Saudi Arabia Went On Arms Buying Rampage Over Past 2 Years: Study

saudi-arabia-went-on-arms-buying-rampage-over-past-2-years-study

01-04-19 07:34:00,

Despite Saudi Arabia coming under intensified international scrutiny after last year’s brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, a new study shows Riyadh has been on a record-setting weapons buying spree over the past two years. 

And who supplies most of these arms? Of course the United States, which has by all indicators done nothing to curtail its perpetual arms pipeline to the Saudis; instead it has grown. According to a new 2019 study published in March from arms transfer monitoring group, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), 70 percent of the Saudi arsenal now comes from the United States.

Prior file photo of Saudi officers take photos during a joint military exercise of 21 Muslim nations (in 2016). Image source: Getty

Furthermore, the Saudis have hands down led the world in global weapons purchases for the past two years, and there’s little sign this trend will let up as Riyadh keeps up its merciless bombing campaign over neighboring Yemen, and as its regional ambitions have grown in competition with perceived “Iranian influence” — also given Syria’s Assad emerging victorious in the long-running proxy war in Syria, and as Hezbollah is now considered stronger than ever

Senior researcher and Middle East specialist with SIPRI, Pieter Wezeman, told PRI the US-Saudi arms trade has continued to grow: “There’s been a very significant growth in arms supplies to Saudi Arabia by the US,” he said.

He detailed the bulk constitutes major weapons systems as follows:

To Saudi Arabia, the US supplies a very wide range of arms. The most important types of arms include combat aircraft, tanks and missiles. It includes very advanced sensors and intelligence gathering equipment, often on planes. In the coming years, it will also include frigates and other ships. So, really, the whole package of weapons which Saudi Arabia wants to have is what the US is willing to supply and already has supplied.

Wezeman also suggested the Saudis are worried about Iranian escalation in Yemen. Saudi officials have long accused Tehran of transferring ballistic missiles to Shia Houthi rebels, in order to strike at targets deep inside Saudi Arabia. 

 » Lees verder

Giving the Bomb to Saudi Arabia’s Dr. Strangelove

giving-the-bomb-to-saudi-arabias-dr.-strangelove

04-03-19 08:55:00,

The most dangerous foreign policy decision of the Trump administration—and I know this is saying a lot—is its decision to share sensitive nuclear technology with Saudi Arabia and authorize U.S. companies to build nuclear reactors in that country. I spent seven years in the Middle East. I covered the despotic, repressive kingdom as the Middle East bureau chief for The New York Times. And I, along with most other Arabists in the United States, have little doubt that giving a nuclear capability to Saudi Arabia under the leadership of the ruthless and amoral Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman would see it embark on a nuclear weapons program and eventually share weaponized technology with Saudi allies and proxies that include an array of radical jihadists and mortal enemies of America. A nuclearized Saudi Arabia is a grave existential threat to the Middle East and ultimately the United States.

The drive to build nuclear reactors in Saudi Arabia is led by the half-wit son-in-law of the president, Jared Kushner, who met Tuesday with Salman in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, to discuss “ways to improve the condition of the entire region through economic investment,” according to the White House. Prominently involved in that economic program are corporations such as IP3 International, a consortium of U.S. companies led by several retired generals and admirals and others who stand to make millions from the deal.

The Saudi government, which is soliciting bids for the nuclear reactors, reportedly spent more than $450,000 over a one-month period to lobby the Trump administration to approve its purchase of the equipment and services from U.S. sources. Westinghouse Electric Co. and other American companies are preparing to construct the facilities, which would allow Saudi Arabia to enrich and reprocess uranium. The secretive effort to give Saudi Arabia a nuclear capability is not only colossally stupid, but has been done without being reviewed by Congress, as required by law, and violates the Atomic Energy Act.

