Theodore's World: Sunni Arab States Ordering More Weapons

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February 12, 2007

Sunni Arab States Ordering More Weapons

Defence ministers from Sunni Arab states are preparing to spend enormous sums at the Idex arms fair in Abu Dhabi next week

Gulf states load up on weapons of war complete article

Leaders of Sunni Arab states are embarking on a military spending spree in an attempt to contain the growing threat from Iran.

Alarmed by the progress of Iran's nuclear programme and the prospect of a military clash between its Shia regime and the United States, Gulf leaders intend to use billions of dollars of oil revenue to purchase a huge array of military hardware.

Many of the deals will be finalised at a massive arms fair due to open in the United Arab Emirates next Sunday.

Saudi Arabia alone has a shopping list that runs to almost $50 billion, including fighter aircraft, cruise missiles, attack helicopters and more than 300 new tanks.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has earmarked $2 billion for a rapid reaction brigade - possibly to take a lead role in a regional protection force. Another $6 billion will go on missile defence batteries, airborne early warning systems and aircraft.

Both countries are members of the Gulf Co-operation Council, established in 1984 to provide security against the threat posed by Iran. Other members, including Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar, are expected to spend heavily in the coming months.

Many are now convinced that the only way to avoid being sucked into a war between the US and Iran, or being caught up in the turbulence that would follow, is to beef up their own defences.

American plans for a possible attack on Iran's nuclear sites are reported to be well advanced, despite public denials, and many in the Gulf states fear that they could be caught in the backlash.

One highly placed Saudi diplomatic source said that there were concerns about America's intentions and doubts about the real threat from Iran.

Wild Thing's comment......

Thanks to the NY Times and other media outlets I guess they know about our shops in the Gulf.

Posted by Wild Thing at February 12, 2007 12:55 AM


The Saudis have sowed the seeds of much of the MidEast, and even world-wide religious problems. Let them buy American military products, and potentially use them on fellow muslims.

Posted by: TomR at February 12, 2007 01:17 PM

Wahabism,that conservative and tolerant form of Islam that is practiced in Saudi Arabia has come home to roost. The royalty is afraid of Iran provoking their overthrow. Yes indeed, peace through brutal suppression and religious policing. We could do like Putin and give them Nukes, but we don't have too, France has probably already got a sale going. It's interesting that the Saudi's can see the threat yet the Democrats can't. Talk to 'em Nancy, they're reasonable, and they respect a woman, send in big Murtha!!!

Posted by: Jack at February 12, 2007 02:12 PM

Tom it does get interesting. They will need a might big shopping cart.

Posted by: Wild Thing at February 12, 2007 04:35 PM

The Greater Middle East. It consists of 22 states, 16 of them Arab, with Iran, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Afghanistan and Pakistan (plus Israel). The Shi'a are a 15% minority among all Muslims, and compose a majority in only Iran, Iraq, Bahrain and Azerbaijan.

Here's a short list of what's going on in the ME which doesn't include direct Shia-Sunni hatreds.

Territorial disputes between:

Afghanistan and Pakistan (over Pakistan's North West Territory, which the Afghans claim for tribal reasons.

- Pakistan and India (over Kashmir).
- Pakistan and Iran (over territorial waters in the Arabian Sea, and the nationalities of Baluch tribes straddling the border.
- Iran and Afghanistan (for sixty years, disputes over three border rivers).
- Iran and Iraq (one war costing a million lives each side. Iranian seizure of a strategic salient near Baghdad known as Zaynalkosh. Iranian claims of supervision over Iraqi Shi'ite holy sites in Samara, Kazmayn, Karbala, Kufa and Najaf.
- Iran and the UAE Sheikhdoms (Iran seized three islands ceded to the UAE by Britain in 1971)
- Iran and Turkmenistan (Caspian sea territorial waters dispute).
- Iran and Kazakhstan (Caspian sea territorial waters dispute).
- Iran and Russia (Caspian sea again).
- Iran and Azerbaijan (Caspian sea again).
- Iran and Khuzestan (Iran retains control, has ethnically cleansed the area of Arabs).
- Saudi Arabia, Oman and Abu Dhabi (fighting since 1955 over control of Buraimi Oasis, said to be oil rich area.
- Saudi Arabia and Qatar (SA in 2000, annexed Khor al-Udaid, said to be oil rich, and expelled the Qataris)
- Qatar and Bahrain (fighting a naval war over the Hawar Islands and the nationality of the Zibarah tribes, who live in Qatar but claim loyalty to Bahrain).
- Saudi Arabia and Kuwait (shaky agreement to share oil revenues from a "neutral zone" which still has no demarcation between the two countries).
- Saudi Arabia and Iraq (SA fortifying its border).
- Saudi Arabia and Kuwait (Irag has not set aside the oil claims that led to the first Kuwaiti invasion).
- Jordan and Saudi Arabia (royal families in contention over holy sites in Mecca and Medina. The Jordanian Hasehemites were drive out by the House of Saud, but Hashemites still claim supervision).


