Should the US stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia?


Since the early 1900s, US companies have been working to develop Saudi Arabia’s oil fields. As the percentage of oil the US imported from the Saudi Arabia and the Middle East generally increased, so too did the need to protect Saudi Arabia’s security. And will all of the money the Saudis had from oil sales, they could afford to purchase more and more weapons that the US had to sell them. [Full background]

This has resulted in an interlocking cycle of dependence. Currently we provide 70% of Saudi Arabia’s weapons and Technical Support in exchange for a reliable supply of fossil fuels and price stability. These sales benefit the US economy and support US efforts to stabilize the region while limiting the influence of China and Russia.

Although the relationship has benefitted both countries, it does not come without complications. Saudi Arabia is a monarchy that has reputation for human rights abuses and the U.S is a monarchy. The 9-11 terrorists were Saudi citizens. Saudi Arabia was likely behind the assassination of Jamal Khassogi, who worked for the Washington Post. Saudi Arabia uses many of the weapons in its war in Yemen

Recently, the Biden administration pressured Saudi Arabia to increase oil production in order to help reduce gas prices and reduce revenue the total revenue going to Russia’s coffers (higher oil production lowers prices). Saudi Arabia’s refusal to increase production has increased opposition in Congress to the relationship.

Arms sales continue today but congress is pushing back.


Promoting Stability or Fueling Conflict.   Great overview of the US role in the world weapons marketplace.  With an intro and specific sections on Saudi Arabia.   

 Saudi oil power play bruises but does not break relations with the U.S.


*It’s time to pause and reassess the desirability of the sales
*Increased oil prices help support the Russian war effort in Ukraine
*Reduced sales will force a truce or negotiations in Yemen
*There are multiple ways to curtail arms sales to encourage change
*In response to murder of American citizen and Washington Post journalist Khassogi
*The US should never sell arms to a human rights abuser. Instead, we should shun abusers

Jobs and Saudi Arabia: The Real Story

The US-Saudi relationship is overrated

Washington should pause arms sales to reign in Saudi Arabia

To ensure Independent accountability mechanisms needed for abuses in Yemen war

Arms Sales Policies, Human Rights and Reform   Solvency mechanisms for changes in United States weapons sales policies.

Saudi’s need a reality check 

As a response to Sadi Arabia embracing Putin


*We need Saudi Arabia to counter the Iranian threat
*It accounts for billion dollars a year for the US economy
*Saudi Arabia is critical and the lead in Gulf maritime security
*Saudi Arabia is critical when we pivot to compete with China; if we undermine relations with Saudi Arabia China will gain more influence
*Maintaining sales is our only leverage against Saudi Arabia’s behavior

Other countries will fill the gap left by cutting United States sales

Why Saudi Arm sales are a strategic necessity

Arm sales build leverage

Stopping sales benefits Russia and China 

Keeping Manufacturing jobs at home key to political success

The Real Cost of Breaking Saudi-U.S. Ties

Saudi arms sales backfiles