Patriot missiles failed to protect Saudi Arabia from attack because even the world’s best anti-air systems sometimes don’t work, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said, expertly rebuking critics of the US defense industry.
Washington was left red in the face after missiles and armed drones successfully penetrated Saudi airspace – which is guarded by an arsenal of fancy US-made Patriot systems – hitting a major oil facility in the country.
Perhaps fearing that Riyadh might give the US defense system a 1-star review on Yelp, Pompeo used his master statesmanship to reassure loyal customers around the world that they didn’t spend billions of dollars on something that doesn’t actually work.
How is it that, after spending “$80 million a year” on air defense, the Saudis weren’t able to track “missiles that are crossing the Persian Gulf?” a journalist traveling with the secretary of state rudely asked on Wednesday.
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“We’ve seen air defense systems all around the world have mixed success. Some of the finest in the world don’t always pick things up,” Pompeo replied, dunking on all of the haters with facts and logic.
He went on to suggest that Saudi Arabia simply doesn’t have enough (US-made) “infrastructure” to stop such an attack, and that Washington will work with the Kingdom to alleviate this problem. Sounds expensive.
The Houthi rebels in Yemen have claimed responsibility for the precision strike, and warned that more attacks could come at any moment. Washington and Riyadh, however, have blamed Iran for the incident – an accusation that Tehran fiercely denies.
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