Trump's Massive Saudi Arms Sale Was All Sizzle And No Substance

A congressional aide said that Congress has been notified about $18 billion in letters of agreement, dating to 2015, which have not yet been signed by Saudi Arabia. The Royal Saudi Air Force needs more munitions to continue the air bombardment of the Arab world's poorest country.

The White House has also been on the defensive over an announced $110 billion arms sale to Riyadh that may be less than advertised. "At a time when the president appears to have solidified a transactional approach to foreign affairs, it is incumbent upon Congress to ensure that moral concerns, particularly America's commitment to defending human rights, remain a cornerstone of US foreign policy".

"Moving forward with this sale will exacerbate the already dire humanitarian crisis in Yemen, which has left more than 7 million civilians on the brink of starvation, at least 8,000 dead and 44,000 injured from conflict, almost 20 million people facing extreme hunger, and 19 of the country's 21 governorates facing an unprecedented cholera epidemic that is spiraling out of control", the letter says. "When the Obama administration finally pulled back, I think they were influenced by our debate [in the Senate]".

"I think we need the Saudis right now, and I've put pressure on them for years and years and years, and they've made some improvements - but they have a long way to go", McCain said. As Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) pointed out, "the Saudis are deliberately trying to create a starvation inside Yemen in order to essentially starve the Yemenis to the negotiating table" - and "the United States is participating".

WARNINGS THAT SAUDI fuelled extremism is endangering the Middle East and Britain's security interests can be confronted by cutting off weapons support, according to anti-arms sales campaigns. However, many experts have said that most of the arms sales had not been cleared by the State Department, Congress or even the industries themselves. So here again we have Trump taking credit not only for something he didn't do, but something that barely exists yet.

There are several reasons for Democrats to oppose the Saudi deal, said one Democratic aide.

"Instead, there are a bunch of letters of interest or intent, but no contracts", explained Riedel. Murphy, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Sen.

Sens. Paul, Murphy, and Franken are living up to our Founder's vision by asserting Congress's role in this entire process. The bill survived a veto from then-President Barack Obama. While Republican lawmakers are likely to support their president, the resolution will draw more than 40 supporters in the Senate, more than previous measures and a sign of trouble for Riyadh. The separation-of-powers established in the U.S. Constitution, a concept that dictates how the federal government operates, is even more important when it concerns national security.

As of Wednesday afternoon, some Democrats were still undecided. Sen.

There are a couple of numbers that popped out to me looking at these spreadsheets. The efforts were similar to resistance to smaller sales by President Obama to the Saudi kingdom, but the much larger sale, and the much larger war crimes by Saudi forces in Yemen, are both adding a lot of support to blocking at least part of the sales.

That's a good question I'm very curious to see an answer to.

  • Carolyn Briggs