The government of US President Joe Biden approved nearly $20 billion worth of arms deals between 15 July and 2 August, with a third of those sales headed to countries in West Asia.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Germany, and the Netherlands were the top recipients of these deals, the most recent one amounting to $5.3 billion worth of weapons for Riyadh and Abu Dhabi.
Other notable buyers in the past month include Kuwait, Taiwan, and Norway, bringing total US arms sales this year to nearly $60 billion.
Additionally, Washington has funneled tens of billions of dollars worth of weapons into Ukraine to fuel the war against Russia. According to western media, many of these weapons end up being unaccounted for.
During the 2020 presidential campaign, Biden proudly proclaimed the US “would not check its values at the door to sell arms.” After his victory against Donald Trump, he also promised to end military support for Saudi Arabia’s brutal war in Yemen.
However, he has failed to keep his promises, whitewashing the atrocious human rights records of both Saudi Arabia and Israel, and even considering lifting a ban on selling “offensive weapons” to the kingdom.
The US has recently increased its military presence in Yemen, in what officials say is an attempt to control the country’s oil fields as it does in Syria.
In June, the White House also expressed support to close a multi-billion dollar deal with Turkey to “modernize” its fighter plane fleet with US-made F-16 jets, bolstering Ankara’s military campaign in northern Syria.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) revealed earlier this year that, between 2017 and 2021, the US held onto its place as the largest exporter of weapons in the world.
West Asia accounted for 43 percent of US arms exports in this period. The main recipient was Saudi Arabia, who accounted for 23 percent of total weapon exports.
The weapons delivered to Riyadh included nearly 100 F-15 SA fighter jets, which the Saudi-led coalition has used extensively to bomb civilian areas and infrastructure in Yemen.
According to the UN, the war in Yemen has killed close to 400,000 people.
Israel is another major recipient of US weapons in West Asia, receiving dozens of F-35 fighter jets and thousands of guided bombs, which have been used to bomb targets in occupied Palestine and Syria.