March 26, 2001

The President
The White House
Washington, DC  20500

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing to express our concerns regarding the proposed $700 million
sale of F-16 fighter jets to the Government of Chile.  We believe
introducing advanced combat aircraft armed with sophisticated weapons
technology into Latin America is unnecessary, provocative and potentially

As you know, Chile announced in December its intention to purchase up to a
dozen F-16 Block 50 combat aircraft from Lockheed Martin.  It is our
understanding that the Pentagon has authorized the export of certain power
projection technologies to Chile including the sale, but not the release of
advanced medium range air-to-air missiles (AMRAAM), the cutting edge
LITENING II deep strike navigation system, and fuel tanks that double the
range of the aircraft.  We strongly urge you not to sell Chile these
technologies that could spark a regional arms race if Chile’s neighbors try
to match its arms buys.

Currently Chile has fighter aircraft equal to, if not better than, those of
any other air force in the region.  Countries such as Argentina and Bolivia
may be compelled to divest funds from needed domestic spending to purchase
comparable aircraft.  Chile itself will need to spend 90% of its defense
acquisition budget for the next 10 years to purchase these weapons - an
amount nearly equal to 30 cents of every dollar Chile earns in exports.
While these Latin American countries are starting to show signs of economic
growth, they can ill afford to expend scarce resources on high-priced and
excessive weaponry at the expense of basic domestic needs.

Furthermore, if the U.S. sells its most advanced fighter technology to Chile
it will be difficult to deny other advanced weapons and similar technologies
to U.S. friends in the region.

We urge you to consult with the United States’ allies in Latin America to
work toward greater regional stability through a cooperative multilateral
agreement with limits on numerical and technological military modernization.
Comments in the February 7 Washington Post by the Argentinian Foreign
Minister Adalberto Rodriguez Givarini, that Buenos Aries will not spend
money on “military gadgets” are welcome and exhibit a willingness to show
restraint. We look forward to working with you in the future to prevent
destabilizing arms acquisitions in Latin America.


John Isaacs
President, Council for a Livable World

James K. Wyerman
Executive Director, 20/20 Vision

James Mat lack
Director, Washington Office of American Friends Service Committee

Carlos A Walker Uribe
Program Officer, Arias Foundation for Peace and Human Progress

Kathleen Miller
British American Security Information Council

Rachel Stohl
Senior Analyst
Center for Defense Information

Adam Isacson
Director, Latin America Demilitarization Project
Center for International Policy

Cristina Espinel and Barbara Gerlach
Co-Chairs, Colombia Human Rights Committee

Martha Honey
Director, Peace and Security Program
Institute for Policy Studies

Bob Schwartz
Executive Director, Disarm Education Fund

Tamar Gabelnick
Director, Arms Sales Monitoring Project
Federation of American Scientists

Joe Volk
Executive Director, Friends Committee on National Legislation Stacie Jonas
Director, Bring Pinochet to Justice Campaign
Institute for Policy Studies

Alice Zachmann
Director, Guatemala Human Rights Commission/USA

Lynn Fredriksson
Interim Coordinator, Indonesia Human Rights Network

Marie Dennis
Director, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns

Katherine Hoyt
National Co-Coordinator, Nicaragua Network

Gordon S. Clark
Peace Action Education Fund

Mark Saucier and Alice Wolters
National Coordinators, Peru Peace Network

Susan Marie Andrews
Saint Louis Economic Conversion Project

School of the Americas Watch

Jean Stokan
Policy Director, SHARE Foundation

Peter Davies
U.S. Representative, Saferworld

Kimberly Robson
Director, Women’s Action for New Directions

Bill Hartung
President’s Fellow, World Policy Institute

cc: Secretary of State Colin Powell
cc: Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld
cc: Vice-President Richard Cheney
cc: National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice