Middle East: Phantoms for Israel

If there was ever hope for a limit to the arms race in the Middle East, Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko quashed it during his visit to the U.S. He was simply uninterested. Accordingly, last week President Johnson responded to a year-old Israeli request for 50 U.S. F-4 Phantom fighter-bombers to match the growing supersonic strength of the Arab air forces. He ordered the State Department to begin negotiations with Israel about the sale of the jets—thereby making possible continued Israeli superiority in the air.

Since the Phantoms will not be delivered until next year at the earliest, the chief immediate...

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