President Donald Trump is overruling Congress and attempting to use emergency powers to push through a major deal in the Middle East.
According to The Hill, the Trump administration has invoked an emergency provision of the law to immediately finalize an $8.1 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf allies without getting a measure passed in Congress.
With Iran’s continued threats and hostility towards the United States, the president is attempting to provide more weapons to America’s allies in the Middle East.
The Trump administration also announced on Friday that 1,500 U.S. troops will be deployed to the Middle East to protect American forces and personnel already there from any potential attacks from Iran.
The package — which is composed of more than 20 separate deals and is valued at $8.1 billion — includes precision guided munitions, bombs, ammunition, and aircraft maintenance support.
The arms are being sold to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, with the UAE then transferring some to Jordan.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo released a statement on Friday saying the 22 arms sales are needed to “help these nations to deter and defend themselves from the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
“Delaying this shipment could cause degraded systems and a lack of necessary parts and maintenance that could create severe airworthiness and interoperability concerns for our key partners, during a time of increasing regional volatility,” Pompeo said.
He added: “These national security concerns have been exacerbated by many months of congressional delay in addressing these critical requirements, and have called into doubt our reliability as a provider of defense capabilities, opening opportunities for U.S. adversaries to exploit.”
Here’s more from The Hill:
Pompeo added that using the emergency provision is intended as a “one-time event.”
“Section 36 is a long-recognized authority and has been utilized by at least four previous administrations since 1979, including Presidents Reagan and Carter,” he said. “This specific measure does not alter our long-standing arms transfer review process with Congress. I look forward to continuing to work with Congress to develop prudent measures to advance and protect U.S. national security interests in the region.”
Notices posted on the Defense Security Cooperation Agency website show the approvals include sales to the Saudis for surveillance aircraft support and maintenance of Saudi aircraft, and to the Emiratis for 20,004 precision guided munitions kits, 331 Javelin anti-tank missiles and 20 RQ-21A Blackjack drones.
Last Sunday, Trump levied a major threat towards Iran that is undeniably clear.
“If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!” Trump said.
It appears as though Iran was working behind the scenes and planning an attack on American forces.
Trump is doing exactly what a strong commander-in-chief would do by sending Iran a message they aren’t likely to forget anytime soon.