Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

Why is the USA selling weapons to potential Saudi suicide attackers?

with 9 comments


The more I think about our latest plan to sell piles of weapons to Middle Eastern countries, the more perplexed and alarmed I get. I can see any number of down sides to this, and no up sides, I’m honestly having a little trouble understanding the justification for it. How is sending even more weapons to a region already awash in weapons going to help?

The 20 billion dollars worth to Saudi Arabia is particularly alarming. Why are we selling modern weapons to Saudi Arabia? What have they ever done for us? Most of the 911 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia. Something like 75% of the foreign fighters entering Iraq are crossing over from the poorly controlled Saudi border. 40% of the foreign fighters in Iraq are Saudis nationals, they are in fact the major component of foreign fighters in Iraq. The princes running this medieval theocracy (Saudi Arabia makes Iran look like a poster child for democracy and human rights) are getting rich beyond most Americans dreams on hard earned American dollars. And many of those dollars are now funding the insurgency in Iraq. And we’re rewarding them?

The purported justification for this arms sale to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States is that they need these weapons to defend themselves against the threat posed by Iran. Let’s look at a few facts here. Saudi Arabia’s defense budget is about 25 billion US$ per year. Iran’s defense budget is about 6.5 billion US$ per year. So Saudi Arabia is already spending more than three times annually what Iran spends on defense. And this doesn’t even count the defense budgets of the other gulf states, which amounts to many more billions per year. So can someone explain to me why nations who are already outspending the nation “threatening” them by four to one need even more weapons to “defend” themselves?

Some analysts have concluded that this arms deal is to compensate the Saudis and other gulf states for the mess we have made in Iraq. It’s also a great boon to America’s already bloated arms industry, I have to wonder if that also figured into this decision. I can’t find a single article by anyone claiming that this arms deal is going to help stabilize the region, the other claimed justification for this arms deal. I can find plenty of analysts who say this is “Christmas in July” for the American arms industry. In fact arming nations to stabilize them hasn’t been a terribly effective strategy when one recalls that Iraq and Iran were both heavily armed by the United States in decades past. And let’s not mention the huge numbers of weapons supplied to the current Iraqi government that are unaccounted for.

It’s also been pointed out that there is every reason to believe that Al-Qaeda has deeply penetrated the Saudi military. Yes, you read that right. So we may very well be putting sophisticated modern military aircraft into the hands of people who will use them as suicide weapons against Israeli or US installations. Again: fifteen of the nineteen 911 attackers were from Saudi Arabia. Some of their friends and relatives are more than likely flying modern military jets that we supplied the Saudi Air Force. Just waiting for the word from Osama. So at least one thing is clear, there’s no need to wonder what Al-Qaeda and Osama think of the arms sale to Saudi Arabia, it can be summed up in one word: “Thanks!”

(The above modified low resolution image of a Royal Saudi Air Force F-5 is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It is not being used for profit and it is central to illustrating the post. Credit: Copyright ©2000-2007, Flying Yard)

Written by unitedcats

August 8, 2007 at 8:02 am

Posted in Business, Terrorism, War, World

9 Responses

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  1. Hmm… now why could that be?

    Saudi Army = 250,000 (Source: CSIS)
    With ability to conscript 50K

    Iranian Army = 350,000 (Source: MilNet)
    With ability to conscript >2 million

    It’s clear that there is some support for AQ within the Saudi military. What is not supported by any fact to date is that it AQ has ‘deeply’ or ‘widely’ penetrated that military. Where it has been found is primarily in the 100K National Guard (included in the above number). The National Guard is not receiving JDAMs; those go to the Air Force, deemed reliable by US military sources.

    You might also be interested in reading National Security in Saudi Arabia: Threats, Responses, and Challenges, also from CSIS.

    John Burgess

    August 8, 2007 at 8:48 am

  2. You are not seriously proposing that Iranian ground forces pose a threat to Saudi Arabia? They, and their supply lines, would have to cross hundreds of miles of open billiard board table and desert terrain (not to mention one of the world’s great waterways) under 24/7 aerial attack from the vastly superior US and Saudi air forces. It is extremely unlikely that Iran would even attempt such a suicidal and stupid attack, and Saudi Arabia already has more than enough aerial firepower to slaughter them if they tried, even without US help.

    As for US military sources deeming that the Royal Saudi Air Force is 100% free of Al-Qaeda and other extremists, forgive me if I am not reassured.

    Thanks for dropping by, comments are always appreciated. :)


    August 8, 2007 at 12:07 pm

  3. right on!
    (I agree)

    Noah David Simon

    August 8, 2007 at 6:43 pm

  4. Amazingly, most of the 9/11 “Saudi Hijackers” are still alive. Typical US alarmist US propaganda; commit atrocities all over the world including the Middle East and wonder why people don’t like you…

    Your “facts” are as skewed as your military “intelligence” reports. Leave articles like this to the informed people who are actually over here, it will be far less embarassing.

    Tim Dupuis

    August 8, 2007 at 7:23 pm

  5. —Your “facts” are as skewed as your military “intelligence” reports. Leave articles like this to the informed people who are actually over here, it will be far less embarassing.—

    Ad hominem attack. Describe the facts and intelligence reports that are accused of being skewed. Provide references to sources that contradict said skewed facts. State examples of abovementioned ‘informed people’ and quote their published work which contains the non-embarassing facts.

    Perhaps the US has finally found a way to undetectably include hardware/software into each and every high-tech, computer-program reliant weapon, that allows the US military to instantly hack into and control every single missile and fighter jet they’ve sold?

    Scott Thong

    August 8, 2007 at 8:43 pm

  6. Of course the US military is heavily infiltrated by a group called the Christian Embassy.


    August 8, 2007 at 10:24 pm

  7. I’d love to see a link where there’s documentation to the claim that Al Qaeda has infiltrated the Saudi military. Not a challenge, just for interests sake. You would think, that after the (very well documented and widely discussed) use of old US anti-aircraft artillery in Afghanistan against coalition fighter jets, American politicians would be a little more cautious about huge arms deals in volatile regions. YOu’d think they’d at least be a bit more covert about it. . . I think there truly are some benefits to continued partnership with the Saudi’s, but the gamble is huge at this point. Here’s a link of interest where they break down the + and – of dealing with the Kingdom. I found it useful


    August 9, 2007 at 2:12 am

  8. I would think that the fact that so many of the 911 attackers were Saudi nationals pretty much speaks for itself as to the possibility they may have infiltrated the Saudi military. One also has to consider that “American backed” is becoming the kiss of death in the Arab world. Here is one article discussing Al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia.


    August 9, 2007 at 6:54 am

  9. LOL !

    Nothing is 100% ! To think otherwise is comedy, lets hope its not tragic too.

    This is the same country who brought us 9-11 for gods sake! Its ‘upper crust’ is thin and sits on a crazed base. To say that this base has no effect is just plain nuts !

    To claim the crazed base hasnt infiltrated is idiotic (sorry, but its true).


    August 12, 2007 at 8:34 am

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