United States and Saudi Arabia Politics, Essay Example

Published: 2022-05-20 11:16:55
United States and Saudi Arabia Politics, Essay Example
Type of paper:  Critical thinking
Categories: Politics United States International relations
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1922 words
17 min read
143 views

The sale of arms to Saudi Arabia has been a significant tool used by the United States to exert influence on this nation. Saudi Arabia has become a crucial driver in the worldwide trade in weapons despite the population being low. Saudi Arabia is a major purchaser of arms from the United States because of the long-existing partnerships between these two countries and the riches which is derived from the energy reserves. Because of this, Saudi Arabia has become an integral partner of the United States in the middle east and has used this opportunity to develop a military base for its forces. Furthermore, the government of Saudi Arabia sees the Islamic state, Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda affiliates as potential threats the security of its citizens hence have maintained a close relationship with the government of the united states. the two countries have partnered together in their efforts towards counterterrorism and security of the citizens. The United States supply weapons to Saudi Arabia to stamp their dominance as the superpower, business, improve their relations through trade, and that Saudi Arabia is heading towards economic stability due to its oil reserves.

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Purpose of Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia by The United States.

Incentives

Firstly, the United States have sold arms to Saudi Arabia for a range of incentives that it stands to gain. For instance, the United States improves the security of this nation thereby containing the behavior of adversaries. Also, the United States uses this to create economies of scale that are essential in supporting the domestic arms of Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, the export of the arms plays an important role in sustaining the industrial base of the ministry of defense. This is because the United States earn a considerable amount of foreign exchange from the sale of arms which is approximately 6.2 percent of all exports (Nolan, 2010). This, therefore, means that the United States uses the sale of weapons to influence Saudi Arabia for political-military outcomes. The policy of the United States is shaped through the sale of arms. For instance, the sale of arms places some responsibility to the partner thus makes the nation to follow the engagement rules that are accepted internationally. Incentives are also in the form of employment created by the demand of arm. Despite arms sales funds being used in the defense and the aerospace industries of the united states, the sector employs over a million workers (Exum, 2017).

External Threats

Saudi Arabia has been demanding arms from the United States in recent years thus the United States has fulfilled this because of the close partnership between the two countries. Saudi Arabia has faced numerous terrorist threats and elevated levels of standoffs between countries in the middle east. For instance, there has been a long-standing rift between Iran and Saudi Arabia hence seeks to maintain a military with advanced weapons. Iran is not only seen as a threat to Israel and the United States, but also almost all the nations in the middle east have issues with Iran. Also, the conflicts that have been witnessed in Syria and Yemen shows a range in which nations should influence the outcomes in these countries using their military and the arms purchased from partners. Saudi Arabia has face domestic insurgencies and transnationals terrorists thus the need to make purchases from the United States which has stepped up its fight against terrorists and emerging insurgencies. Arms are necessary to stay in being in the same status with the neighbors who are also increasing the acquisition of arms from developed countries.

In addition, the aggressive growth of the Islamic state in Iraq and Syria and the constant attacks by this group inside Saudi Arabia has made the Kingdom seek powerful partners such as the United States that will assist in combating the threat. The Islamic state has expanded and saw Saudi Arabia as a potential caliphate thus called for attacks against the leaders of this Kingdom. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia has always depended on the United States in fighting against leaders and nations that are out to encroach the Kingdom. For example, Saudi Arabia called upon the United States to confront Iran whose sole agenda is to destabilize Yemen by the support given to the Ansar Assad, the Syrian president. Because of this, the United supported Saudi Arabia with weapons to deal with the Arabian Peninsula Al Qaeda based in Yemen but under the leadership of Saudi Arabia nationals. This group causes an unrelenting terrorist threat to the Kingdom hence they being sought. The threats have also come from the Al Qaeda leaders who have condemned the Saudi Arabian government.

The Kingdom has also faced internal threats by the Islamic State which has continued to torment Saudi Arabia since 2014. Many affiliates of the Islamic state have been arrested inside Saudi Arabia and have also claimed responsibility for various attacks against minority group such as Shia as well as the Saudi security forces. Apart from the threats to the security of the Saudis, the Islamic state has also targeted the interest of the United States in the region such as the U.S consulate general in Jeddah. The United States have sold arms and participated indirectly in averting the threats from Islamic states. Arms sales are meant to strengthen the Saudi security machinery to fight such threats. The Islamic state and the leaders of Saudi Arabia have been on conflict, and the Saudi government has stepped up its fights against the Islamic state by proposing new ways of dealing with transnational terrorism while the Islamic state has declared war on the Kingdom, Saudi clerics, and the royal family.

