New Saudi Weapons?

October 28, 2010

…will be used to defend the Royal Family against the Saudi army, or possibly be deployed by Pakistani pilots for use defending Saudi Arabia against Iran and other enemies (Hat Tip: Daily Alert).

The Saudis, unlike the Israelis, have always had problems absorbing high-tech Western systems since they began buying state-of-the-art war machines in the 1970s.
Right now, they already have more top-line equipment than they can effectively use, such as an air force with more aircraft than it has front-line pilots or commanders able to deploy them in combat.
Saudi Arabia traditionally bankrolls part of Pakistan’s military purchases and in return gets experienced Pakistan pilots to fly its U.S. and British combat jets, as well as seasoned naval personnel to run its two-sea navy.
“Militarily … Riyadh’s challenge is not a matter of hardware: Saudi Arabia already fields a broad spectrum of some of the highest-end and most modern military equipment in the region,” the U.S. global security consultancy Stratfor commented.
“Instead, its challenge is fielding that hardware. With deliveries years away, the new deal will do little to balance the resurgent Iranian regime in the near-term, and prolongs Saudi Arabia’s heavy dependence on U.S. defense support.”

Most of its $34 billion defense and security budget is spent on maintaining and upgrading large stocks of air, land and naval equipment purchased since the 1970s.
Most of this work is carried out by an army of expatriate specialists from Western defense manufacturers because the Saudis can’t do it themselves. So the influx of more advanced equipment is likely to strain Saudi resources even further.
King Abdallah has over the last year or so taken charge of all defense purchases in an apparent effort to reduce the power of the Defense Ministry as the health of the long-serving minister, his half-brother Crown Prince Sultan, has deteriorated.
The monarch personally conducted much of the negotiations for the U.S. arms package.
For one thing, he has long sought to stamp out rampant corruption in the arms procurement system, in which colossal kickbacks are made to Saudi officials.
But Abdallah may have other considerations in mind. He commands the National Guard, or SANG, a 100,000-strong force drawn from tribes loyal to the monarchy. It’s the king’s private army, totally separate from the 140,000-strong regular forces controlled by the Defense Ministry.
SANG traditionally has been a light mechanized force. But Abdallah wants to give it more firepower with armor and artillery and has ordered his eldest son Mutaib, the SANG commander, to carry out a major $3 billion reorganization.
The AH-60 Apache gunships and other systems in the U.S. package are clearly earmarked for this force, whose traditional mission has been to protect the royal family. It is also expected to be redeployed to protect strategic oil installations as well.

this is all spin. the fact is we handed advanced weapons to Israel’s enemies. all the complexities and incompetence (while I’m sure it is there) is their problem


Selling off daughters for $700

October 15, 2010

We’ve discussed before how rich Saudis take vacations in other countries, notably Egypt, and “marry” women for the summer.
The Arab News adds more detail to this disgusting practice – and it is not only the Saudis who are guilty:

About 900 children born to Egyptian women and Saudi men in what is commonly known as “misfar” or “tourist” marriages are abandoned by their fathers, said an Egyptian activist at a recent forum on human trafficking.
Speaking at the conference in Egypt, Aiman Abu Akeel, chairman of the board of trustees of the Maat Foundation for Peace and Development, said that the majority of men who visit Egypt looking for misfar marriages tend to be Saudi, followed by Iraqis, and that the women they marry are predominantly younger than them.
“Misfar” marriage refers to a union contracted so that a woman may join her “husband” for the period of time he travels in a foreign country.
The women in such unions are divorced after a short time ranging from a week to a month, the Egyptian newspaper Al-Yaum Al-Sabi reported.
Speaking at the same forum, Azza Al-Jazaar, the general organizer of the Anti-Trafficking of Egyptian Girls program, said that these young women do not know they are being treated like commodities.
Their fathers receive up to 4,000 Egyptian pounds from these men for trading off their girls, she said, adding that most of these girls are below 16 years of age. [That’s about $700 – EoZ]
Statistics show that some SR100 million are spent on misfar marriages, which last for not more than a month, with 90 percent of Saudi fathers leaving behind children born out of such relationships.
However, Najeeb Al-Zamil, founder of the Back to the Roots Foundation, a nongovernmental organization that helps Saudi children abroad, said that although there are many such children in Arab countries, their suffering is less than that experienced by children born in non-Arab countries.
He added that these men abandon their families and children, as they fear what their relatives in the Kingdom will think.

(h/t Arthur)

Don’ts in Saudi Arabia

‘Sunday Times’: Submarines with nuclear missiles in Persian Gulf

June 13, 2010

‘Israeli subs with nukes in Gulf’
Israel is planning to permanently station a submarine carrying nuclear cruise missiles in the Persian Gulf, the Sunday Times reported on Sunday.
Israeli submarines have visited the Gulf before, but the decision has now been taken to ensure a permanent presence of at least one of the vessels.

Saudi Arabia will allow Israeli jets to use its airspace to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities reported The Times of London on Saturday.
The report cited a US defense source as saying the Saudis have already done tests to ensure no jet is shot down in the event of an Israeli attack. The source added that the US State Department is aware of the action and agrees with it.

More info:Saudis air corridor is open, US, Israel self-immobilized on Iran

June 13, 2010

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Posted by Noah Simon