Recent news of President Trump’s $350 billion weapons deal with Saudi Arabia may have thrilled the Military-Industrial Complex and its Wall Street backers, but Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) is not pleased. He thinks the deal may have unintended consequences in the Middle East and is reaching across the aisle in an attempt to partially block the agreement.
Paul’s concerns mainly stem from the Islamic dictatorship’s ongoing war in Yemen. The Saudis have been committing bombing campaigns throughout Yemen for many years, specifically focusing on civilian targets. It is expected that the weapons being funneled to the Saudis through this agreement will aid in these vicious war crimes. That is what Paul wants to bring to an end.
Rand’s proposed resolution would not nullify the Saudi weapons deal completely if ultimately approved by the Senate. It would only eliminate the munitions portion of the defense package. The Arms Export Control Act, which gives Congress 30 days to review weapons agreements with countries not participating in NATO, would be used to compel a Senate vote on part of the Saudi weapons deal.
One prominent bipartisan ally that Paul can rely upon is Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT). Murphy is a staunch opponent of Trump’s Saudi weapons deal, and wrote an op/ed in the Huffington Post detailing why the deal is poor policy for America.
“Saudi Arabia is an important friend and partner for the United States… But they are still a deeply imperfect friend,” Murphy wrote in last week’s op.ed. “$110 billion in weapons will exacerbate, not ameliorate, these imperfections. And in the powder keg that is the Middle East, this sale may simply light a fuse that sends the region, and us, deeper down the rabbit hole of perpetual military conflict.”
Operating entirely under Sharia law and eschewing basic democratic reforms, Saudi Arabia has one of the worst human rights records of any country in the world. Paul’s plan to rescind part of the Saudi weapons deal will make America’s policies regarding radical Islam more consistent moving forward. He is expected to formally introduce the resolution in the near future.