Salman, whose psychopathic traits remind me of Saddam Hussein, is widely believed to have ordered the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018. He has imprisoned dissidents, brutally ousted rivals, seized over $100 billion in extortion money from kidnapped and tortured members of the royal family and instilled a level of fear and terror inside the kingdom,

 » Lees verder

Listen to a Saudi analyst explaining why the KSA and Israel are cozying up to each other | The Vineyard of the Saker

listen-to-a-saudi-analyst-explaining-why-the-ksa-and-israel-are-cozying-up-to-each-other-the-vineyard-of-the-saker

28-02-19 08:35:00,

Saudi analyst Abdul Hamid al-Hakeem has defended the appearance of Saudi and Arab leaders alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a recent conference in Warsaw, asserting that Saudi normalisation of ties with Israel was no cause for embarrassment. The two-day US-organised Warsaw conference on “peace and security” in the Middle East was widely seen as another major step by certain Arab and Israeli leaders to achieve a normalisation of ties. Al-Hakeem, the former director of the Jeddah-based Middle East Center for Strategic and Legal Studies, suggested that by achieving peace with Israel, a new Middle East would be created free of the ‘Iranian threat’.

The best way to stay up to date with MEO’s content is to subscribe to its website mailing list (see below), and/or to be following as many of its media channels as possible (also below).

Support MEO on Patreon: Help their work continue and grow with as little as $1/month: https://www.patreon.com/MiddleEastObserver

Subscribe – YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2PtSAPyEgn0cnYzJZKHKiw

Subscribe – Website Mailing List: http://middleeastobserver.net/subscribe/

Follow – Daily Motion channel: https://www.dailymotion.com/MiddleEastObserver

Like – Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/MEO.Translation/


The Essential Saker II

The Essential Saker II: Civilizational Choices and Geopolitics / The Russian challenge to the hegemony of the AngloZionist Empire

Order Now


The Essential Saker

The Essential Saker: from the trenches of the emerging multipolar world

Free Download

 » Lees verder

Saudi Arabia and the US – a Partnership between the Hedgehog and the Snake | New Eastern Outlook

saudi-arabia-and-the-us-a-partnership-between-the-hedgehog-and-the-snake-new-eastern-outlook

12-02-19 08:25:00,

SAU563422

Saudi Arabia at the beginning of this year is experiencing a number of fairly serious crises, above all in the political, economic and financial areas.

There is the ongoing fallout from the scandalous, and still unresolved, murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi embassy in Istanbul. Both the USA and Turkey have, quite reasonably, accused Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman of involvement. The position of the Turkish president, Recep Erdoğan, is entirely understandable: in the murky waters of the Saudi crisis he is fishing for an advantage – in the form of financial leverage in his country’s economy. It appears from the silence of the “free” Turkish media that he has succeeded, or almost succeeded, in this.

To tell the truth, as far as concerns Saudi Arabia, with its monarchical dictatorship, there is nothing surprising in that: people who disagree with the Saudi leaders suffer fates ranging from questioning under torture of various kinds to public execution by beheading. But this is the first time that the regime has killed a well-known journalist in a foreign country. In this we can recognize the distinctive signature of the Israeli security forces, Mossad, with whom the Saudi intelligence forces have established efficient contacts, and who do not hesitate to share their skills with those “executioners” who are more experienced, and less troubled by moral concerns, when it comes to international law and human rights.

However, there remains that so-called democracy, the United States of America. Donald Trump, the US President, after careful consideration, chose to dispense with long meaningless speeches about democracy, and instead came out in support of the Saudi Crown Prince. He justified this choice in the simplest, most cynical way possible: if he were to put pressure on Saudi Arabia then the latter might choose to cancel its arms contracts with the US and buy from Russia and China instead. As they say, money talks. In addition, Saudi Arabia is still a faithful ally of the USA in their joint campaign to stifle Iran’s economy, and if Riyadh were to take offence then it would put that “project” at risk.

Everything seemed cut and dried, until the Democratic Party, always looking out for an opportunity to unseat the erratic Donald Trump,

 » Lees verder

Saudi Arabia, armaments and conflict in the Middle East | SIPRI

saudi-arabia-armaments-and-conflict-in-the-middle-east-sipri

14-12-18 03:46:00,

Throughout the Middle East, many governments have placed a heavy emphasis on military force as a central tool for pursuing their political agendas and foreign policy aims and for dealing with perceived threats internally and abroad. Many states in the region have used their militaries in violent conflicts that have led to widespread destruction and hampered economic development. Militarization in the region is at a high level, as demonstrated by the fact that several states have steeply increased their arms imports in the past 10 years and that, in 2017, 7 of the 10 countries in the world with the highest military burden were in the Middle East.

