U.S. sales of weapons to Taiwan is always a big part of U.S.-China politics. U.S. sale of military weapons to Arab nations is always a critical element in Israeli-US relations. The same holds for a ground based U.S.-Israel joint laser weapon. Sale of shoulder fired missiles to the Taliban was a key issue in the American-USSR battle in Afghanistan.
A similar diplomatic battle raged over American missiles in Europe in 1984 and in 2009.
We never know the real details of the weapons issues.
Strangely the U.S released details on an airborne laser anti-rocket weapon this February. This is a weapon designed to fire over a 200 mile radius from a 747 flying at 40,000 feet. It will presumably ignite a liquid fired rocket from launch moving at +5 mach. It is a chemical laser and will be replaced with a solid state laser when one is ready.
How much is true? Is it only good for one firing? Will it destroy a solid state rocket? Can it be defeated with mirrors?
My late friend Sam Sternberg always said that the American anti-missile weapons were a farce. He argued that they were always tested against cardboard dummies.
Whatever the case. America's foreign policy of Iran containment seems based on this airborne laser. Israel doesn't have much confidence in it. How do you feel?