. It will strengthen our relationship with Saudi Arabia and will enhance regional security and stability.
The United States has offered for sale a number of military goods to friendly governments in the region to support U.S. interests. In preparing these sales, we have worked closely with our friends in the region to ensure the proposed transfers strengthen stability and security regarding potential challenges from Iran or other threats in the region. We have consulted closely about this sale with Israel and remain committed to the preservation of Israel's qualitative military edge. I can assure you that the sale of JDAMs to Saudi Arabia will not affect Israel's qualitative military edge. The Government of Israel understands the reasons for this sale and does not object to it.
We are mindful of the sensitivity of some of the technology being transferred, and will continue to keep Congress informed on the details of this sale, particularly of any changes in the arrangements we have briefed the committee. We have had, and will continue to have, thorough discussions with the Government of Saudi Arabia regarding its obligations resulting from this sale. As a result of these discussions, we are confident that the Government of Saudi Arabia will undertake all necessary measures to secure these weapons and to assure their use only in ways which we support. In particular, the Government of Saudi Arabia will provide adequate security for the JDAMs such that these weapons will not fall into the hands of other nations or groups. Moreover, the Government of Saudi Arabia will ensure that these weapons will not be used against U.S. forces or the forces of U.S. allies.
I hope this resolves any concerns that might exist about this sale. We would be happy to discuss further with you, if you desire. We look forward to working with you to secure the advancement of U.S. interests in the Gulf region.