Trump to bypass Congress and sell bombs to Saudi Arabia

Scorpion

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Trump to bypass Congress to sell bombs to Saudi Arabia


Royal Saudi Air force.jpg


Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee are warning that President Donald Trump may seek to go around Congress and sell American bombs to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The Trump administration, according to Sens. Bob Menendez and Chris Murphy, is expected to claim an emergency under the Arms Control Act, which would prevent the Senate from taking a vote of disapproval on the sale. For a year, Menendez has used the Senate’s long-standing informal review process to hold up such a sale, citing civilian casualties caused by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen’s civil war.
Menendez released a statement Thursday that contained a warning to the American defense industry, for which Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been lucrative markets.

“I am deeply concerned about the rumors that the Administration plans to bypass Congress and sell weapons to foreign governments, including the UAE and Saudi Arabia, one of the worst human rights abusers in the world,” said Menendez of New Jersey. “The possible consequences of this will ultimately jeopardize the ability of the U.S. defense industry to export arms in a manner both expeditious and responsible.
“In addition to suffering the reputational problems of delivering deadly weapons to governments that clearly misuse them, U.S. defense firms should exercise extreme caution that they are not opening themselves, their officers, and their employees to criminal and civil liability by exporting weapons pursuant to potentially invalid licenses."

Absent the review process as a tool to protect America’s interests and uphold human rights, Menendez said he plans to pursue unspecified “legislative and other means to nullify these and any planned ongoing sales” if the administration proceeds.
The statement came after Murphy, from Connecticut, tweeted Wednesday that “Trump may use an obscure loophole in the Arms Control Act” to advance “a major new sale of bombs to Saudi Arabia.”

Murphy said he was tipped off the administration would use an emergency declaration of some kind to bypass formal notification, giving Congress no chance to object.
“I still believe that is imminent, and it will mean that Congress won’t get to have a say on the sale of weapons to the Saudis to be used in the Yemen war,” Murphy said.
He speculated tension with Iran could serve as the basis for the emergency.

The State Department declined to comment, citing its policy not to confirm or deny potential arms sales or transfers until Congress is formally notified.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jim Risch, R-Idaho, also declined to comment.
Lawmakers have warned a U.S. arms sale to Saudi Arabia would not prevail in a vote. Outrage over the alleged murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi Arabia last year and the Saudi coalition’s civilian casualties in Yemen fueled a bipartisan Senate vote in March to end U.S. support for the Saudi Arabia-led coalition in the war.
Trump has said he would oppose stopping arms sales to Saudi Arabia, citing the economic benefits.
 

Scorpion

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WASHINGTON, May 24, 2019 - The State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of aircraft follow-on support and services for an estimated cost of $800 million. The Defense Security Cooperation Agency delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale on May 24, 2019.

Saudi Arabia has requested to purchase follow-on support and services for Royal Saudi Air Force aircraft, engines, and weapons; publications and technical documentation; support equipment; spare and repair parts; repair and return; calibration support and test equipment; personnel equipment; U.S. Government and contractor technical and logistics support, and other related elements of program support. Equipment and spares will be procured for support of, but not limited to, F-5, RG-5, F-15, C-130, KC-130, E-3, RE-3, and KE- 3 aircraft. The total estimated program cost will be $800 million.

The Secretary of State has determined and provided detailed justification that an emergency exists that requires the immediate sale to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of the above defense articles (and defense services) in the national security interests of the United States, thereby waiving the Congressional review requirements under Section 36(b) of the Arms Export Control Act, as amended.

This proposed sale will support U.S. foreign policy and national security objectives by helping to improve the security of a friendly country which has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic growth in the Middle East. This potential sale is a continuation of current support. Saudi Arabia will have no difficulty absorbing this support and services into its armed forces.

Implementation of this sale will sustain Saudi Arabia's flight and maintenance activity. It will improve sustainability and continue support for the fleet.

The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.

There will be various contractors associated with the equipment involved with this case, and there is no prime contractor. There are no known offset agreements proposed in connection with this potential sale.

Implementation of this proposed sale will require the assignment of a small number of additional U.S. Government or contractor representatives to Saudi Arabia for maintenance, training, and sustainment.

There will be no adverse impact on U.S. defense readiness as a result of this proposed sale.

This notice of a potential sale is required by law and does not mean the sale has been concluded.
 

Scorpion

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F-5 included! 🤔
 

Scorpion

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Thats what I thought too. its a strange move but lets wait and see. The f-5 supposed to go to Tunisia not sure why happened. It could be because Tunisia signed a deal for f-16 and no more interested in the f-5.
 

Zaslon

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Tunisia moving in on F-16s would be smart considering who surrounds them. F-5s are ok, but they won't last a chance against modern jets being built and fielded nowadays
 

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