U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) recently introduced a joint resolution of disapproval to block proposed U.S. arms sales to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Dr. Paul was joined by U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Mike Lee (R-UT) in introducing the resolution.
The sale includes 280 air-to-air missiles and 596 missile launchers, among other weapons and associated training and support, with an estimated cost of $650 billion.
“A message needs to be sent to Saudi Arabia that we don’t approve of their war with Yemen,” said Dr. Paul. “By participating in this sale, we would not only be rewarding reprehensible behavior, but also exacerbating a humanitarian crisis in Yemen. I urge Congress and the Biden Administration to consider the possible consequences of this sale that could accelerate an arms race in the Middle East and jeopardize the security of our military technologies.”
“As the Saudi government continues to wage its devastating war in Yemen and repress its own people, we should not be rewarding them with more arms sales,” said Sen. Sanders.
Today, Paul penned an Op-Ed in the American Conservative on this topic writing: Saudi Arabia’s air and naval blockade of Yemen is an abomination. For years now, ships that would otherwise carry food, fuel, and medicine are turned away by the Saudi-led coalition, depriving the Yemeni people of the necessities to sustain civilization. Saudi Arabia’s intervention in the Yemeni civil war is a chilling example of the cruelty of warfare by starvation. According to the United Nations, five million people are one step away from succumbing to famine and disease, and ten million more are right behind them. But, this week, the Senate can start the process of ending this crisis by passing my legislation to cancel an American arms sale to Saudi Arabia that aids and abets the subjugation of the Yemeni people.
I am leading a bipartisan effort to end America’s complicity in Saudi Arabia’s war on the Yemeni people. This week, I will force a vote on a bipartisan disapproval resolution that proposes to cancel the arms sale. To overcome an almost certain veto, this effort will require the support of two-thirds of both chambers of Congress. If Members of Congress believe in humanitarianism, if they believe America is a force for good that serves as a model for other nations to emulate, if they believe that the crushing of the Yemeni people must be stopped, then they must vote for the resolution of disapproval.
We have a chance to tell the Crown Prince that American arms sales will end until he gives up his starvation campaign. We can end the Saudi blockade and bring relief to the long-suffering Yemeni people. Should we fail to seize this opportunity, history will never let us forget that America, the last best hope for humanity, failed to protect defenseless civilians from the cruelty of a criminal regime.