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Massive US Arms Sales to Gulf States

 Why have the huge American arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states gone almost unnoticed by Israel? For the simple reason that Washington is apparently in the midst of building a new doctrine of containment - what Secretary of State Hillary Clinton once called a 'defense umbrella' to meet the Iranian nuclear threat.

 The various components of this Iranian doctrine are falling into place. The latest ingredient is the immense $30 billion sale of 80 advanced F-15 fighter jets to Saudi Arabia plus the upgrading of 70 others. In addition, the Saudis' Patriot missiles will be upgraded with more than 200 more Patriot missiles being sold to Kuwait. For the first time, Washington is also selling its vaunted THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) to the United Arab Emirates.

The Pentagon announced that all this military hardware is aimed at preserving a 'secure and stable Gulf region'. That's another way of warning Iran not to interfere with the passage of forty per cent of the world's oil supply sailing through the Gulf of Hormuz - and that is linked to Iran's drive to acquire nuclear weapons. (A spinoff for Obama is the creation of tens of thousands of well paying jobs for American employees.) In addition, the U.S. and NATO are already constructing a sophisticated American radar system in Turkey as part of a missile shield to intercept Iranian missiles launched at Europe or the Mediterrananean. Its completion on Iran's western flank would close the missile defenses around Iran in which Israel also plays a role. This is the state of play in the saga of Iran's quest to acquire nuclear weapons and the U.S. led campaign to prevent it.

David Essing

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