Military Capabilities

US shipping ‘emergency’ munitions to Saudis

17 June 2019

The United States is in the process of delivery munitions to Saudi Arabia without Congressional approval because of an emergency, a senior State Department official told the House Foreign Affairs committee on 12 June.

“To paraphrase a colloquialism our DoD [Department of Defense] colleagues refer to, ‘pushing munitions’ is happening now and actually it’s happened prior to this hearing,” Assistant Secretary for Political-Military Affairs Clarke Cooper said when asked whether the declaration of an emergency on 24 May had resulted in anything being delivered. “Anything that is – what is called – off-the-shelf is already moving.”

Many members of the committee were critical of the Trump administration’s use of what they described as a “phoney emergency” to bypass the normal Congressional review process of 22 arms sales to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Jordan.

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