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Demand for U.S. arms exports set to keep growing, official says

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International demand for U.S. weapons systems is expected to continue growing in coming years, a senior U.S. Air Force official said on Sunday, citing strong interest in unmanned systems, munitions and fighter jets.

“The appetite just keeps getting bigger and bigger,” U.S. Air Force Deputy Undersecretary Heidi Grant told Reuters in an interview on the eve of the Farnborough International Airshow.

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U.S. arms sales approved by the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency rose 36 percent to $46.6 billion in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2015, and are likely to remain strong this year, Grant said.

Grant, the Air Force’s top international arms sales official, said she was working with many countries in eastern Europe and others that wanted to increase their defenses following Russia’s annexation of the Crimea region of Ukraine, but faced tough budget constraints.

Pooling resources was one option being explored, she said, noting that many European countries already pooled and shared their transport assets in the European Air Transport Command.

Transport has been a big concern for European countries given delays in deliveries of the Airbus Group SE A400M military transport plane caused by a series of technical challenges on the multi-national development program.

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France recently purchased four Lockheed Martin Corp C-130J transport planes to help bridge the gap, particularly given its military operations in Africa. Germany is also considering buying C-130J planes to cover additional needs that government sources say would not be addressed by the A400M.

Grant said there were early discussions about the U.S. military joining the European transport pool to help Europe meet its transportation and logistics needs.

The U.S. Air Force was also exploring the possibility of adding some C-130J aircraft to the Strategic Airlift Capability, a consortium of 12 nations that operates three Boeing Co C-17 transport planes from Papa Air Base in Hungary, she said.

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“We’re looking at all kind of different options,” Grant said. “We’re just looking for creative solutions to get at this gap in a resource-constrained environment.”

No decisions had been made and there were still important questions to resolve, including who would bear the cost of expanding the current efforts, she said.

Grant said newly confirmed Air Force Chief of Staff David Goldfein had carried out 14 bilateral meetings with officials from other countries and six industry partners during his visit to the Royal International Air Tattoo, the world’s largest military air show, in England this past week.

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Goldfein’s top priority, she said, was to increase the ability of the U.S. military to cooperate and work together with allies and coalition partners, and he had talked with industry about how best to incentivize that kind of approach.

(Editing by Paul Simao)


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Trump Organization boasts about India towers just days after Eric Trump says family doesn’t do international business

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The Trump Organization undermined Eric Trump's lie about the president's family ending its international business dealings.

President Donald Trump's second son falsely claimed last week to Fox News host Laura Ingraham that he and his siblings "got out of all international business" after their father took office.

"The difference between us and Hunter (Biden) is, when my father became commander in chief of this country, we got out of all international business," Eric Trump said.

However, the Trump Organization run by Eric Trump and his older brother Donald Trump Jr. sent out a tweet Monday morning promoting the Trump Towers in Pune, India.

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Trump struggles to regain his footing after a week from hell leaves the White House in turmoil

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Donald Trump has had some bad weeks in office, but rarely has the US president seen one as difficult as the week ending Sunday, with members of both parties as well as US diplomats rebelling over his Syria and Ukraine policies, while a public uproar forced him to beat a late-night retreat over his choice of a Trump golf resort to host next year's G7 meeting.

The week began with Trump's stunning announcement -- over Twitter -- that he was pulling American troops out of Syria and abandoning their Kurdish allies as Turkey prepared for what seemed sure to be a bloody invasion. The blast of criticism from Republican lawmakers had no precedent during Trump's time in office.

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Trump wants to ‘wash his hands of responsibility for the Kurds’: US official tells NBC News

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A source reportedly told NBC News on Monday that President Donald Trump wants to "wash his hands of responsibility for the Kurds."

NBC correspondent Richard Engel reported the remarks on Monday morning.

"US officials tell me Trump wants to wash his hands of responsibility for the Kurds," Engel wrote on Twitter. "The US mil/gov gave Kurds REPEATED assurances of protection. US even asked Kurds to REMOVE defenses BEFORE the Turkish offensive. Kurds complied and now being displaced. WH says not our problem."

Read the tweet below.

US officials tell me Trump wants to wash his hands of responsibility for the Kurds. The US mil/gov gave Kurds REPEATED assurances of protection. US even asked Kurds to REMOVE defenses BEFORE the Turkish offensive. Kurds complied and now being displaced. WH says not our problem.

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