Senators try to block Billion$ U.S. arms sale to Saudi Arabia

Four U.S. senators introduced a joint resolution on Thursday seeking to block the U.S. sale of $1.15 billion of Abrams tanks and other military equipment to Saudi Arabia, citing issues including the conflict in Yemen.

The measure was introduced by Republican Senators Rand Paul and Mike Lee and Democrats Chris Murphy and Al Franken, the latest indication of strong disapproval of the deal among some U.S. lawmakers.

The Pentagon announced on Aug. 9 that the State Department has approved the potential sale of more than 130 Abrams battle tanks, 20 armored recovery vehicles and other equipment to Saudi Arabia.

The U.S. Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which implements foreign arms sales, said that General Dynamics would be the principal contractor for the sale…

“Thousands of civilians are being killed, and terrorist groups inside the country, like al Qaeda and ISIS, are getting stronger. Until the Saudis’ conduct changes, the U.S. should put a pause on further arms sales,” Senator Murphy said in a statement.

And in case you hadn’t noticed…

U.S. President Barack Obama has offered a record US$115 billion in arms, weapons, military equipment and training to Saudi Arabia, according to a report from the Center for International Policy…

The report, due to be released publicly today, said that since Obama started his presidency in 2009, the arms offers were made in 42 separate deals including small arms, ammunition, tanks, missiles and ships.

It did not mention how many deals were accepted by Saudi Arabia, with the majority of equipment not being delivered [yet]. The deal amounts to biggest deal to the Saudi’s of any U.S. administration…

A joint letter signed by 64 members of Congress called for a delay in a controversial tank deal and called “the actions of the Saudi-led Coalition in Yemen are as reprehensible as they are illegal. The multiple, repeated airstrikes on civilians look like war crimes.”…

The Saudi-led bombing is also believed to be using U.S. cluster munitions, which 119 countries have signed a treaty against their use. The United States and Saudi Arabia have not signed the treaty.

One more example of the historic differences between Republican and Democrat administrations ain’t worth a whole boatload when it comes to foreign policy.

7 thoughts on “Senators try to block Billion$ U.S. arms sale to Saudi Arabia

  1. Meanwhile says:

    “The United States will provide Israel’s military with $38 billion during the next 10 years, officials said Tuesday, the largest batch of military assistance the U.S. has ever pledged to another country.” “The U.S. and Israel haven’t disclosed the exact sum, but officials familiar with the deal said it totals $3.8 billion a year — up from the $3.1 billion the U.S. gave Israel annually under the previous 10-year deal.”

  2. Pay2play says:

    “$110 Billion Weapons Sale to Saudis Has Jared Kushner’s Personal Touch” …While Mr. Kushner’s middle-of-the-meeting call to a military contractor was unorthodox, current and former officials said, it did not appear to raise legal issues. Lockheed is the sole manufacturer of the antimissile system, known as Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or Thaad that Kushner was haggling over. The Pentagon’s request for $30 billion more in the fiscal 2017 defense budget included money for 12 more THAAD hit-to-kill missiles such as those now being installed in South Korea.
    “Trump clears F-16 sale to Bahrain, drops human rights conditions” (March 29, 2017) The sale of up to $2.7 billion in Lockheed Martin F-16 fighters doesn’t include a package to upgrade older F-16s, which officials said last year could bring the proposal to as much as $4 billion, according to the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

  3. Update says:

    “Nearly two months after the United States announced it would halt “offensive” support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, as well as “relevant” arms sales, the administration of President Joe Biden has offered little clarity on how it will define those parameters.
    The move, though short on specifics, was welcomed by US-based advocates, who had long argued that Washington should end its backing of the coalition due to reports of widespread human rights abuses and the conflict’s punishing humanitarian toll on Yemeni civilians.”
    The UK accounted for nine percent of Saudi Arabia’s weapons imports from 2016 to 2020, second only to the US at 79 percent, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

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