Russia claims discovery of secret US-Georgia armaments channel

The PAC-3

The PAC-3

Several Russian newspapers carried lead articles yesterday, describing the alleged discovery of a secret Washington-led project of supplying the Republic of Georgia with $100 million-worth of US weapons supplies. The articles cited “anonymous Russian intelligence sources” in claiming that the US is in the process of secretly providing Georgia with, among other things, a Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) advanced surface-to-air guided missile air defense system. If true, the allegations could raise eyebrows in Congress, as the PAC-3 cannot legally be exported by the US government without explicit Congressional authorization. But Russian media report that, according to secret documents acquired by Russian military intelligence, the US government plans to circumvent Congressional scrutiny by delivering the weapons to Georgia through a private exporter, Barrington Alliance Inc., headquartered in Chicago, of which little is known. Moreover, Russian intelligence sources allege that the weapons transfers to Georgia are facilitated through third countries, particularly Israel and the Ukraine. If true, this pattern of third-party weapons distribution would not be unique in recent US history. Israel was one of the primary facilitators of US weapons transfers to Nicaragua during the Iran-Contra scandal, as well as to Honduras, Ecuador, El Salvador, and other destinations, in the 1980s.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

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