WASHINGTON, DC – The New York Center for Foreign Policy Affairs (NYCFPA) is troubled by various reports that, before the inauguration of President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the outgoing Trump administration had signed off on a massive arms deal with the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Our organization, as well as many noteworthy individuals, have expressed grave concern with the severe repercussions that will unfold if such a significant deal is granted.
On December 30th, 2020, NYCFPA filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court in Washington, DC against the State Department and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The complaint seeks to block the sale because Secretary Pompeo’s approval of the deal violated the Administrative Procedure Act. In particular, the State Department did not meet the Arms Export Control Act requirements and did not provide a reasoned explanation for such a decision. To date, the Department has not indicated that it even considered the possible consequences when advocating for a sale of this magnitude.
Unfortunately, there is significant potential for the F-35 aircraft and drones to be used to inflict harm in both Libya and Yemen that will further destabilize the Middle Eastern region. There is also the possibility of creating an arms race in the region while inheriting new security threats due to the potential sharing of U.S. military technology with nations like Russia and China.
The Center’s lawsuit was the final opportunity to block the arms sale, and the administration not only disregarded said lawsuit but rewarded the UAE’s repetitive and troubling behavior. For the administration to advocate for peace in the Middle East but continue to overlook crucial research and act in an opposite ideology is alarming.
We hope that with the new Biden administration our voice and every other American’s voice will not only be heard but embraced. Especially in regards to foreign policy research that provides notable and at times incriminating information that may shape the future of U.S. foreign relations.
Justin Russell, the NYCFPA’s Principal Director, states, “The Trump administration had vowed to put America and its national security first. The administration not only turned a blind eye to the plethora of unfavorable research presented on the UAE, but they failed to evaluate the ramifications our nation and the Middle Eastern region will endure in the future from this arms deal.”