The Trump administration is facing legal action over the “rushed” sale of £17 billion’s worth of arms to the United Arab Emirates, amid concern the weapons could be used indiscriminately in the ongoing Yemen civil war.
After the US Senate defeated efforts to block the transfer of advanced fighter jets, drones and munitions to the UAE, the New York Center for Foreign Policy Affairs (NYCFPA) has decided to file a lawsuit against the Department of State and secretary Mike Pompeo.
In a submission to be made to the US District Court for the District of Columbia on 30 December, and seen by The Independent, the NYCFPA claims that the sale “fails to meet the most basic requirements under the law” and should be deemed “invalid”.
“In just a few months, the Department rushed a review process that normally takes years, to authorize and finalize a sale of roughly $23 billion worth of the most technologically advanced weapons in the world,” the document reads.
The constitution gives the sitting president major powers to conduct foreign policy and national security matters. However, US law also requires congressional review of major arms deals that have been secured by the White House. These sales need to be blocked by a two-thirds majority in the Senate and House of Representatives to overcome a presidential veto.
Typically, certain factors must be taken into consideration when authorising a sale of this kind, including its impact on world peace and US security. The Department of State is also expected to provide a clear explanation for its decision-making and address any change in foreign policy that is connected to these deals, according to the Administrative Procedures Act.
The NYCFPA claims the government failed to dedicate enough time to the review process and has not provided suitable evidence that justifies the sale of arms to the Emirates.