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Trump administration plans to sell U.S. smart bombs to Saudi Arabia



The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress on Tuesday that it plans to sell 290 billion US dollars worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, including 3,000 precision-guided munitions.

Why it matters: The State Department’s approval of a potential deal in the final weeks of the Trump administration talked about despite his election campaign, President-elect Biden vowed to end arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

detail: The Pentagon said in a statement that Saudi Arabia has requested the purchase of GBU-39 SDB I ammunition, parts, U.S. government and contractor engineering, weapons support, support equipment, and other items and services. Boeing will be the main contractor.

  • The statement said: “The proposed sale will increase Saudi Arabia̵
    7;s ability to respond to current and future threats by increasing its inventory of long-range precision air-to-ground ammunition.”
  • “The scale and accuracy of SDB I can reduce the collateral damage of effective ammunition. The potential sale will further enhance the interoperability between the United States and Saudi Arabia.”

note: The Trump administration’s sale to Saudi Arabia in 2019 has aroused bipartisan anger among lawmakers.

  • The State Department’s Inspector General discovered in August last year that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had bypassed Congress’ approval of the US$8 billion arms sales transaction, but failed to “fully assess the risks and implement mitigation measures to reduce civilian casualties caused by the transaction.”
  • The Biden transition team declined to comment on the latest news from the Pentagon, saying “it is inappropriate for us to do this during the transition period.”

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