Posted by: Rhod at February 12, 2007 05:41 PM

I'll be back. I haven't even gotten to Syria and Turkey and Lebanon and Egypt and Yemen and Libya, Algeria, Morocco and Mauritania. Millions of dead and displaced as a result of these barbarians inability to get along. And that's just in the past 35 years or so.

When you consider the total picture, whatever happens in Iraq will not deter these natural killers from acting in their worst interests.

Sunnis buying weapons is just one piece of the puzzle in this mess.

Posted by: Rhod at February 12, 2007 06:01 PM

Oh yeah. Add Somalia, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the list of bloodletters.

Posted by: Rhod at February 12, 2007 06:03 PM

Tell me that picture is Disney World or Universal Studios.

Posted by: Stanford Matthews at February 12, 2007 08:45 PM

Let them buy all they want. Our toys are better.

Posted by: raz0r at February 12, 2007 09:08 PM

Thanks for the excellent rundown of MidEast moslem gangbanger battles Rhod. I bet you still left some out, but your list does put that Religion of Peace idiocy in proper perspective.

Posted by: TomR at February 12, 2007 09:38 PM

Rhod, WOW this is great, thank you so much for this list!!!!

Posted by: Wild Thing at February 12, 2007 11:38 PM

Hi Stanford, it does have an erie look about it. We just don't see that kind of photo every day.

Posted by: Wild Thing at February 12, 2007 11:39 PM

razOr I love our toys the best. But I still respect what their toys can do.

Posted by: Wild Thing at February 12, 2007 11:41 PM

I'll be back tonight about Syria, Egypt and the rest.

Posted by: Rhod at February 13, 2007 01:33 PM

More on the peaceful Muslim world...

- Syria and Turkey (dispute over water distribution from the Euphrates and claims to the Turkish province of Iskanderan, where 30% of population is Arab).
- Iraq and Turkey (same dispute).
- Turkey and Iraq (Turkey, based on the 1923 Treat of Lausanne, claims sovereignty over oil rich areas of Iraq around Mosul and Kirkuk. Turkey has trained and armed Turkmen tribesmen there).
- Syria and Lebanon (Syria claims Lebanon as part of Greater Syria, a complete fiction which includes Palestine and parts of Jordan. Syria has been involved in three Lebanese civil wars from 1975 to 1992, accounting for 100,000 deaths and 2/5 million refugees. Then there's Hizballah).
- Egypt and everyone else (Source of pan-Arabism, always empire-building. Involved with the Soviets, prolonged the Algerian War, supported military coup in Yemen that led a six-year civil war which killed oveer 230,000 people. Supported Marxist regime of South Yemen, which was a base of aggression against Oman, involving the seizure of Omani province of Dhofar with Cubans and East Germans, leading to 100,000 deaths and 500,000 refugees. Annexed chunks of Sudanese territory, engaged in conflicts with Libya over the Egyptian desert.
- Libya, Chad, Sudan and Tunisia (territorial disputes, guerilla fighting and Islamist influences).
- Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania (Struggling over the Spanish Sahara annexed by Morocco with a small war since 1975).
- Algeria alone (Islamist terrorism has killed over 250,000 people since the 1990's).

The Greater Middle East is a permanent slaughterhouse. In the past sixty years, the Greater Middle East has engaged in 22 full-scale wars over territory and resources. Not one of them has had anything to do with Israel. If you want to read the article that produced this information and more, it's in February's "Commentary" magazine.

Posted by: Rhod at February 13, 2007 05:46 PM

Rhod, this is so fantastic to have this list. Thanks for the additional information.

Posted by: Wild Thing at February 13, 2007 07:07 PM