We are on the edge of what we know, mostly of what we are infromed about and it seems that it is n the interest of the US to focus on Saudi Arabia. Al Jazeera starts with ‘US senators seek to block Trump arms sales to Saudi Arabia‘ (at https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/06/senators-seek-block-trump-arms-sales-saudi-arabia-190605154958283.html). The sub line gives us “Senators to try to pass 22 resolutions that’d halt Trump’s plan to bypass Congress to complete arms sales to Saudi, UAE“, it seems that with the effort of getting 22 resolutions passed, there is cause for concern, not merely for the one side where the US is seemingly a lesser ally than they are claiming to be. The problem is that there is actual sense in play. when we see the quote by Senator Todd Young giving us: “Congress has an essential oversight role in the decision to sell weapons and we must ensure proper procedures are in place in any weapons transfer“, I would counter that with the notion that proper procedures should have been in place for decades, in addition, the fact that Saudi Arabia has never been the enemy of the United states (as far as I know), makes it weirder. It is at that point where Senator Todd Young goes from simplistic to stupid bordering on moronic. With: “In light of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Yemen, we have an obligation to ensure the adequate guardrails are in place and that weapons transfers to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates do not exacerbate the conflict“, so how about taking Hezbollah and Iran out of the equation? Had the Senator for Pennsylvania considered that part? The issues around Senator Young do not improve when his lack into Yemen is shown. With: “Selling more bombs to the Saudis simply means that the famine and cholera outbreak in Yemen will get worse, Iran will get stronger, and al-Qaeda and ISIS will continue to flourish amidst the chaos of the civil war” he shows just how little he is aware, the fact that there is no mention of Hezbollah is one part, the additional stage given to us less than 24 hours ago (at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-wfp/yemens-houthis-and-wfp-dispute-aid-control-as-millions-starve-idUSKCN1T51YO) with ‘Yemen’s Houthis and WFP dispute aid control as millions starve‘ is not because there is no resolution, it is because the Houthi forces do not want a resolution, they are awaiting Iranian hardware and Hezbollah troops. So as we see: “the U.N. agency, which feeds more than 10 million people a month across the Arabian Peninsula’s poorest nation, said last month it is considering suspending deliveries due to fighting, insecurity and interference in its work“, we see just how dumbfound the status of Saudi Arabia is in the US Congress. The issue of the international press going out of their way not reporting on Hezbollah activities in Yemen is just a little too weird, and seemingly no one takes notice.
Saudi Arabia will have to consider other options soon enough (more to follow at the end).
In the second part of one side we see the report from CNN (at https://edition.cnn.com/2019/06/05/politics/us-intelligence-saudi-arabia-ballistic-missile-china/index.html) the headline: ‘US intel shows Saudi Arabia escalated its missile program with help from China‘, we need to realise two elements, the first is that Saudi Arabia is a monarchy, a sovereign nation with the rights to defend itself. It has been in a proxy war with Iran for years and Saudi Arabia must prepare any way it can, apparently the United States is not there for the nation they call an ally, and as such China would easily step in to facilitate (Russia seems to have lost out on it). With Saudi Arabia in a stage of 5G thanks to Huawei, the Chinese government is (according to CNN) in the article. Even as we are given: “While the Saudis’ ultimate goal has not been conclusively assessed by US intelligence, the sources said, the missile advancement could mark another step in potential Saudi efforts to one day deliver a nuclear warhead were it ever to obtain one” implying that they actually do not know, the vague ‘were it ever to obtain one‘ should be seen as an article presently dipped in speculation. And as the one truth is given through “the Saudis have consistently taken the position that they need to match Iran’s missile capability and have at times sought help on the side from other countries, including China, which is not a signatory to the pact“, so the actual issue is that Saudi Arabia is in a stage where they will not accept being under defended when Iran is on a clear path to increase its ballistic missile setting. A clear setting that has been known for years and no one does anything valid or actual about Iran, that part is not set in the lime light is it. In all this I found the premise of Tom Udall senator from New Mexico the most hilarious one. With “citing the Washington Post report on the satellite images, asked what the US was doing to prevent foreign sales of ballistic missile technology to Saudi Arabia“, the direct and not too diplomatic answer would be: ‘It is none of your bloody business what Saudi Arabia buys from whomever they want to‘ (there is some diplomacy as I avoided using the F*** word). The truth is that they no longer matter; US Congress seems to be forgetting that they are no longer a superpower. 21 trillion dollar debt did that to them. Their utter inactivity in Syria and Yemen shows that they no longer really matter and the actions by both Turkey and Iran shows that they no longer have the balls to actually interfere and act. Their actions are now limited to economic sanctions and that tactic is becoming less and less efficient.
