Trump’s Decision to Arm the Saudis Against Iran Will End in Disaster | The American Conservative
An additional 1,500 U.S. troops are packing their bags for the region—this on top of an accelerated deployment of an American aircraft carrier battle group and B-52 bombers. Add to that pledges of steadfast resistance from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and personal animus between American and Iranian officials, and you’ve got a very real possibility that an abrupt miscalculation could become a war that almost no one wants.
It’s obvious what this situation calls for: a direct line of communication between Washington and Tehran with the express purpose of calming the waters and preventing a conflagration. And yet the Trump administration seems to be gunning for the opposite—more bellicose threats, more military assets, and more sanctions.
More weapons sales are also evidently part of the picture. Last Friday, the administration officially informed Senator Robert Menendez, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, that it would leverage a little-used loophole in the Arms Export Control Act to expedite the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia, Iran’s chief regional adversary. President Trump has declared that “an emergency exists which requires the proposed sale in the national security interest of the United States.” That allows him to completely bypass Congress and finalize the sale on his own.
The provision, meant to be used in only the most dire emergencies, essentially eviscerates the congressional review process and steals power away from lawmakers who would ordinarily need to sign off on such a move.