One Day After Historic Saudi-Russian Summit, US Suspends Military Exercises With "Arab Allies"

Tyler Durden's picture

Russia no longer even has to lift a finger (or buy a few thousands dollars worth of Facebook ads) to steal influence from the US in key geopolitical hotspots: the US can do so on its own.

According to the WSJ, the Pentagon halted military exercises with Gulf allies in a symbolic rebuke to countries caught in the ongoing diplomatic spat with Qatar that has eroded counterterrorism cooperation in the region, soured relations between historical allies, and allowed outside powers to establish substantial footholds in the region

Having failed at direct diplomacy, the US has decided to take a "passive aggressive" approach, and U.S. Central Command said that some exercises would be suspended in an effort to send a signal that the U.S. military seeks to work together with other nations in the region and encourage them to do so as well.

“We are opting out of some military exercises out of respect for the concept of inclusiveness and shared regional interests,” said Col. John Thomas, a Centcom spokesman.

What is even more ironic, is that having initially sent a signal of support for the Gulf nations, and isolated Qatar as an "evil sponsor of terrorism", the Pentagon has now flipflopped, and its latest move to curb military drills in the region represents a shift for the U.S., which initially threw its qualified support behind the Gulf nations in an attempt to put pressure on Qatar. As reported here previously, that attempt failed.

Top U.S. officials have tried to coax Arab allies to end a blockade of Qatar, which began in June and has been led by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. The blockade has closed off the energy-rich country’s land borders and its air and sea routes, squeezing its economy.


Yet the four countries at the heart of the dispute each host some of the Pentagon’s largest military bases outside the U.S. The Pentagon relies on cooperation between its Gulf allies for its global counterterrorism efforts and to check Iran’s influence in the region.

Needless to say, the suspension of military exercises is the latest blow to the Gulf countries who have traditionally relied on the US for any and every form of military support. Several are family monarchies that have touted close partnerships with the U.S. as way to buttress security despite weak militaries. The Pentagon’s reproach may in particular sting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the country’s minister of defense who is seen as one of the architects of the Qatar blockade, according to Andreas Krieg, assistant professor at King’s College in London for defense studies and a former adviser to Qatar’s military.

The timing of the suspension may not be a coincidence: it comes just one day after Saudi King Salman met with Vladimir Putin, the first ever visit to Moscow by a sitting Saudi ruler. Saudi Arabia and Russia signed billions worth of energy and military deals and MOUs.

The US was not amused.

“Joint military exercises are essential for the Gulf militaries to build capability. All Gulf states want to appeal to the U.S. as viable partners in achieving joint strategic interests, so this announcement is really a slap in the face,” he said.

How aggressive the "soft" US isolation of its traditional allies will be, remains to be seen. Aside from military exercises and counterterrorism cooperation, the U.S. has also forged close ties with its Mideast allies by selling them sophisticated military hardware. In the latest announcement, the Pentagon avoided any mention of future military sales, but analysts say a freeze of weapon sales is one of the greatest sources of leverage the U.S. could use in trying to resolve the diplomatic crisis. Of course, it is also a source of trillions of dollars to the US military industrial complex which over the decades has traditionally relied on the middle east as its biggest customer.

“Bottom line: the pressure from the U.S. is mounting but can be sustained [by the U.A.E.],” says Krieg. “It could induce both Qatar and Saudi to start low level rapprochement.”

Perhaps, in the meantime what Bloomberg wrote earlier this week is becoming increase obvious to everyone: "Vladimir Putin is the new master of the Middle East."

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redmudhooch's picture

"There is a steely focus and a steadfast courage to confront the Zionist entity and destroy it completely for its relentless and ongoing wanton destruction of the region.  The natives have had enough of Israel’s ruinous conspiracies against them.  They have now linked arms and vowed never to submit to Israeli hegemony, or to future violent, Zionist expansionism."


Too bad for Zionists that this is also the feeling of most Americans now..

Where will they run to this time, they've run out of countries to leech off of.

Rubicon727's picture

I'd like to thank Omen IV, Jim in MN, Broken_Trades, and kgw for your many insights, and kgw, thank you especially for revealing Nasrallah's fine speech. 

I've been studying the intricate details in how Zionism was borne. Harkens way back to the 1880s-1890 up until Israel became "a nation." It involved the British, a number of propogandists in Germany and elsewhere.

The majority of average European Jews wanted nothing to do with this plan. Not sure of Jewish Americans stance, though.

Essentially, Zionism, was a cooked up piece of propoganda,  highly manipulative with Old Testament texts, to try convincing the Jews that "Israel" was their native homeland. 

Fast forward decades later:

I always remember my long-time Italian friend, who has always said, "If America removes its military power from Israel, the Arabs will destroy Israel in a matter of a couple months." (Paraphrased.)

Not sure if that's in the equation - after all, Netanyahu ran to Moscow to befriend Putin several weeks ago. Hmmm.....

*And*, according to our filthy corrupt US media, Trump is supposedly going to throw aside Obama's deal with Iran.

pynky01's picture

My old daddy RIP had an oil service business for many years in N Africa...Oasis Oil & Trading or something like that ...he said we were losing our freedoms a little bit at a time... like the lobster in the pot..turn the heat up slowly and the lobster will not move and be cooked   ... we are almost cooked and we have lost lots of battles and the war may be over for white people...just in case keep the tar and feathers handy.. I guess the Saudis and Russians and trying to help us help ourselves... this is not the way to run a country.. unless you dribble liberal... 

Badsamm's picture

Can we stop killing innocent people in Yemen and Syria and Iraq now?

GreatUncle's picture

Do you now get them for 9/11? Got blocked before.