The additional fact that this is still connected to a dead journalist no one cares about is further evidence still. You see if it was actually about that than the US government and Global media would have illuminated the actions of Turkey and its incarcerated and murdered journalists every single day and that has not been happening at all, again more evidence that this is all about posturing and imagery but nothing on creating actual lasting results.
In all this I am happy that Democrat Senator Bob Menendez from New Jersey gave us: “Failing that, I am prepared to move forward with any and all options to nullify the licenses at issue for both Saudi Arabia and [the] UAE and eliminate any ability for the administration to bypass Congress in future arms sales“, I will use that shortly, thank you.
On the other side
The other side of the Persian Gulf has other issues. Less than 14 hours ago, the Japan News (and several others) gave us: “Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Tuesday that Tehran would not be “deceived” by U.S. President Donald Trump’s offer of negotiations and would not give up its missile program” the entire stage of peace, or some way of moving forward was dependent on that part, the fact that it was never adhered to and the only part we get is US saber rattling gives light that the US has no actual solution here. Even as some Senators made the claim that any war with Iran would be a short one can no longer be proven, the engineering joke that is now known as USS Zumwalt is one part, the fact that Congress never approved a budget for its cannons to be fully armed is a second part and the failings that is this $21 billion project and is showing to be close to disastrous is further evidence that the US has no real modern navy to fight Iran with, it is at best at par with Iran and in an actual war setting without the ability to ‘hide’ within Saudi waters gives rise to the fact that a direct war (which Iran would lose) will not be a quick one and the casualty list would be massive. A nation that is basically bankrupt is now limited to saber rattling, it is sad.
A similar quote was seen in TV7 Israel News where we get: “Ali Khamenei said: “We can see that today, in the defense and military arena, we have reached a point of being able to deter our enemies. And the fact that you see they insist on (curtailing) our missile program, is because of this (deterrence). And they want to deprive us of this capability. And of course, they will never succeed.”” the stage is accepted but the premise is not. The Iranian missile program has never been one of defence, it is an offense stage with possible nuclear ramifications and there are indicators that there is more, one unconfirmed source (reliability unknown, language implied it to be American) gives us: “Iran in mid-May presented the IAEA with a comprehensive report on all aspects of its nuclear program, which comprised over one thousand pages. The D-T procurement was not mentioned in the. “comprehensive” report. It is not alone in this regard: since June, a large number of Iranian nuclear activities not admitted to by Tehran, have been reported, notably the attempts to sanitize a suspected nuclear facility in the neighborhood of Tehran” another dark web source gave mention of deuterium-tritium gas earlier this year crossing into Iran at Bājgirān. I partially took notice but ignored it as I had no real idea what it was used for (I am not a chemist), in light of the two it is not an indicator or any actual evidence where Iran is at, but it does give reason for Saudi Arabia to increase its capabilities regarding ballistic missiles. The fact that Iran has the muscle to move options here implies that it has access to funds it should not have, for the mere reason that whoever is doing it will not be doing it for anything less than an 8 figure number. I am decently certain that Russia (and most other nuclear players) would never be willing to give a Trump card like that into the hands of Iran, not when they have other needs to milk Iran for as long as they can. That is merely my personal view on the matter.
