For once, Democrats are standing up against foreign policy interventionism.
According to a House Foreign Affairs Committee press release, Congressman Ted Lieu is filing one measure that would block all 22 arms sales that the Trump administration has recently greenlighted.
In a statement, Lieu said, “The emergency declaration is nothing more than an egregious abuse of power by an administration that doesn’t like being told ‘no.’”
Our arms sale process was designed to include congressional review to ensure that U.S. interests and laws are always met with each sale. The Trump administration knows that these sales would not meet that standard, so they decided to declare a fake emergency in order to bypass Congress.
The press release states that these resolutions are bipartisan, with a congressional aide telling The Hill that Congressman Justin Amash is co-sponsoring Lieu’s resolution.
The Trump administration used the emergency provision to move forward $8.1 billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. It justified this decision because of the alleged threat that Iran poses in the region.
R. Clarke Cooper, an assistant secretary of State for political-military affairs, explained to the House Foreign Affairs Committee why the Executive branch was justified in its decision:
It is this situation, this significant increase in both the intelligence of threat streams and clear, provocative and damaging actions taken by Iran’s government, that the secretary did determine it constituted an emergency.
With tensions escalating with Iran, the Trump administration has instantly turned to its Saudi allies by supplying them with arms in the Yemeni Civil War. This conflict features a Saudi-backed Yemeni government who is fighting the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. Congress originally passed resolutions to end aid to this conflict, but the Trump administration vetoed these resolutions.
Now things are heating up again after the Trump administration blamed Iran for an attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman on June 13, 2019. The Iranian regime denies its involvement in these attacks.
This attack’s timing is fishy when considering that talks between America and Iran were a possibility as tensions started to cool down in the last few weeks.
Even in the age of America First, America’s “special relationship” Saudi Arabia remains intact.
This is one alliance that may prove to be detrimental for Trump and his vision of non-interventionism. Trump should strongly consider doing away with this alliance, which has brought more problems than good.
America First is all about avoiding entangling alliances. An alliance with Saudi Arabia will undoubtedly get America mired in conflicts in which it has no business being in and produce no benefits for the country.
However, the military-industrial complex will sure love them.