US Watchdog Report Cites Civilian Casualties in Saudi Arms Deal

State Dept did not make efforts to mitigate civilian casualties

It took the firing of one Inspector General to get a report exonerating Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for an emergency ruling on Saudi arms sales to skirt congressional objections. Even then, the final report isn’t great, with the new Inspector General finding the administration went out of its way to evade concerns about civilian casualties in Yemen.

That was effectively what was being alleged, that instead of going through congressionally mandated efforts to mitigate civilian casualties before selling the Saudis more arms, Pompeo rubber stamped it as an “emergency” just to avoid that.

Despite this, the report still insisted that Pompeo didn’t actually violate the law in this effort. The wording almost certainly is going to keep Congress complaining about the way things shook out, especially the firing of the first inspector general.

Growing Saudi attacks killing civilians only add concern about all the measures not taken, and the administration will probably hope to avoid any further questions, having declared this the “final report” on the matter, suggesting they aren’t prepared to address it any longer.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.