Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | pentagon | weapons | buyer | isis | threat

Pentagon Weapons Buyer Says Threat Remains Beyond ISIS

Sunday, 22 February 2015 10:49 AM

The threat of extremist groups will persist in the Middle East even if Islamic State militants are defeated, a U.S. defense official said.

“Once that problem is dealt with those threats will still be here,” Undersecretary Frank Kendall, the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer, said in an interview today in Abu Dhabi. “To some degree, the threat of extremist organizations will remain, even if it’s suppressed a great deal, or its territorial ambitions are defeated.”

Kendall, who was in United Arab Emirates to attend the International Defence Exhibition, said precision weapons are needed in the campaign against the Islamic State to ensure forces engage with their intended targets.

“Enduring threats and enduring security concerns” exist independent of Islamic State, said Kendall, who is scheduled to meet Emirati officials tomorrow before traveling to Saudi Arabia.

The U.S. is leading a coalition of nations, including the U.A.E., carrying out air strikes against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. Egypt has also launched strikes in Libya targeting the group. Those countries will be evaluating their munitions inventories and replacing their stocks as they use up resources, Kendall said.

He called the sales of F-35s jets made by Lockheed Martin Corp. a “very sensitive issue” and did not foresee any sales of the jet fighters in the region “anytime soon.”

Though some countries are looking beyond the U.S. for their military needs, Kendall said he’s not afraid of competition.

“We’re a very capable industry,” he said.

Asked whether the U.S. would consider sharing more technological know-how, Kendall said the approach is evolving.

“It’s not economically viable for the United States to do all new designs internally for all of its own equipment,” he said. “Increasingly, we’re all going to have to be willing to enter international deals where it makes both economic and military sense for us.”

 

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The threat of extremist groups will persist in the Middle East even if Islamic State militants are defeated, a U.S. defense official said."Once that problem is dealt with those threats will still be here," Undersecretary Frank Kendall, the Pentagon's top weapons buyer, said...
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Sunday, 22 February 2015 10:49 AM
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