Last month the proposal was brought up for selling American arms to Saudi Arabia. Congress was angry and opposed the proposal for the sales. They were concerned the Saudis would take the technology and make their own precision-guided bombs.
These are weapons the Saudis have used in air strikes over the last four years on civilians in Yemen.
President Trump released an emergency authorization for the Raytheon Company, which is the highest American defense firm to join forces with Saudi Arabia and allow them to create high tech bomb parts for America.
This week the reports were released to Congress.
Raytheon and the Saudis will start putting together circuit cards and guidance electronics to the bombs. This is a technology which was heavily guarded for national security reasons.
In 2016, President Obama cut out bomb sales to Saudi Arabia after human rights groups proved airstrikes were happening in Yemen, and civilians were in the cross-hairs when a Sana funeral home was hit by one of the airstrikes.
Congress has already blocked 120,000 precision-guided bombs Raytheon tried to send to the coalition. There are over tens of thousands of bombs which have been stored between the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
Congress fears giving them the Saudis the access to our technology would only cause the war in Yemen to continue. There is also stockpiled war equipment such as Saudi F-15 warplanes, anti-tank missiles, mortars, and .50-caliber rifles included with this move.
The emergency declaration came from the tensions between the U.S. and Iran. Senators Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul, and Robert Menendez announced this week they would come up with 22 measures expressing their disapproval for the deals.
Rand Paul stated, “Few nations should be trusted less than Saudi Arabia. In recent years, they have fomented human atrocities, repeatedly lied to the United States and have proved to be a reckless regional pariah. It is concerning and irresponsible for the United States to continue providing them arms.”
The Foreign Affairs Committee will have a meeting next week where they will question a member of the State Department official whose bureau licenses arms exports, R. Clarke Cooper.
Representative Tom Malinowski is a member of the committee and a New Jersey Democrat who stated, “The Saudis and Emiratis have become so intertwined with the Trump administration that I don’t think the president is capable of distinguishing America’s national interests from theirs. The administration has presented us no evidence that Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. face any substantially new or intensified threat from Iran that would justify declaring an emergency.”
Mr. Malinowski also worked under President Obama as a top human rights official added to his comment, “The bombs were for use in Yemen, not for defending the Saudi or Emirati homeland from Iran, as some Trump administration officials have suggested.”
The White House has yet to respond.
A spokesperson for Raytheon stated nothing out of the ordinary is happening with the production arrangement which was made.
He stated, “Industrial participation by local partners has been an element of international sales of military equipment for decades. These activities and related technologies are governed by the Arms Export Control Act, controlled by the International Traffic in Arms Regulations, and conform to all licensing rules and restrictions of the United States government.”
President Trump says it will create massive American jobs through the arms sales agreement, but Rob Berschinski who is the senior vice president of Human Rights First stated different thoughts, “The administration’s decision was about siding unreservedly with favored Middle Eastern authoritarians, no matter who they kill or how they repress their citizens. It has nothing to do with American jobs.”
Both Democrats and Republicans feel if it was meant for creating more jobs in manufacturing, then it should have been done within the United States. They feel the Saudis will try to steal the technology and make their own weapons with our recipe for destruction.
The Saudis would be free to do with the weapons whatever they want once they have our secrets. Chances are great they would use it against Yemen’s, or sell it to one of our enemies.
Airstrikes have been carried out regularly since March 2015 against Yemen.
The United Nations called this war “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, pushing millions to the edge of starvation and leading to the spread of cholera and the deaths of thousands of civilians.”
With all the great things President Trump has done, will Congress allow it to happen?