The Sale Of Foreign Arms

1004 Words5 Pages
1. This paper will argue that, in its current state, the sale of foreign arms does not support United States (US) foreign policy. The sale of US arms exacerbates conflict in the Middle East and contributes to human rights abuses.1 The Obama administration implemented a “Conventional Arms Transfer Policy” in 2014 to control arms sales and prevent human rights abuses while providing the weapons countries need to defend themselves in order to prevent the need for US boots on the ground.2 However, these measures are not enough and US weapons can and do still end up in the hands of terrorists.1
2. The Obama administration has approved more major arms deals by almost $30 billion in its initial five
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Countries in the area have hoarded, are using, and are asking for more American arms. These events have unleashed the possibility of a dangerous new arms race in areas of turmoil and changing alliances.3 Some of the arms the United States sold to the region are being used in conflicts. Saudi Arabia uses Boeing F-15 fighters to strike Yemen and the United Arab Emirates is flying Lockheed Martin F-16’s to bomb Yemen and Syria.3 Saudi Arabia in particular has committed human rights abuses in its air war in Yemen. Amnesty International has called on the US to cease selling bombs, fighter jets, and combat helicopters to Saudi Arabia. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the conflict between Saudi Arabia and anti-government rebels has killed thousands of civilians, and two-thirds of those lives were claimed by Saudi air strikes.4
4. The United States has not ignored the role foreign arms sales play in human rights violations. In 2014, President Obama issued a directive called “Conventional Arms Transfer Policy.” It clearly expresses that the United States should not sell military arms to countries that are unstable enough that they might turn the weapons against the US or its allies. The policy calls for officials to examine the risk that the recipient of the arms would use them to commit human rights violations or that the arms
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