Trump Administration Plans $500 Million Arms Sale to Saudi Arabia

Move would give Raytheon licenses to make bombs in Saudi Arabia

The Trump Administration has sent a notification to Congress confirming plans to sell $500 million in weapons to Saudi Arabia in an upcoming round of sales. The plan would include sales of Paveway bombs to the Saudis, and licenses to Raytheon to let them manufacture the bombs directly in Saudi Arabia.

These bombs are part of a 2019 deal in which the Saudis intend to buy 60,000 precision munitions. The deal has continued to face heavy resistance in Congress, in no small part because the Saudis have been committing war crimes with these US-made arms.

Concerns about US culpability in having provided these arms were compounded with the Saudi assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which fueled a substantial political backlash. So far, the Trump Administration has resisted letting Congress block any sales, but each announcement starts the battle anew.

Large sales of arms to the Middle East have been a high priority for years for US presidents, and that push looks likely to continue until Congress finally gets enough resistance in the way to force a rethink of the wisdom of heavily arming nations in war-torn parts of the world.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.