December 08, 2020
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, today spoke on the Senate floor regarding arms sales to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
I support the pending sales to the United Arab Emirates, and therefore oppose the Joint Resolution of Disapproval.
The agreement between Israel and the UAE – one of the Abraham Accords - is one of President Trump’s signature achievements and a major step forward in the Middle East.
Arab-Israeli peace is not unprecedented, but the agreement between Israel and the UAE has moved further and faster than the other agreements that preceded it.
It seems that the UAE and Israel are finding new areas of cooperation almost every day. They are now working together on security, pandemic response, education, and even media.
This partnership is deep, and reflects the growing acceptance of our friend Israel in the region. Most important, it did not require Israel to surrender anything.
President Trump treated Israel like a friend, and other countries have rushed to join that friendship. Now, it is our task to solidify these gains.
The sale ensures that Israel’s qualitative military edge is not affected, and we know this because the Israelis themselves have said so.
Moreover, this sale deepens the UAE’s partnership with the United States, and prevents it from turning toward China or Russia for its security needs.
The UAE is worthy of this sale because it is strongly aligned with the United States in the Middle East. It is a vital counterterrorism partner. The UAE has fought alongside our troops in Afghanistan and against ISIS. It is also vital to U.S. efforts against Iran – both Iran’s ambition of regional dominance and its support for terrorist proxies.
Voting down this sale would signal to our partners that even when they do everything we ask — fight alongside our soldiers, pursue shared interests in the region, and make meaningful peace with Israel — the U.S. won’t have their backs. This would be a terrible message to send, especially at a moment when China and Russia are eager to tell our partners that we are not reliable.
The truth is - we are reliable. The United States has long stood with its partner Israel and against its adversary, the Iranian regime.
This sale to the UAE is consistent with that approach. Nobody here would support it if the Israelis weren’t on board — but they are.
What’s more, it will bolster our long-standing effort to counter Iran’s nefarious regional activities.
The UAE is a strong partner that already has cutting-edge technology in the form of the F-16 fighter aircraft. The sale of the F-35 fighter jet is a continuation of this partnership.
For these reasons, I urge my colleagues to support this sale and oppose the Joint Resolution of Disapproval.
A vote against this resolution is a vote for peace in the Middle East. A vote for this resolution is a vote to give Iran, China and Russia more power and influence in the region, and will make our world less safe.