This topical backgrounder puts a spotlight on armament developments in Saudi Arabia, the country with the highest levels of military spending and arms imports in the Middle East. It aims to contribute to the efforts by SIPRI to gain a better understanding of the impact of militarization on security, conflict, peace and development in the region.

Saudi Arabia’s military involvement in conflicts in the Middle East

Since the spring of 2015, Saudi Arabia has been leading a coalition of states in a military intervention against rebel forces in Yemen. The intervention has involved airstrikes, ground operations and an aerial and naval blockade of Yemen. Instead of a quick victory or resolution to the conflict, fighting has continued and the warring parties have been accused of violations of international humanitarian law. United Nations bodies and non-governmental organizations have accused Saudi Arabia of widespread and systematic attacks on civilian targets. The conflict in Yemen has caused tens of thousands of casualties and the situation there is currently considered to be the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. The fighting—and the blockade in particular—has disrupted imports of food, fuel and medical supplies.

Saudi Arabia is also militarily involved in other conflicts—such as providing support for rebel groups in Syria, attempting to use military assistance to gain influence in Lebanon and fighting Shiite minority groups in the eastern province of Saudi Arabia. Although the various conflicts throughout the Middle East are complex, it is widely believed that they can be at least partly explained by regional power struggles (such as those between Saudi Arabia and Iran,

 » Lees verder

Saudi Arabia and the USA: a Close Alliance of “Democratic” Nations | New Eastern Outlook

saudi-arabia-and-the-usa-a-close-alliance-of-democratic-nations-new-eastern-outlook

06-12-18 08:30:00,

7791935099084980552no

The President of the “most democratic nation on Earth”, as the several journalists closely allied to the US call Donald Trump, has given us an impressive and easily comprehensible lesson on American democracy in action.

In an official statement from the White House, the President asserted his intention not to upset the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the USA because of the assassination of some Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.  Afterwards, US senators openly accused Trump of putting Saudi Arabia “first” with his decision not to take any punitive measures against the kingdom or Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud for the brutal murder of the journalist. The President’s decision is “yet another fawning prostration to a foreign authoritarian” regime tweeted the Democratic senator Tim Kaine. “It’s only a matter of time until actions like this by the President directly threaten our security,” added the senator.

It is common knowledge that in the statement, released by the White House, Donald Trump said the US intends to remain a “steadfast partner” of Saudi Arabia, although “it could very well be” that the Crown Prince had knowledge of the journalist’s murder. He added that he had no intention of cancelling military contracts with the kingdom, stating “If we foolishly cancel these contracts, Russia and China would be the enormous beneficiaries”.

Donald Trump’s next statement immediately drew journalists’ attention. In his announcement, he highlighted that “It could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!”.

What is clear, at this stage, is that Donald Trump can no longer handle the enormous psychological and physical strain he has been experiencing during the last two years of his presidency. He keeps replacing his cabinet staff in bouts of hysteria, insulting them publicly, and raising his voice at his foreign allies and friends. Nowadays, global media outlets are discussing Trump’s rude telephone conversation with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Theresa May. After he publicly rebuked her, the recording of his conversation with Theresa May was widely circulated by the media. This is yet another striking example of American tolerance and democracy.

It is worth mentioning that the “great Democrat” made his comments about Saudi Arabia in public,

 » Lees verder

Stop being ‘Saudi Arabia’s b*tch,’ Tulsi Gabbard tells Trump, critics pounce

stop-being-saudi-arabias-btch-tulsi-gabbard-tells-trump-critics-pounce

22-11-18 10:15:00,

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) has mocked US President Donald Trump’s commitment to remaining allied with Riyadh in the wake of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death, calling the president “Saudi Arabia’s b*tch.”

