Last month, President Trump signed a $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia that was negotiated by his son-in-law Jared Kushner. Mr. Kushner personally negotiated a discount for the Saudis from the American company Lockheed Martin, raising many questions as to why Mr. Kushner would put Saudi interests above American. President Trump’s support for Saudi Arabia in its regional battle with Qatar (creating a public break with his own Secretary of State) only makes those questions more pressing.
The potential favoritism to the Saudis aside, there are significant humanitarian questions raised by selling weapons to the Saudis, a country that has been bombing its poorer neighbor, Yemen, with few international consequences. Senator Bob Corker, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman, stated on Monday he will not allow future arms deals until the regional conflicts are resolved. The Senate previously failed to pass a measure that would have blocked half of the Saudi arms deal out of humanitarian concern for Yemen. Whether this new congressional effort will succeed remains to be seen. In the meantime, Saudi interference in the Yemen civil war continues unabated, killing tens of thousands of citizens through ground troops, airstrikes, and now a massive cholera outbreak.
What do you think? Should Congress Block Middle Eastern Arms Deals?
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