State Department did not consider civilian casualties when sending arms to the Middle East, report finds

Source: Politico | August 11, 2020 | Jacqueline Feldscher and Nahal Toosi

The Conventional Arms Transfer Policy prohibits the U.S. from approving arms transfers if it knows those weapons will be used against civilians.

The State Department did not fully consider the risk of civilian casualties when it approved more than $8 billion in arms sales to Middle Eastern countries last year, according to an inspector general report released Tuesday.

Lawmakers asked the IG to investigate the transfer of military equipment to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in May 2019 cited threats from Iran when using emergency authorities to transfer the weapons. The move short-circuited lawmakers, who had blocked some of the transfers for more than a year over concerns that the U.S.-made equipment could be used to kill civilians.

The IG determined that Pompeo carried out his use of emergency authorities properly. Yet it also said the department “did not fully assess risks and implement mitigation measures to reduce civilian casualties and legal concerns” surrounding the transfer of precision guided munitions to the three countries. The inspector general provided additional details about this failure, as well as a recommendation, in a classified annex of the report.

The 22 transfers included the sale of 120mm mortar rounds to Saudi Arabia and Javelin anti-tank guided missiles to the UAE, along with the transfer of laser-guided bombs from the UAE to Jordan.

Of those 22 cases, lawmakers had placed holds on 15, the report said.

The Conventional Arms Transfer Policy prohibits the U.S. from approving arms transfers if it knows those weapons will be used against civilians.

The report has been heavily anticipated in part because Pompeo recently engineered the firing of Steve Linick, the inspector general under whom the investigation began. Linick also was looking into whether Pompeo and his wife, Susan, had improperly used State Department resources for personal reasons, a probe that remains underway.

Pompeo has denied that the investigations had anything to do with his decision to ask President Donald Trump to fire Linick in mid-May. Pompeo has alleged that Linick was a “bad actor” who was undermining the mission of the department. Linick, who had held the post since 2013, has said he was shocked to be fired.

……..

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • Discussion
  • Consistent #41858

    Consistent #41892

    ConservativeGranny #41902

    More evidence that Trump deserves that Peace Prize.

Viewing 3 posts - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.