Republican Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska said the U.S. should cut off its $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia, on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Tuesday, to maintain its position on human rights.
“Everything has to be on the table including the arms sales,” Sasse said. (RELATED: GOP Sen. Ben Sasse Calls The Trump White House A ‘Reality Soap Opera Show’)
“The arms sales are not an end in themself. The arm sales are a means to U.S. purposes in the Middle East. And the Middle East has these two different poles of Iran and Saudi and they both got lots of problems. But for quite some time Iran has been sowing dissent and chaos and discord among all their neighbors and we’ve been trying to get the Saudis to have some public declaration of shared long-term values,” Sasse continued.
“Policy flows from principles but we’d have to have some principles in common with the Saudis and right now they need to explain a lot more than they are explaining,” he added.
He then reiterated that the arms deal needs to be looked at more closely and called on Congress to help the public understand the pros and cons of having a foothold in the Middle East.
“Everything needs to be on the table. I’m going to be looking to talk to Ambassador [John] Bolton in the next day and a half, two days … Congress does need to be forceful in helping the American people understand what is the U.S. purpose in the Middle East and to what degree can Saudi partner with us,” Sasse added.
He also claimed the stability of the Middle East has a major impact on the domestic success of America and said the nation’s foreign policy should center on “universal human dignity.”
“We also have taxpayers funding bills around the world and we know that in a flat world, stuff that goes wrong in the Middle East ultimately comes home to roost here,” Sasse said. “American foreign policy needs to be based on the idea of an American creed that believes in universal human dignity. That doesn’t mean we can be the beat cop everywhere in the world, but it does mean that alliances matter to try to maintain stability and order in that region.”
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