The anti-interventionist congresswoman tweeted the scathing insult following an earlier statement from Trump, in which he said that the United States would stand by its Saudi allies despite conclusions from the CIA that the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered Khashoggi’s killing in October.

Trump admitted that it “could very well” be that the crown prince knew of plans to murder Khashoggi, but unashamedly cited weapons contracts with arms manufactures Lockheed Martin and Raytheon as a reason not to disturb the long-standing alliance between the two countries.

On Wednesday, Gabbard tweeted that “being Saudi Arabia’s b*tch” is not the kind of “America First” foreign policy that Trump promised during his presidential campaign.

Gabbard, who is an Iraq War veteran herself, opposes the knee-jerk use of the US military in foreign conflicts. She clashed with former president Barack Obama on his Syria policy, suggesting that the US and its allies were pushing for regime change in the country but ignoring the potential consequences. She has also spoken out against the US arming anti-government fighters in Syria, many of whom turned out to be jihadist extremists.

Gabbard also visited Syria herself on a private fact-finding mission, during which she met Syrian President Bashar Assad without informing top Democrats. After the trip, she was roundly denounced by members of both parties as an “Assad apologist” for daring to break bipartisan ranks on interventionist US foreign policy.

That exact same line criticism was on display on Wednesday as well, as pundits and politicians – even those routinely critical of Trump – lit into Gabbard over her tweet.

And how would you describe your fondness for Assad? Asking for the 500,000 Syrians he murdered… including the 50,000 children who gasped their last breath because of him. https://t.co/5Ezre1lWwO

— Adam Kinzinger (@RepKinzinger) November 21, 2018

It wasn’t all condemnations, however, as many in the anti-interventionist camp welcomed Gabbard’s straight-talking.

While the neocon grifters and liberal interventionists who have long enabled Saudi crimes hope for MBS to be replaced with a less impulsive ruler,

 » Lees verder

Khashoggi who? Saudi Crown Prince bin Salman all smiles, $50B in deals signed (Video)

Khashoggi who? Saudi Crown Prince bin Salman all smiles, $50B in deals signed (Video)

25-10-18 08:00:00,

Clinton is not the snore that she appears to be.

She’s a radical, an adept of the Hegelian doctrine of the state knowing what’s best for the individual and for the family. The notion that, “Father knows best,” is a relic. Stone Age vintage.  While Hegel’s disciples may have extended his philosophy to opposite hemispheres – to the Protestant Right and to the Marxist Left – little in Clinton’s book, It Takes a Village, or in her subsequent, expressed views, suggests anything but a militant Marxist perspective.

Brandishing hellfire assuredness, which some believe only the Devil can instill, she is still quite certain, despite advancing years, that with enough patience the radicalization of cultural and educational institutions will bring about the needed transformation of America prior to the advent of HER New World Order. The new dawn will see her ruling above all and everything.

When her husband ran the show, Hillary was actively working to transform the US into a collectivist state through organizations like the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS). “Operate in stealth from within,” remains a favorite axiom.

There’s only one problem with Hillary’s core identity.

Radicalism doesn’t win presidential elections. Every pundit will tell you: “Winning demands middle-of-the-road stature with just the right dash of populism.” In fact, it was the image that Bill Clinton successfully portrayed to dupe the electorate in 1992. Through their co-reign over America, Hillary zealously began injecting the radical left agenda (RLA) into diverse organizations as Bill pushed hard for globalism.

Hence, the dilemma for Hillary. She’s a radical but not the actor needed to play the middle-of-the-road game. Her heart – physicians claim she has one – wasn’t into it. At least not with a sufficient pulse or pressure to motivate even paid “volunteers.” Unlike the used car salesman at her side disguised as US President, she wasn’t enough of a hypocrite. She doesn’t have Obama’s talent at pushing hot air to get snake-oil sales. The more she presses, the more the fake laugh doesn’t fly.

