US defense sales to Bahrain rose before crackdown
WASHINGTON (AP) — A new State Department report shows the U.S. approved $200 million in military sales from American defense firms to Bahrain in 2010, months before the autocratic regime there was rocked by instability and a harsh crackdown on protesters.
The approved sales to Bahrain in the 2010 fiscal year included aircraft, military electronics and $760,000 in rifles, shotguns and assault weapons. The tumult spurred by popular uprisings has since prompted the Obama administration to review its defense trade and freeze some transactions to the Mideast and North Africa.
The State Department report shows that U.S. military sales surged by $112 million to Bahrain between the 2009 and 2010 fiscal years. U.S.-licensed defense exports around the world have remained mostly steady over that period.