Iran does have other options, as Janes reported yesterday: “Iran launched a Khorramshahr medium-range ballistic missile (MRBM) in December 2018, the Israeli representative to the UN told the Security Council in a letter released on 5 June“. My issue is not Jane, they are established as a reliable and accepted military source of information, the fact that this issue has been known for 6 months and the fact that at present there is no real exposure of the Khorramshahr with its range of 2,000 km with a 1,800 kg warhead, we see that no part of Saudi Arabia cannot be reached, giving a much larger pressure on Saudi Arabia and that is before you realise that the news included: “Iran has transferred technological knowledge to enable Iraq’s Technical Directorate for Military Production (TDMP) to produce the Mohajem-92 unmanned aerial vehicle“, that so called UAV is one of the drones that have been deployed against U.S. and coalition targets (Source: Al Jazeera June 21st).
These drones are optionally also in the hands of Hezbollah, a terrorist organisation, as such the pressure is on in several ways and there is more than one indicator that the US remains where it is, sitting on its hands merely because it seemingly ran out of budget.
In conclusion: I believe that the media and the US government have been hiding behind excuses and counter acting actions as it cannot afford to be in anything for any price. It has no ability to enforce any actual rules and when we see the egocentric call: ‘what the US was doing to prevent foreign sales of ballistic missile technology to Saudi Arabia‘, we see what was once a superpower is now optionally nothing more than a Paper Tiger.
If I have to give any official advice to the House of Saud then it would be:
Your Royal Highness and members of the royal family,
I believe that it is now more and more important to seek unity and actual commerce with providers that will enable you to properly defend yourself against the unacceptable danger that Iran has become. I believe that trade with the United Kingdom, France, Germany and China should replace your American portfolio. Each of these four have technologies and military solutions that would equal the solutions that America has offered. I believe that there is no one solution, by gaining the hardware from all three (each their own field) it would be optionally quicker to get the essential defence materials that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia needs to keep its nation safe. The American position after the attacks by Hezbollah through Houthi forces give rise to the additional dangers that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia faces by not seeking a more powerful defence. The actions of the American US Congress have shown that what they regard as being an ally is not what an ally is; it is not even what a wannabe ally would consider to be.
As such apart from your advancement in technology and infrastructure a much larger foundation for your national defence is seemingly essential in the immediate future. The shown delays that the European Union have shown to be regarding Iran, Turkey and terrorist organisations like Hezbollah give rise to the essential need of China to become part of that solution.
With highest regards,
Lawrence van Rijn
I believe that the inaction’s have gone on for way too long, even as some state that there are diplomatic options, the realisation that Iran hid themselves through the terrorist organisation Hezbollah and the fact that this has been known in intelligence circles for years is clear evidence that there is no push for a solution, merely a need for a standstill, or stalemate at best. It never resolves anything, it merely decimates the Yemeni population through Houthi blockades a small issue killing thousands and Reuters gave us that news, but no, plenty of media ignore that fact and keep on pointing the finger at Saudi Arabia and shouting ‘Jamal Khashoggi’ whilst no one cared about him to begin with (exception of Washington Post people noted).
The idea of politics through inaction an stalemate has created more damage than anyone realises and the inaction on matters has the dangers of creating cogs of war that will ruffle both sides of the Persian gulf to the largest degree is now too dangerous. The inaction on Hezbollah, the inaction by the US and Europe now have a lasting impact on the Middle East. When this comes to blow, there is no doubt that Iran will lose, and anyone pushing for stalemate tactics will be recognised and removed from consideration for what could be the largest impulse to a global economy in history, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar are part of that economic pulse and those not part of that will end up going through 2-3 iterations of recession lasting 20+ years. The others will find themselves on an improving economy track and enable themselves on a larger economic scale than before. There is now ample view on the matter to consider that America is steering away from that option for no good reason. When that happens, those who get to be enabled will end up being in a much stronger position. I personally prefer the United Kingdom to be part of that, yet in the end that is a decision they will need to make for themselves.