President Trump’s Arms Deal with Saudi Arabia: Business as Usual

Abdullah Yusuf (Lead / Corresponding author), Tom Merritt, Joseph Royce

    Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

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    President Trump made his first foreign tour in May 2017. A significant part of his itinerary was a visit to Saudi Arabia. In addition to some awkward handshakes, forced smiles, and sword dances, he also closed an arms deal that he described as a huge victory for his administration and American businesses, leading to “hundreds of billions of dollars in investment and jobs, jobs, jobs.” The deal itself is valued at $110 billion dollars but is part of a much larger arrangement that is estimated to be worth around $350 billion dollars over the next ten years.

    Though this deal may be one of the largest in history, US arms sales to Saudi Arabia are nothing new. The relationship between Washington and the House of Saud dates back to 1945 and a meeting between Franklin D. Roosevelt and King Abdulaziz, where the Saudis offered subsidised oil to America in return for military protection. Since then, US involvement has skyrocketed, with the Obama administration offering $115 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia over the period of 2009-2016, $57 billion of which was signed in formal agreements.
    Original languageEnglish
    Specialist publicationCABLE - Scotland's monthly online international affairs magazine
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017


    • Armed conflict
    • Middle East
    • civil war
    • geopolitics


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