Indeed, starting with the Billy-Hillary regime, the ideology of the RLA has been infiltrating the ideological vacuum in the Democratic Party. Considering the moral decay of the Washington Establishment and of politically, watered-down,

 » Lees verder

Trump To Saudi King: “You Wouldn’t Last Two Weeks Without Us”

Trump To Saudi King: “You Wouldn’t Last Two Weeks Without Us”

03-10-18 07:21:00,

One week after President Trump accused Saudi Arabia of deliberately conspiring to drive up oil prices during his speech before the United Nations General Assembly, the president stepped up his rhetoric against America’s most important strategic ally in the Middle East during a rally in Southaven Mississippi Tuesday night, implying that the US could withdraw the military protection it provides to the kingdom and warning that the Saudi regime that it wouldn’t survive for “two weeks” without US support.

Trump

In a rebuke that may have been inspired by OPEC’s refusal to raise production at the September meeting in Algiers (though Saudi officials have said both on the record and in several reported leaks that they’re looking into unilateral cuts) Trump told the crowd that he had warned Saudi Arabia’s King Salman that he “might not be there for two weeks without us,” adding “you have to pay for your military.” Trump’s remarks triggered uproarious applause.

“We protect Saudi Arabia. Would you say they’re rich. And I love the King, King Salman. But I said ‘King – we’re protecting you – you might not be there for two weeks without us – you have to pay for your military.’”

Last week’s remarks at the UN were only the latest example of Trump’s demands that Saudi Arabia, the de facto leader of OPEC, act to suppress oil prices since they started breaking higher earlier this year. Most of those warnings have come via twitter. At one point, Trump said that Saudi Arabia had agreed as early as June to do more to push oil prices lower.

We protect the countries of the Middle East, they would not be safe for very long without us, and yet they continue to push for higher and higher oil prices! We will remember. The OPEC monopoly must get prices down now!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 20, 2018

Just spoke to King Salman of Saudi Arabia and explained to him that, because of the turmoil & disfunction in Iran and Venezuela, I am asking that Saudi Arabia increase oil production, maybe up to 2,000,000 barrels, to make up the difference…Prices to high! He has agreed!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 30,

 » Lees verder

Saudi Arabia Purchased Israel’s Iron Dome Defense System: Controversial Report

Saudi Arabia Purchased Israel’s Iron Dome Defense System: Controversial Report

15-09-18 04:21:00,

A controversial report detailing that Saudi Arabia has purchased Israeli’s Iron Dome defense system went viral this week after a prominent Arabic news site made the claim based on diplomatic sources.

Al-Khaleej Online, which is based in the UK and Persian Gulf, published the bombshell report on Wednesday, which alleged that the first Iron Dome missile battery is slated to be transferred to Saudi Arabia before the end of the year in December. 

A ship-based Iron Dome missile defense system being tested, via the Israeli Defense Forces

As Israel and Saudi Arabia are still longtime “official enemies” in the eyes of much of the Middle East public despite keeping increasingly close intelligence relations out of a shared desire to thwart Iran in the region, the story immediately stirred deep controversy, prompting Israeli officials to issue a prompt denial. 

“We deny the existence of a deal to sell Iron Dome to Saudi Arabia,” Israel’s Defense Ministry said in an emailed statement to the Times of IsraelIsraeli officials were responding to the story sweeping national media on the heels of the claims taking Arabic social media by storm. 

And further controversial is that the missile transfer, said to be in “excess of tens of millions of dollars,” reportedly included the mediation of the United States.

Saudi Arabia, for its part, has been mum on the controversy, which is not actually the first time the allegation has been made. Riyadh and Tel Aviv have reportedly developed closer ties in the midst of both Syrian and Yemeni wars, where they fear growing Iranian influence. 

Iron Dome missiles positioned in Israel, via Defense Blog

Amidst these closer intelligence and defense relations as a result of the Shia Houthi-led rebellion in Yemen, the two were said to be in prior talks concerning the advanced Iron Dome system.

According to Newsweek:

In May 2015, just two months after Saudi Arabia and allies launched their campaign against the Zaidi Shiite Muslim Houthis in Yemen, U.K.-based Arabic-language Rai al-Youm reported on an alleged Israeli offer to sell the Iron Dome to Saudi Arabia on the sidelines of talks hosted by the U.S.

