Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Dear Common Dreams Readers:
Corporations and billionaires have their own media. Shouldn't we? When you “follow the money” that funds our independent journalism, it all leads back to this: people like you. Our supporters are what allows us to produce journalism in the public interest that is beholden only to people, our planet, and the common good. Please support our Mid-Year Campaign so that we always have a newsroom for the people that is funded by the people. Thank you for your support. --Jon Queally, managing editor

Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Without your help, we won’t survive.

President Donald Trump holds up a chart of military hardware sales as he meets with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Oval Office at the White House on March 20, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)

Warnings of More Deadly Attacks on Yemen as Trump Permits Raytheon to Manufacture 'High-Tech Bomb Parts' Inside Saudi Arabia

"If Saudi Arabia is able to develop an indigenous bomb-making capability, it will undermine U.S. leverage to prevent them from engaging in indiscriminate strikes of the kind it has carried out in Yemen."

Jake Johnson

In a move critics warned could empower the Saudis to manufacture their own high-tech weaponry for use in their assault on Yemen, the Trump administration reportedly wants to allow the American arms giant Raytheon to work with the kingdom to construct bomb and missile parts inside Saudi Arabia.

As The New York Times reported Friday, President Donald Trump's emergency declaration last month greenlighting billions of dollars in U.S. weapons sales to Saudi Arabia without congressional approval contained a provision that permits Raytheon to "team up with the Saudis to build high-tech bomb parts in Saudi Arabia."

The provision, according to the Times, immediately "raised concerns that the Saudis could gain access to technology that would let them produce their own versions of American precision-guided bombs—weapons they have used in strikes on civilians since they began fighting a war in Yemen four years ago."

"The move grants Raytheon and the Saudis sweeping permission to begin assembling the control systems, guidance electronics, and circuit cards that are essential to the company's Paveway smart bombs," the Times reported. "The United States has closely guarded such technology for national security reasons."

In a detailed investigation published last month, In These Times found that the Saudi kingdom has "ordered more than 27,000 missiles worth at least $1.8 billion from Raytheon alone."

"About $650 million of those Raytheon orders," In These Times reported, "came after the Saudi war in Yemen began."

William Hartung, director of the Arms and Security Project at the Center for International Policy, warned that handing the Saudis the capacity to develop high-tech bombs on the level of U.S. weaponry could have disastrous consequences for the people of Yemen, who are already suffering from the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

"If Saudi Arabia is able to develop an indigenous bomb-making capability as a result of this deal," Hartung said, "it will undermine U.S. leverage to prevent them from engaging in indiscriminate strikes of the kind it has carried out in Yemen."

According to the Times, the Trump administration's agreement with Raytheon "is part of a larger arms package, previously blocked by Congress, that includes 120,000 precision-guided bombs that Raytheon is prepared to ship to the coalition."

"These will add to the tens of thousands of bombs that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have already stockpiled," the Times reported, "and some in Congress fear the surplus would let the countries continue fighting in Yemen long into the future."

As Common Dreams reported in April, Trump vetoed a congressional effort—led by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.)—to end U.S. complicity in the Saudi assault on Yemen by halting military assistance to the kingdom.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers is now planning a series of votes in an attempt to block Trump's emergency declaration on Saudi arms sales.

"We will not stand idly by and allow the president or the secretary of state to further erode congressional review and oversight of arm sales," said Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

"I'm sure this will be all over the corporate media, right?"
That’s what one longtime Common Dreams reader said yesterday after the newsroom reported on new research showing how corporate price gouging surged to a nearly 70-year high in 2021. While major broadcasters, newspapers, and other outlets continue to carry water for their corporate advertisers when they report on issues like inflation, economic inequality, and the climate emergency, our independence empowers us to provide you stories and perspectives that powerful interests don’t want you to have. But this independence is only possible because of support from readers like you. You make the difference. If our support dries up, so will we. Our crucial Mid-Year Campaign is now underway and we are in emergency mode to make sure we raise the necessary funds so that every day we can bring you the stories that corporate, for-profit outlets ignore and neglect. Please, if you can, support Common Dreams today.

 

Abortion Rights Defenders Applaud Judge's Block on Utah 'Trigger Ban'

"Today is a win, but it is only the first step in what will undoubtedly be a long and difficult fight," said one pro-choice advocate.

Brett Wilkins ·


Scores Feared Dead and Wounded as Russian Missiles Hit Ukraine Shopping Center

"People just burned alive," said Ukraine's interior minister, while the head of the Poltava region stated that "it is too early to talk about the final number of the killed."

Brett Wilkins ·


Biodiversity Risks Could Persist for Decades After Global Temperature Peak

One study co-author said the findings "should act as a wake-up call that delaying emissions cuts will mean a temperature overshoot that comes at an astronomical cost to nature and humans that unproven negative emission technologies cannot simply reverse."

Jessica Corbett ·


Amnesty Report Demands Biden Take Action to End Death Penalty

"The world is waiting for the USA to do what almost 100 countries have achieved during this past half-century—total abolition of the death penalty," said the group.

Julia Conley ·


Pointing to 'Recently Obtained Evidence,' Jan. 6 Panel Calls Surprise Tuesday Hearing

The announcement came less than a week after the House panel delayed new hearings until next month, citing a "deluge" of fresh evidence.

Common Dreams staff ·

Common Dreams Logo