Posted by on May 11, 2012 in Blog

Despite objections by human rights groups and activists, the Obama administration has signaled a willingness to resume arms sales to Bahrain. Bahrain's usually sizeable military purchases were put on hold last year, in the midst of a large-scale Bahraini government crackdown against its people. Earlier today, the Obama administration apparently decided that "our own U.S. national security interests," necessitate the resumption of military sales.

Though officials have promised to continue to withhold crowd control weaponry such as "tear gas, tear gas launchers, stun grenades," etc., they have thus far refused to dislose the actual contents of the military package, or its total value. 

Senior officials have acknowledged that "the violence on the street is continuing" and that "in some respects it may be even increasing," but have explicitly refused to make the military sales contingent on the implementation of political reforms, stressing instead the primacy of our "national security objectives." 

You can read the State Department's special briefing on Bahrain here.

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