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article imageTrump administration to sell $500 million more arms to Saudis

By Ken Hanly     Jun 1, 2020 in Business
The Trump Administration has notified the US Congress confirming plans to sell $500 million in weapons to Saudi Arabia in an upcoming round of arms sales.
Plan includes the sale of Paveway bombs
The sales to the Saudis would include Paveway laser-guided bombs. Raytheon would also receive licenses to manufacture such bombs within Saudi Arabia itself. The Paveway bombs are part of a 2019 deal that saw the Saudis intend to buy 60,000 precision munitions.
The new deal would see the Saudis buy 7,500 of Paveway IV precision-guided missiles that are manufactured by Raytheon Technologies Corp. This would be in addition to the 60,000 that were bought in the 2019 deal. The US government is also committed to Raytheon manufacturing an additional $106 million in weapons within Saudi Arabia with details to be determined.
Deal faces resistance in the US Congress
Many US critics of the sales argue that the Saudis have been committing war crimes using US-supplied munitions in their air war against the Houthi rebels in Yemen.
US concerns were also exacerbated when the Saudis assassinated journalist Jamal Khashoggi giving rise to a considerable negative political backlash. So far the Trump administration has gone ahead with sales in spite of all Congressional critics.
Middle East weapons sales pushed by US presidents
For years US presidents have made large arms sales to Middle East countries especially those who are well off such as the Saudis a high priority in spite of many critics pointing out serious human rights issues with the sales. Such sales also exacerbate instability in the region.
The May 2019 deal
In May of last year
the Trump administration declared an emergency that Mike Pompeo the US Secretary of State claimed involved threats from Iran. This declaration enabled the Trump administration to bypass US Congress notification procedures applicable to arms sales and sell more than $8.1 billion in weapons to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The move elicited protests from Democrats and even a few Republicans but failed to prevent the weapon sales.
More about US Saudi relations, US Saudi arms sales, Paveway bombs
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