FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
December 9, 2020
Contact: Press@paul.senate.gov, 202-224-4343
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator and Senate Foreign Relations Committee member Rand Paul (R-KY) urged the U.S. Senate to support two bipartisan joint resolutions of disapproval he offered with Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Chris Murphy (D-CT) to block proposed U.S. arms sales to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The sale includes 50 F-35A fighter jets (costing an estimated $10.4 billion), 18 MQ-9B drones (costing an estimated $2.97 billion), and Hellfire missiles, among other weapons and associated training and support. Currently, Israel is the only country in the Middle East that has the F-35.
In his speech, Dr. Paul cited his concerns with the UAE’s record on attacking free speech in the country, discussed the humanitarian crisis the Saudi-UAE coalition helped create in Yemen, and talked about a report that some of the weapons and vehicles that were sent to the coalition ended up in the hands of terrorists.
Dr. Paul stated his support for the recent advance toward peace between Israel and the UAE in his speech, but he asked, “Can a lasting peace be purchased with more weapons? Will selling sophisticated fighter jets and weaponized drones bring more stability to the Middle East?”
Regarding concerns about how the sales will impact Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge (QME), Dr. Paul observed, “The easiest way, if you favor protecting Israel’s QME, or military edge, is to stop sending military assets to other countries in the region.”
“I would urge my colleagues to consider the possible consequences of this sale. We should not accelerate an arms race in the Middle East. We should not jeopardize the security of our military technologies, and we should not reward a decade-plus of undesirable behavior by the UAE,” Dr. Paul said.
You can watch Dr. Paul’s speech HERE.
Unfortunately, a majority of the Senate chose to support the sales, further fueling a Middle East arms race.
The Arms Export Control Act of 1976 provides the special procedures whereby a senator can force a vote on an arms sale, and, over the past several years, Dr. Paul has led multiple efforts to stop the sale of U.S. weapons and equipment to Saudi Arabia and other nations that have been involved in the devastating war in Yemen.