U.S. arms sales to foreign countries on credit terms will increase again in fiscal year 1978 if Congress approves the budget proposed by President Ford. But President-elect Jimmy Carter, during his campaign for the office, condemned rising U.S. arms sales as "cynical" and "dangerous."
The Ford budget depicts rising arms sales on credit terms, estimated at $2.2 billion in the new budget year, as part of a U.S. shift away from military grants. "The purpose of this shift is to reduce the ultimate cost to the United States and to encourage greater self-reliance on the part of recipients," the budget proposal said.
The budget reported that Israel will receive "a substantial portion" of the arms credits. While no figures were given, informed sources said Israel is scheduled to receive $1 billion of the U.S.-assisted military sales, half of this in the form of a "loan" it need not pay back. Israel would also receive $500 million in grant aid, bringing its total U.S. assistance for the year $1.5 billion, by far the largest for a single country.
Israeli officials, who backed a congressional battle to increase Israeli's aid allotment last year, have said they will fight for $2.3 billion in U.S. assistance. The stand of the Carter administration is unclear.