ACTION ALERT: Don’t Arm the UAE
Win Without War
(November 11, 2020) — BREAKING: The Trump administration is planning to sell $23.37 BILLION worth of fighter jets, drones, and bombs to the UAE, all but ensuring the US remains complicit in the UAE’s human rights abuses in Yemen and beyond.
Trump is trying to ram through a massive last-minute sale of BILLIONS in weapons to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) — the same bombs that they and Saudi Arabia use to murder Yemeni civilians and exacerbate a humanitarian crisis — and the time for us to STOP the sale is already running out.
So we’re jumping into action and we NEED you with us. We have a CRITICAL, but narrow window to stop this sale: by law, Congress has 30 days to intervene and block Trump from selling these weapons. The clock is ticking, but luckily we’ve done this before, and there’s no doubt that together, we can get loud enough so that (once again) Congress listens.
Trump and Pompeo’s move to sell the UAE F-35 fighter jets, bombs, and armed drones on their way out of the White House is reprehensible.
The United States should not be in the business of rewarding human rights abusers with arms sales — not when these weapons are regularly used to massacre civilians in Yemen, Libya, and the Horn of Africa, not when those weapons have repeatedly and illegally ended up in the hands of violent non-state actors, not while another President-Elect is prepping to step into the Oval Office, not EVER.
Congress must unequivocally reject Trump’s last-ditch effort to cozy up to weapons executives and his human rights-abusing friends in the UAE — and I know we can pressure them to do it. Why? Because we’ve done it before!
Two years ago, we turned an under-the-radar arms sale to Saudi Arabia into a massive fight that brought the US role in the war in Yemen into the light. Last year, we won an unprecedented vote, sending a resounding message that US military aid to the war in Yemen is unconstitutional.
Now, we have the chance to push that momentum — and our outrage of Trump’s continued disregard for human rights and human life — even further by BLOCKING this sale with an OVERWHELMING, VETO-PROOF majority.
We know this won’t be easy. But we’ve just seen the people of the United States turn out in record numbers to repudiate the Trump administration and all that it stands for — including its reckless foreign policy.
This arms sale signals that there will be no repercussions or accountability for the UAE’s devastation in Yemen, even long after Trump leaves office.
Congress’ 30-day review clock runs out on December 10. Our work to stop Trump from wreaking further devastation with this unchecked arms sale starts NOW.
I urge you to immediately speak out against and commit to blocking Trump’s proposed $23.37 billion arms sale of fighter jets, armed drones, and bombs to the United Arab Emirates. For too long, the United States has been complicit in the Emirati and Saudi governments’ destruction of Yemen. We must hold the UAE accountable, not reward them with high-tech weaponry.
Enough is enough. Your legislators represent YOU, Gar, not deep-pocketed weapons lobbyists and hawks in the outgoing White House.
Thank you for working for peace — Annika, Michael, Erica, and the Win Without War team
Pompeo Announces Massive Weapons Sale to UAE Worth Over $23 Billion
Arms Sale Part of UAE’s Normalization with Israel
According to Pompeo, the sale is worth $23.37 billion and includes “up to 50 F-35 Lightning II aircraft, valued at $10.4 billion; up to 18 MQ-9B Unmanned Aerial Systems, valued at $2.97 billion; and a package of air-to-air and air-to-ground munitions, valued at $10 billion.”
The arms sale to the UAE is part of Abu Dhabi’s agreement to normalize relations with Israel, known as the Abraham Accords, which Pompeo made clear in his statement.
“The UAE’s historic agreement to normalize relations with Israel under the Abraham Accords offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to positively transform the region’s strategic landscape,” he said. “Our adversaries, especially those in Iran, know this and will stop at nothing to disrupt this shared success.”
The arms sales have raised concern in Congress over upholding Israel’s military superiority in the region, known as the Qualitative Military Edge (QME). Pompeo said the massive sale is “fully consistent with America’s longstanding commitment to ensuring Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge.”
The QME is mandated by US law for Congress to uphold. Since rumors of a possible F-35 sale began to surface, US lawmakers have introduced legislation to add extra checks for Israel’s QME, although Israel has essentially given the green light for weapons sales to Abu Dhabi.
Speaking to reporters after the Trump administration informally notified Congress of the F-35 sale in October, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he received strong assurances on “the American commitment to preserve” Israel’s QME.
Human rights organizations have raised the alarm over arms sales to the UAE, citing Abu Dhabi’s support for the US-backed Saudi-led coalition in Yemen that regularly targets civilian infrastructure. Although the UAE and Saudi Arabia have been at odds in Yemen in recent years over Abu Dhabi’s support for a southern separatist group, the UAE has not flinched over the Saudi’s siege tactics against the civilian population of Yemen that has caused widespread disease, malnutrition, and mass starvation.
Besides the risk of the weapons being used to harm civilians, the arms could end up in the hands of al-Qaeda. A report from CNN in 2019 documented how advanced military equipment sold to Abu Dhabi was transferred to al-Qaeda in Yemen. An AP News investigation from 2018 found the UAE was directly paying militants in Yemen who are on the US terror list and affiliated with al-Qaeda.
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