The Responsible Statecraft said that the continued military support from the United States of America to the authoritarian Emirati regime would not produce a more stable and secure region because it fuels the regional arms race and increases tensions.
The institute indicated that a few days ago, the US administration approved arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE with a total value of $5 billion.
He stated that in another sign that the US administration is resuming business with the two governments, the State Department had justified sales of Patriot and THAAD missiles as necessary to help defend the two countries against potential air attacks.
The reporting of the new arms deals came as the truce in Yemen was extended for two more months, the most prolonged pause in hostilities since the start of the Saudi-led coalition’s intervention in March 2015.
While these sales appear to be consistent with the Joe Biden administration’s commitment to sell defensive weapons only to members of the Saudi coalition, the United States should not supply these governments with any weapons until the war in Yemen is over.
The institute said that any military support that helps Saudi Arabia and the UAE to continue interfering in Yemen is an improper fueling of an unjust war and must be rejected by Congress.
“The recent arms deals send a message to Saudi Arabia and the UAE that they will not bear any punishment for the war crimes they have committed with US weapons in the past,” he added.
Instead, the Saudi and Emirati governments will conclude that the United States will continue to arm them regardless of what they do if this can be justified by “self-defence.”
The more support these governments receive from the United States, the more reckless and irresponsible they act, making any new arms sales dangerous.
These deals were announced in the same week that OPEC+ agreed to a slight increase in oil production of 100,000 barrels per day in what was widely interpreted as a “disregard” for Biden in the wake of his controversial visit to Saudi Arabia last month.
Raad Al-Qadri of the Eurasia Group said: “This increase is meaningless. From a material point of view, it is an ineffective increase. From a political point of view, it is insulting.”
In its statement to justify the arms deals, the US State Department described the UAE as a “vital partner for the United States to achieve political stability and economic progress in the Middle East”. It referred to the Saudi government similarly, but the two countries do not deserve this praise, as the past 7 years prove otherwise.
In addition to the arms deals, the Biden administration is also working to create a new mechanism to monitor human rights abuses in Yemen after Saudi Arabia successfully lobbied to end the Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen last year.
The new mechanism is said to be heavily biased in favour of the Saudi coalition. The new arms sales are the latest in a series of gestures intended to appease these vassal governments, but they are unlikely to remain satisfied for long. Experience indicates that this policy will increase their appetite for more demands in the future.
The arms deals approved by the Biden administration will likely make Saudi Arabia and the UAE more aggressive because they will assume they can protect themselves more effectively from drone and missile attacks.
In any case, more arms sales to authoritarian governments will not produce a more stable and secure region because this fuels the regional arms race and increases tensions with Iran. This could pave the way for another destabilizing conflict.