U.S. Approves Controversial Arms Deal to Saudi Arabia

The Senate has approved a controversial plan in a 71 to 27 vote to grant a $1.15 billion sale of tanks and other military equipment to Saudi Arabia. Senators Rand Paul and Chris Murphy initially spearheaded a resolution to undo the sale, stating reasons that Saudi Arabia’s role in the war in Yemen and its human rights violations should make the country ineligible to receive American arms and weaponry. They also pointed out that the sale may fuel an ongoing regional arms race.

Regardless, the Senate overturned the resolution. 130 Abrams battle tanks, 20 armored recovery vehicles and other equipment to Saudi Arabia will be granted in the sale. Sen. Paul believes this vote on approving the sale is basically a vote to further fuel the war in Yemen:

“It’s an indirect vote because they won’t allow a direct vote… People say ‘no big deal we are not really at war in Yemen’ – well yes we are, we are refueling Saudi bombers that are dropping bombs in Yemen. We’ve given Saudi Arabia a hundred billion dollars worth of weapons… So we do need to ask, is Saudi Arabia a good ally?”

South Carolina Republican Senator, Lindsey Graham, believes differently. The rather left-leaning Republican argued in favor of the Saudi arms package, believing the deal will enable Saudi Arabia to fight ISIS, Al-Qaeda and radical terrorism more aggressively. The new American weaponry installed into the kingdom’s military capabilities and armories will counter threats from Iran and abroad. Of course, these are just theoretical “wishful thinking” beliefs.

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