Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, the highest Democrat on the Senate International Relations Committee, wrote in a CNN opinion piece Wednesday that the emergency “was a fabricated story to reward an keen and unsavory buyer of US arms.”
The American folks have the appropriate to know that whereas the Trump administration can’t appear to be bothered to construct a political coalition to fight the largest pandemic in a century, the administration has just lately managed to discover a strategy to double down on President Donald Trump’s repulsive embrace of Saudi Arabia’s murderous regime. And as regular, it entails arms. The administration is presently making an attempt to promote 1000’s extra precision-guided bombs to the President’s “good friend,” Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. […]
As inconvenient because the President and the Secretary may discover Congressional oversight or Inspectors Normal, we’ll proceed doing our jobs. The query stays: why is the President and his prime diplomat working so exhausting to prop up one of many world’s worst despots?
Maybe, in addition to the cash, the reply is that Trump is hoping for an additional large social gathering just like the one the Saudis gave him shortly after he lied the oath of workplace three years in the past.
The arms drawback, nevertheless, predates the Trump regime. In line with the Stockholm Worldwide Peace Analysis Institute, the USA sells extra armaments than another nation. Between 2014 and 2018, greater than one-half of U.S. arms exports went to the Center East, the place one-third of all of the world’s arms exports wound up. The Saudis obtained practically one-fourth of U.S. navy exports in that interval. There isn’t any finish in sight to this deluge.
Not surprisingly, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who additionally likes to pal round with the Saudis (together with the crown prince), is an enormous advocate of extra arm gross sales, as is Peter Navarro, Trump’s commerce adviser. The New York Occasions reported two weeks in the past that Navarro sees the arms commerce nearly as good for American jobs, by no means thoughts what the weapons are really used for. Even that excuse falls aside given Raytheon’s plan to hold out manufacturing in Saudi Arabia.
Paul Pillar at Accountable Statecraft writes:
Arms transfers as an issue in regional destabilization are to be measured not simply within the amount of transfers but in addition the makes use of to which the arms are put. Arms from the USA have been used within the harsh crackdowns which have abused human rights in Egypt. They’ve been used within the additionally abusive — and periodically very lethal — Israeli occupation of, and assaults on, the Palestinian territories. Most clearly lately, U.S. arms offered to Saudi Arabia have helped to show Yemen into what is usually described because the worst present artifical humanitarian catastrophe. The Saudi aerial assault on Yemen has been the largest consider making that catastrophe. In accordance to the Yemen Information Venture, the bombing marketing campaign has killed or injured greater than 17,000 civilians as of March 2019.
The U.S. arms offered to the Gulf Arabs have been destabilizing in different methods. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have given U.S.-made weapons to militias to purchase affect in Yemen. A few of the arms have gone to radical Salafists, together with ones with ties to Al Qaeda. Some have even made it into the palms of the Houthi rebels whom the Saudi-led battle is meant to be in opposition to.
The USA desperately must take a brand new path in overseas coverage. The following administration may do worse than choose Saudi Arabia as the primary cease on that journey.