 » Lees verder

Is Saudi Arabia Doing America’s Bidding by Sanctioning Canada? | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

Is Saudi Arabia Doing America’s Bidding by Sanctioning Canada? | Global Research – Centre for Research on Globalization

08-08-18 06:24:00,

Note to readers: please click the share buttons above  

Saudi Arabia’s sovereignty-supporting sanctions against Canada in response to Ottawa’s criticism of the Kingdom’s internal affairs are grossly hypocritical but nevertheless in defense of objectively valid principles, though it needs to be considered whether Riyadh’s acting independently in this respect or doing so at Washington’s urging in order to pile economic pressure on Canada during Trudeau’s NAFTA renegotiations with Trump.

Background Basics

Saudi Arabia surprised most observers by reacting in a disproportionately fierce manner to Canada’s criticism of its recent arrest of a women’s rights activist last week. The latest developments in this fast-moving spat are that the Kingdom expelled the Canadian Ambassador and ordered all of its students in the North American country to leave as soon as possible, announcing that the government will no longer fund their studies there. It will also stop its medical treatment programs in the country and freeze all trade and investment deals with it as well. Furthermore, Riyadh will halt its purchase of wheat and barley products from the agricultural powerhouse and will suspend all flights to and from Toronto next week. There’s also a looming chance that Saudi Arabia might stop selling oil to Canada, too, and that a massive $11,5 billion arms deal between the two will also be jeopardized.

Sovereignty Double Standards

Riyadh justified its moves in an uncharacteristically harsh response that slammed Canada’s ”blatant interference in the Kingdom’s domestic affairs, against basic international norms and all international protocol” that attempts to “meddle with Saudi sovereignty”. The official condemnation of Ottawa’s actions also said that Saudi Arabia “categorically rejects any intervention in its domestic affairs and internal relations with its citizens”.

On the surface, the Saudis should be applauded for their valiant defense of state sovereignty in such strong language that one would be forgiven for thinking that it came from a Russian diplomat had they only read the abovementioned passages, but the fact of the matter is that the Kingdom’s principled defense of sovereignty is grossly hypocritical because it’s guilty of everything that it accuses Canada of.

Saudi sponsorship of countless Mideast militant groups over the decades is well known,

 » Lees verder

With America’s help, Saudi Arabia is moving to become a nuclear power

With America’s help, Saudi Arabia is moving to become a nuclear power

23-02-18 03:08:00,

US President Donald Trump has just lectured NATO on it member’s commitment performance and held a controversial meeting with the Russian President Vladimir Putin and is next week to receive EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, with trade matters being high up on the agenda.

Juncker is expected to present Trump with a package of proposals to help smooth relations and potentially heal areas of division, particularly those surrounding Europe’s trade relationship with America. Those proposals are precisely what is cropping up as another area of divergence between some members of the EU, specifically France and Germany, just after a major contention on migration has been driving discord within the Union.

This gets down to whether Europe should offer concessions to Trump on trade while Trump is admittedly describing the Union as a ‘foe’ and has initiated a trade spat with the Union by assessing trade tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Europe, spurring retaliatory tariff measures from the EU Commission.

France, specifically, is opposed to any sort of compromise with Trump on the matter, where Trump is perceived as an opponent to the Union and its unity, whereas Germany is economically motivated to seek an end to the trade dispute under the threat of a new round of tariffs emanating from the Trump administration, and is therefore seeking to find some sort of proposal that Trump will accept and therefore back down on his protectionism against the EU, and Germany in particular.

Politico reports:

Only a week before European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker flies to Washington, France and Germany are divided over how much he should offer to U.S. President Donald Trump to end a deepening trade war, say European diplomats and officials.

But, they add, Germany has the upper hand. Berlin is shaping Juncker’s agenda, suggesting three offers that he could take to Trump on July 25 to resolve the dispute, according to people familiar with the plans.

The French are uneasy about the wisdom of such a conciliatory approach, however, and publicly accuse Trump of seeking to splinter and weaken the 28-member bloc, which he has called his “foe.”

Despite Paris’ reservations about giving away too much to the increasingly hostile U.S.

 » Lees verder