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By Cora Currier, ProPublica 

Black Hawk helicopters are among the items that may now be subject to fewer export restrictions. Photo: Flickr

Black Hawk helicopters are among the items that may now be subject to fewer export restrictions. Photo: Flickr

The United States is loosening controls over military exports, in a shift that former U.S. officials and human rights advocates say could increase the flow of American-made military parts to the world’s conflicts and make it harder to enforce arms sanctions.

Starting Tuesday, thousands of parts of military aircraft, such as propeller blades, brake pads and tires will be able to be sent to almost any country in the world, with minimal oversight – even to some countries subject to U.N. arms embargos. U.S. companies will also face fewer checks than in the past when selling some military aircraft to dozens of countries.

By Barrie Dunsmore 

Israeli aircraft

The White House: 3:10 a.m. (April/May/ June 2012? )
The telephone in President Barack Obama’s bedroom rings. He is told that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is on the line. “Mr. President,” says Netanyahu, “I wish to inform you that the Israeli Defense Forces have begun their attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.” So begins Obama’s nightmare scenario.