The United States have also sold arms to Saudi Arabia because of the war against Yemen led by Saudi Arabia which started in 2005. This is because the weapons being used are the supply from the United States not to the Kingdom alone, but other countries that have joint forces against Saudi Arabia have received arms from the united states. the interest of the United States in Saudi Arabia are many, and the Senate has failed to curtail the arms sales in this region. The United States recognizes Houthis as a terrorist group, thus supporting Saudi Arabia to fight this group is for a noble cause. Despite the death of civilians in this conflict, the United States has continued to supply arms for the legitimization of the Saudi Arabia military. Furthermore, the United States is using Saudi Arabia to combat the influence of Iran over the region as well as targeting terrorist groups such as Islamic state and Al Qaeda in Yemen.

Security Promotion and Economic Stability

Trump administration, as well as the past governments, have engaged Saudi Arabia as an important partner in the promotion of global economic stability and regional security in the middle east. The bilateral ties between these two countries have constantly flourished, and proposals have been made by the government of the United States to strengthen the relations further. For instance, Blanchard (2017) notes that counterterrorism, economic and energy cooperation, as well as regional stability, are the key areas of the relations between the two governments. The United States uses the counterterrorism pillar to sell arms to the Saudi government so as to enable this Kingdom to fight threats related to terrorism. Trump visited the Kingdom in May 2017, and both leaders agreed to a joint strategic vision which was meant to achieve an advance defense cooperation, disrupt the terrorism aid, and counteract violent messaging by extremisms. These partners agreed to array themselves against growing violent extremism, aggression and establish peace through the use of sophisticated weapons provided by the united states.

The United States has also shifted its focus on issues of Saudi domestic policy such as fighting extremisms, education, and unemployment. The Saudi-United States relation has also focused on helping the Kingdom to address security challenges in ways that are dependable to the interests of the united states. for instance, the United States is interested in selling arms to this Kingdom for it to fight the terrorists and defend its citizens from aggression from the outside. Also, Trump administration has given a positive signal to the Saudi government in a joint partnership on the domestic policy initiatives and the techniques to be used in approaching volatile Saudi neighbors such as Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and Iran. Sayeed (2017) agrees that Saudi Arabia have been threatened by Shia sects supported by Iran and Assad regime. Saudi Arabia has also felt that Syria is a potential threat to the Kingdom because of its close connection with Iran and the Shia communities in the region such as Iraq and Yemen. This has forced the Kingdom to strike coalitions with the united states to destroy any power that threatens the country.

Protection of Saudi Infrastructure

The United States has also sold arms to Saudi Arabia for the protection of infrastructure in the Kingdom which is done through the ministry of interior. Blanchard (2017) notes that the partnership between the united states and Saudi Arabia has expanded to include the internal security and counterterrorism as well as the protection of critical infrastructure. This means that the United States is supposed to offer advisory, technological, advisory, and cybersecurity support to the Kingdom all focused on the infrastructure and the people of Saudi Arabia (Blanchard, 2017). This partnership provides the ability for the Kingdom to hinder terrorists before they act as well as defending itself against terrorist attacks when they occur. This was made possible through the agreement reached when the two governments signed an arms sales worth over $215 million meant to support the programs of the interior ministry in the 2009 (Blanchard, 2017).

Influence of Other Powers

The united states have realized that if they do not sell arms to Saudi Arabia, other states are going to take advantage of this and make bilateral agreements on arms sale. Many countries all over the world are selling arms to countries that want to develop their military and step up the fight against terrorism. Countries like China, Russia, and England have expressed interests in toppling the United States which has strong bilateral ties with the Kingdom. Sayed (2017) agrees that the United States is nor the only supplier of arms to Saudi Arabia because nations such as the United Kingdom sold arms when the united states congress became reluctant because of the poor human rights records. The government of the then prime minister had no opposition and took the advantage through persistent lobbying, and the direct involvement of the prime minister led to the signing of the deal. The prime minister of the United Kingdom and the king of Saudi Arabia sent delegations and exchanged letters until the deal was signed despite the clear history of persistent gross violations of human rights and brutal repression in Saudi Arabia, which had apparently made the united states to refuse the sale of arms (Sayeed, 2017).

Russia, on the other hand, has benefited from the hesitancy of the united states to share any sensitive technology in the military especially in unmanned aerial vehicles which include drones. Since the United States is unwilling to support Saudi Arabia with sensitive technology, Russia has used this chance to supply drones. For instance, military officials from Russia and Saudi Arabia met in 2017 where Saudi Arabia made requests for the arms required. The king made a visit to Russia, where arms procurement agreements were signed. China has also taken advantage of the united states disinclination to sign agreements with Saudi Arabia.

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