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Saudi Arabia Arms Sale Is One of Biden’s Many Militaristic Actions in First Year.

Saudi Arabia Arms Sale Is One of Biden’s Many Militaristic Actions in First Year, Khury Petersen-SmithTruthout, 12 Dec 21,

Given the brutish approach of his predecessor, many expected President Joe Biden to shift away from the worst practices in U.S. foreign policy and at the border in the previous four years. Indeed, in the first weeks of his presidency, the Biden administration signaled changes. In Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s first press briefing, the State Department announced that it was reviewing weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) — which have led the catastrophic war on Yemen with essential U.S. partnership.

A week later, Biden declared in his first foreign policy address as president that “We are ending all American support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arms sales.”

Regarding its practices at the border, Biden administration officials promised a shift away from Trump’s practices of separating families and caging children, calling them a “moral failing.” He said that the new White House would “deal with immigration comprehensively, fairly, and humanely.”

As 2021 comes to a close, however, we are seeing the latter part of a trajectory that settles into familiar, disastrous militarism.

The U.S. is selling Saudi Arabia $650 million worth of missiles and providing $500 million worth of maintenance for U.S.-made aircraft, training and other support for its military operations.

These arrangements come as Saudi Arabia is escalating its devastating bombing in Yemen. In November, Saudi forces carried out the largest number of air strikes since Trump’s last year in office.

These bookends — Biden’s early announcement of an end to U.S. support for the war in Yemen and his subsequent robust material support of that war — capture the set of practices that the Biden White House is settling into, not only in Yemen, but also in the realm of war and imperialism more broadly.

Consider the White House’s approval of a $23 billion weapons sale to the U.A.E., which provides the Emirates with attack drones and F-35 fighter jets. The arrangement was negotiated under the Trump administration as the prize for the U.A.E.’s role in leading the normalization of diplomatic relations between Israel and itself, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan, despite Israel’s deepening violence against Palestinians.

The Biden administration embraced the normalization agreements, along with Trump’s other actions meant to consolidate U.S. support and extend legitimacy to Israel in a time when Palestinian protest presents a steady challenge to Israeli apartheid, and global Palestine solidarity campaigns have gained more traction than ever…………………….

December 13, 2021 - Posted by | USA, weapons and war

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