Was the $110 billion US-Saudi arms deal 'fake news'?

Was the $110 billion US-Saudi arms deal 'fake news'?

In mid-May, President Donald Trump announced that he'd applied his legendary dealmaking skills to close one of the largest arms sales in history.

In January, the president promised to ensure that any profit associated with foreign governments doing businesses with the Trump Hotel would be given to the U.S. Treasury. "Hundreds of billions of dollars of investments into the United States and jobs, jobs, jobs". The State Department's Defense Security Cooperation Agency, which has to approve foreign arms sales, included so many caveats in its official announcement that it seemed to leave open the possibility of no transaction actually taking place at all. As Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) pointed out, "the Saudis are deliberately trying to create a starvation inside Yemen in order to essentially starve the Yemenis to the negotiating table" - and "the United States is participating". Further, the $110 billion price tag, it turned out, was far from a solid number.

Some analysts noted that the Saudi arms deal was too good to be true when it was first announced.

Not only did Riedel discover that there is no arms deal - and that numerous agreements Trump claimed credit for actually happened during the Obama administration - he also found that Saudi Arabia probably doesn't have the money to pay for a deal of such a size.

"I've spoken to contacts in the defense business and on the Hill, and all of them say the same thing: There is no $110 billion deal", Reidel writes. The Saudis have expressed interest in the system for several years but no contracts have been finalized. Many are offers that the defense industry thinks the Saudis will be interested in someday.

Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade said: "Only two months ago the Prime Minster was in Riyadh trying to sell weapons to the Saudi regime, which has some of the most abusive laws in the world".

An example is a proposal for sale of four frigates (called multi-mission surface combatant vessels) to the Royal Saudi navy.

The sale of 150 combat helicopters to the Saudis is, again, old news. Ben Cardin, Maryland Democrat, comes as the Senate is set to vote Thursday on a resolution of disapproval for the deal, which would represent a marked about-face for U.S. -Saudi relations after a tense period under former President Obama. Another piece is the Terminal High Altitude Air Defense system (THAAD) which was recently deployed in South Korea.

Riedel also points out that there is another very serious question about the $110 billion arrangement that isn't being addressed: whether the Saudis can afford it.

There are some deals, but no contracts signed, nothing that would allow a claim of a $110 billion deal.

Related Articles

  • The Boston Red Sox continue to struggle to hit home runs

    The Boston Red Sox continue to struggle to hit home runs

    Asher, in contrast, retired 16 of the first 17 batters he faced and ended up allowing two runs and three hits over 6 1-3 innings. For now, Miley's just anxious about doing his part.Benintendi tied the score 3-3 with a solo shot to lead off the third.

    Kevin Durant's menacing defence leads the way for Warriors

    The Warriors won the first two games in blowouts barely using the rotation, just 4.5 total minutes in two games. If somebody is struggling, they can just find someone else with their precision ball movement.
    Novak Djokovic sinks Ramos-Vinolas to reach quarter-finals

    Novak Djokovic sinks Ramos-Vinolas to reach quarter-finals

    She has played in one previous major semifinal, also in Paris , losing to eventual champion Serena Williams two years ago. He hit 31 winners in the match compared to just 12 for Bautista Agut and clinched victory after an hour and 50 minutes.
  • All Qatar Airways offices have just been closed down in the UAE

    And a State Department official said an approved but pending sale of F-15 fighter planes to Qatar hasn't been affected. The pressure on Qatar seems to be aimed at changing its policy direction, making it fall in line with Saudi interests.
    Tesla Model Y: Teaser picture of Elon Musk's new, electric SUV revealed

    Tesla Model Y: Teaser picture of Elon Musk's new, electric SUV revealed

    The model X runs 295 miles per charge, and is replete with Tesla's Full Self-driving hardware. The CEO has reportedly shown it to a number of organisations that buy heavy-duty trucking.
    USA  senate releases former Federal Bureau of Investigation  chief's statement before hearing

    USA senate releases former Federal Bureau of Investigation chief's statement before hearing

    The former director "is now on record saying that the president tried to impede the investigation of Flynn", Goodman said. The testimony , largely confirms media reports about the content of memos Comey wrote after his meetings with Trump .
  • French Open 2017: Dominic Thiem upsets reigning champion Novak Djokovic

    French Open 2017: Dominic Thiem upsets reigning champion Novak Djokovic

    Yet to drop a set this year, Nadal will seek revenge against Thiem on Friday after losing to him in the Rome quarters. He returned with tape to his abdominal area and called it quits after yelling out in pain while hitting a smash.
    Djokovic stunned by Thiem

    Djokovic stunned by Thiem

    The Djoker has struggled for form all year long, and he was far from his best in Paris over the last two weeks. He made it hard , he has really heavy spin and plays quick.

    Arab nations ganged up on Qatar. Why Trump's involved

    It puts diplomats in a very awkward position and means a lot of our diplomats are not going to be saying very much at all. Corker said: "We know that our Arab friends have differences, right?" All reference was pointing to Qatar.
  • Oil dips on glut concerns, but Mideast tension, falling U.S.  stocks support

    Oil dips on glut concerns, but Mideast tension, falling U.S. stocks support

    Obviously, the market is not impressed with the production cuts, and continues to focus on production increases in the U.S. With the decline in the price of Brent crude , the Brent-WTI differential has narrowed.

    Ronaldo stays atop Forbes list of richest athletes

    Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw is baseball's highest paid player at $33.3 million, good for No. 28. However, in a troubling indication of gender inequality, the list of 100 has only one woman sports star.
    Tyronn Lue says no major changes for Cavs for Game 3

    Tyronn Lue says no major changes for Cavs for Game 3

    Asked if he meant to swap Shumpert for Smith in Wednesday's Game 3 at Quicken Loans Arena, Lue said: "I'm not doing it". It requires enormous focus, energy and communication to perform well defensively against Golden State .