World U.S. Seeks to Sell More Arms to Saudi Arabia

06:30  30 may  2020
06:30  30 may  2020 Source:   online.wsj.com

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Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, its main partner in the war, have used the US-manufactured weapons as a By handing off this military equipment to third parties, the Saudi -led coalition is breaking the terms of its arms sales with the US, according to the Department of Defense.

And Saudi Arabia ’ s buying a lot of this equipment.” In Yemen, things for civilians continue to get worse. The State Department on Monday disclosed more details to Congress, including the nature of the arms sales. “If Saudi Arabia is able to develop an indigenous bomb-making capability as a result

a man sitting on top of a sandy beach © andrew caballero-reynolds/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

WASHINGTON—The Trump administration is planning to sell nearly $500 million in precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia, drawing renewed objections from senior Democratic lawmakers who question the timing and justification for the deal.

Preliminary notification of the latest sale was sent to senior members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Foreign Affairs Committee in mid-January, congressional aides said. A more formal notice is expected soon.

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A U . S . arms embargo against Saudi Arabia would be a clear signal of American disproval of Saudi actions in Yemen, and would be an equally important signal to Washington’ s allies, who are left wondering if the United States is ambivalent or uninterested in the growing Yemeni humanitarian

A week later, CNN reported that the 500-pound weapon had been sold to Saudi Arabia by Lockheed Martin. Attention to the role of advanced weaponry bought from U . S . companies must intensify, and these arms sales must be curtailed if the Saudis cannot bring their military operations in Yemen

The proposal stands to reignite tensions over arms sales to Washington’s Gulf allies, and comes roughly a year after the White House and lawmakers clashed over $8.1 billion in arms sales to the Saudis and the United Arab Emirates.

In May 2019, the Trump administration declared an emergency, which Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said was linked to escalating threats from Iran. That enabled the administration to bypass standard congressional notification procedures regarding arms sales and triggered protests from Democrats and some Republicans who tried, but failed, to block the weapons transfers.

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The billion deal comes almost three years to the day that Saudi Arabia began a U . S -backed campaign of airstrikes against rebels in Yemen. President Donald Trump shows a chart highlighting arms sales to Saudi Arabia during a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the

In 2015, Saudi Arabia formed a military coalition that has been bombing the rebels, seeking to dislodge them from the capital and restore the The United Nations says more than 10,000 people have been killed, and much of the country is short of food. Human rights organizations have sharply

If the newest sale is carried out, Saudi Arabia would buy 7,500 Paveway IV precision-guided munitions, manufactured by Raytheon Technologies Corp., said a congressional aide familiar with the details. That is in addition to 60,000 precision-guided munitions that Riyadh bought under the 2019 deal.

In addition, the aide said, the proposal would give Raytheon licenses to expand its manufacture of earlier generations of Paveway bombs in Saudi Arabia. That could see the shift of manufacturing jobs from the U.S. to the Middle East and raise the question of whether the Saudis would seek to export the weapons to third countries.

Finally, under the proposal, the Saudis would receive a U.S. government commitment that Raytheon will manufacture an additional $106 million worth of weapons within Saudi Arabia, with details to be determined, the aide said.

Some details of the proposed arms sales were earlier reported by the New York Times.

Trump Administration Preps New Weapons Sale To Saudi Arabia

  Trump Administration Preps New Weapons Sale To Saudi Arabia When State Department inspector general Steve Linick was abruptly fired, one of the inquiries he was conducting concerned a massive, highly controversial weapons sale to Saudi Arabia. Now the Trump administration is preparing to sell Riyadh even more weapons, The Daily Beast has learned. Two individuals familiar with the situation, including one with direct knowledge, said the Trump administration is drafting another request for a significantly smaller package of arms that includes precision-guided munitions similar to those Secretary of State Mike Pompeo approved in a highly contentious $8 billion sale in 2019.

Washington supports Saudi Arabia and its ally, the United Arab Emirates, through billions in arms sales. It also refuels their jets mid-air, provides So if the U . S . wants to try to force the Saudis ' hands, it has leverage. The best way to force the Saudis to change their ways is to stop sending weapons

Saudi Arabia would buy the same class of advanced missile. The expectation is that the arms sale But Congressional officials said members were seeking assurances that the package was in Administration officials declined to identify the new missile to be sold to Saudi Arabia and the United

The State Department declined to comment on the proposed agreement because it hasn’t been formally transmitted to Congress.

Both House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Rep. Eliot Engel (D., N.Y.), and Sen. Bob Menendez (D., N.J.), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, have expressed objections to the latest proposal.

“The administration has refused to answer our fundamental questions to justify this new sale and articulate how it would be consistent with U.S. values and national security objectives,” Mr. Menendez wrote in an op-ed on CNN.com.

Democratic lawmakers object to such sales in part because Riyadh has used U.S.-supplied weapons in its more than five-year war in Yemen, where both the United Nations and independent investigations have determined that the Saudis have inflicted thousands of civilian casualties. The U.N. has declared Yemen the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

It remains doubtful that Congress could block the sale, however. Even if an emergency isn’t declared again, majorities in both the House and Senate would have to pass a joint resolution of disapproval within 30 days to stop the sale.

Last year, lawmakers argued that Mr. Pompeo had failed to make the case an emergency arms transfer was needed. Only about a third of the 60,000 precision-guided munitions destined for Saudi Arabia under the earlier deal have actually been delivered, a second congressional aide said.

The State Department’s inspector general, Steve Linick, was investigating Mr. Pompeo’s use of the emergency powers when President Trump fired him earlier this month, at the secretary of state’s urging. Mr. Pompeo has defended his actions, and the results of Mr. Linick’s probe, which was nearing completion, aren’t publicly known.

Congress also is reviewing several other proposed Gulf arms sales, including one to sell a Predator drone to the U.A.E.,  one of the aides said.

Write to Warren P. Strobel at Warren.Strobel@wsj.com and Courtney McBride at courtney.mcbride@wsj.com

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