A total of 50 units of F-35 fighter jets to be sold are worth USD23 billion. Another weapon the Trump administration is trying to sell is 18 drone Reapers, thousands of ammunition and hundreds of missiles.
A series of resolutions were announced after lawmakers said they failed to get satisfactory answers from State Department officials over plans to sell the advanced weapon. (Read: Pompeo: US Approves Sale of 50 F-35 Stealth Fighter Jets to UAE)
Lawmakers say the government’s rush to complete the sale ignores the risks of sensitive military technology posed by the UAE’s relationship with Russia and China – and with Israel’s military superiority in the Middle East.
The three senators who proposed the resolution were Democrat Bob Menendez, Republican Rand Paul and Democrat Chris Murphy.
The four joint resolutions would reject the sale of 50 F-35s, 18 MQ-9B Reapers, and thousands of ammunition and hundreds of missiles. Overall, the sale — which was approved by the State Department more than a week ago — would be a sale drone The second largest U.S. ever to one country. (Read: Biden Advisor: F-35 Stealth Combat Jet Only for Israel)
“When I try to warn the Trump administration, avoiding deliberation to consider a massive weapons infusion into a country in a region that is volatile with some ongoing conflict is totally irresponsible,” said Menendez, a Democratic Senator who sits on the Committee on Foreign Relations. Senate in a statement.
“There is a tremendous amount of concern about how this sale will impact the national security interests of the United States and Israel. As a result, Congress has once again stepped in to function as a check to avoid gaining the national security of the US and our allies, and to hopefully avert an arms race. new in the Middle East, “he continued, as quoted Defense News,
Another report from Politico said lawmaker Ilhan Omar also introduced three resolutions this week to stop arms sales to the UAE.
The reports come a day before representatives from the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs are scheduled to hold a closed briefing to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill. (Also read: Panicking over the results of the US Presidential Election, Donald Trump Jr. Calls for Total War)
A senior Trump administration official said amid reports that the Trump administration is moving fast in its bid to sell high-tech F-35 fighters to the United Arab Emirates, the State Department remains committed to consulting with Congress about arms sales to foreign governments.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the package this month following the signing of a peace agreement between Israel and the UAE and signaling the government’s intention to finalize the deal before Trump steps down.
But lawmakers from both sides have introduced laws aimed at asking the State Department to first answer tough questions about the fast-moving sales and its consequences for national security.
Pompeo, in his announcement of the F-35 deal, said it recognized the UAE’s need to defend itself from Iran and that it was consistent with America’s commitment to ensuring Israel’s “qualitative military superiority” —the US legal standard that Israel maintains a military technological advantage over its neighbors.
Supporters, and now lawmakers, are deeply concerned that, despite the Trump administration’s statements, the deal will allow the UAE to address threats posed by Iran, including drone armed and precision-guided munitions, can be used in Yemen or Libya.
Murphy said the UAE has violated arms sales agreements in the past, which resulted in US arms ending up with militia groups, and failing to comply with international law in Libya and Yemen.
“I support normalizing relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), but there is nothing in the agreement that requires us to flood the region with more weapons and facilitate a dangerous arms race,” Murphy said in a statement.
The Arms Export Control Act of 1976 provides a specific procedure by which legislators can introduce joint resolutions against proposed arms sales. In the Senate, resolutions can be passed from the Jurisdictional Committee, imposing a vote on the Senate floor.