Al-Monitor, February 8
Following last week’s announcement by President Joe Biden to end offensive American support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, a number of questions have arisen as to what an end to such assistance will look like and how it will ultimately affect the war. Ali Harb and Umar A Farooq examine these questions and provide some insight on the administration’s new policy.
The Guardian, February 9
Figures from between July and September 2020 reveal the UK authorized the export of £1.39 billion in weapons to Saudi Arabia in the quarter after arms exports to the nation resumed. The UK has indicated they will continue arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE despite calls from critics of the war in Yemen to follow President Biden’s lead in halting sales to the coalition.
Breaking Defense, February 9
Israeli ministers have approved the budget for a $9 billion arms purchase from the US that includes aircraft and special weapons systems. The deal will be funded through the $38 billion Foreign Military Financing agreement between the US and Israel.
Air Force Magazine, February 5
The Biden administration will continue Trump’s policy of excluding Turkey from the international F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program due to their purchase of an S-400 air defense system from Russia. The United States imposed sanctions on Turkey for acquiring the defense system in December of last year.
Axios, February 10
Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal Bin Farhan met with the newly appointed U.S. envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking in an indication that Saudi Arabia hopes to defuse tensions with President Biden following the US withdrawal of offensive support for the war in Yemen.
The Guardian, February 10
Australia is not planning to ban arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE despite calls from human rights groups to follow the US President’s lead. Between August 2019 and October 2020, Australia issued five permanent permits for export of military equipment to Saudi Arabia, and nine permits for the UAE. Now, the government says it will weigh up “emerging risks” when considering military exports.
Research, Analysis, and Opinion
Middle East Eye, February 11
Following last week’s announcement by President Joe Biden to end offensive American support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, a number of questions have arisen as to what an end to such assistance will look like and how it will ultimately affect the war. Ali Harb and Umar A Farooq examine these questions and provide insight on the administration’s new policy.
The Conversation, February 12
Research Fellow for the University of Central Florida Sandor Fabian explains his study on the International Military Education and Training program, which is a centerpiece of the United States’ global military strategy. His research, which focuses on the program’s outcomes in Hungary, “establishes, possibly for the first time, that U.S. military training programs achieve their stated goals: They transmit democratic values to foreign soldiers, who spread them among national armed forces. However, it does not conclude that American military education is an unmitigated good. Far from it.”
Washington Post, February 9
The Editorial Board outlines the challenges facing the Biden administration as the May 1 troop withdrawal deadline in Afghanistan looms. They refer to the USIP’s Afghanistan Study Group report to indicate the potential consequences of a precipitous US troop removal.