HRClinton's picture

Moscow is the master. The US is the masterbaiter.

Over at msnbc, Ra-hell Madcow is not amused and Chris Madhews feels a warm trickle running up his legs/leggings. 

USA USA's picture

Well it's a GOOD START!


RawPawg's picture

And then they take ya to war....

Agent44's picture

Maybe we (USA) can team up with Putin and Saudis to stomp out Islam!, wait...

MrSteve's picture

Do military exercises included refueling Saudi fighter jets while they bomb and straif Yemen goat farmers and cow barns? just askin'

TheLastTrump's picture

Oh, is that all there is in Yemen?  


It's impossible that they might actually be killing radical Islamists supplied with arms by the largest state sponsor of terrorism there is, IRAN?


Must be nice to be so sure of your facts.

Duc888's picture



"..................largest state sponsor of terrorism there is, IRAN?"


That would be Saudi Arabia by a loooong shot.  S.A. sponsors madrasses world wide.  ISIS in PH aligns with S.A.

Which way to the beach's picture

Brought a smile to my facee that did. One thing to watch for, will the KSA armed forces be better or worse without the "military exercises"? No wonder the Saudi's want the S400's from Russia. The US can't turn them off. They might just come handy, sooner rather than later.



Cutter's picture

I'm not into conspiracies, but this sounds like a smokescreen for something else: war with North Korea, perhaps.  As I've written before, if we get into a conflict with North Korea it will suck in all US military assets, there essentially won't be anything in the Middle East with which to exercise.

Don't know if the decision has been made on North Korea, but this along with the President's "calm before the storm" statement yesterday, may indicate we are about to strike, and get into the bloodiest war this generation will have ever known.  Worse than Vietnam.  

And let me add, that all this "Putin owns the Middle East," is just neocon/war party bluster to try to get increased defense budgets and line their own pockets.  Russia doesn't have sufficient power projection capabilities to own the Middle East, and she knows it, as does Israel and the other monarchies.  Russia is just looking for friendly relationships in the hope of solidifying the energy markets upon which she depends.

DEMIZEN's picture

conflict with North Korea is a conflict with a whole region.

Cutter's picture

Well said.  Any conflict in North Korea will inevitably draw in China and become regional.

mkkby's picture

Nothing will happen.

You shit for brains losers still don't get it. Trump loves using the cliff hanger for attention. He always says big announcement coming soon. We are living a reality TV show.

Idiots and the media have fallen for it dozens of times now.

serotonindumptruck's picture

The US will take the conflict nuclear if any US Navy ships are sunk.

peopledontwanttruth's picture

They won't have an option. The amount of nations and the size of their armies will dwarf the USA Israel and GB. I think everybody else is waiting for this moment and will switch like a light

TuPhat's picture

What?  The US Navy ships sink themselves.

TheLastTrump's picture

Good post but this is wrong. Those ME nations are oil suppliers- and so is Russia. In fact, Russia & the Saudi cunts were top dogs in oil until US fracking took the crown away from them.


Russia and China have both been posturing agressively with the USA going bacjk to around 2005 when the bloom wore off the 9/11 attack and Bush's Axis of Evil speech promised hijinks with their friends.


Syria- tyranny. Iraq at the time, tyranny under Hussein. Iran, tyranny. North Korea, tyranny. That's who Russia/China pal around with.


>> "Russia is just looking for friendly relationships in the hope of solidifying the energy markets upon which she depends."

Duc888's picture



"Syria- tyranny."


Nope, he has popular support of over 75% of the populace of Syria.  A secular government too.

Volkodav's picture

        You stupid know nothing. Syria secular Assad is best most decent leader all ME

        Saadam kept the really terrible radicals down, while Iraq was secular also

        Saadam Administration secular, actually some Christians close to Saadam

        Not even gonna try educate your dumbass about Libya...

Cutter's picture

"US fracking took the crown away."  What?  In August, Russia produced 10.9 million barrels per day, Saudis 10.01, and the US 9.2.  So how did the US "take the crown," when we are producing less than half of the combined Russian/Saudi output?

Russia wants stable oil markets and prices.  The health of the Russian economy depends on a reasonable oil price.  Thus they want good relations with the major oil producers, like the Saudis.

Russia has been "posturing aggressively" towards the US?  We are the ones who ran NATO right to Russia's border, after we had promised not to do so.  We are the one who placed sophisticated missile defense right on Russia's border.  How many troops, bases, and missile defense installations does Russia have on the US border, or even in all of North and South America?  We are the ones, along with the Europeans, who sponsored a violent, overthrow of a democratically elected President in Ukraine, a sister state to Russia with history going back over 800 years.  

Its us, not the Russians, who have been the aggressor.

All due respect, you need to read up on your facts.

researchfix's picture

Taking oil out the ground is happening a long time, without too big enviromental hazards.

Fracking is leaving burnt soil and poisoned ground water. Don´t want to live there.

kochevnik's picture

If you want tyranny never obtain a passport and Vegas will come to you, because your love for your government is not reciprocated. Sorry to hurt your sensitive feelings

Omen IV's picture

You are so wrong - it's not about equipment - the USA Proved that in the last 25 years - failure everywhere !!!!

Russia has credibility and relationships and all those effected want leadership

The USA is not a leader - it is a THUG - no different than the NFL players masquerading as professionals

Cutter's picture

Agree that we have certainly made a mess of our standing in the Middle East pursuing regime change policies based on ridiculous notions of "spreading democracy."  

But I don't think the Saudis see Russia as some messianic leader. They respect Russia's military power, but they know its very limited compared to US power projection capabilities.  But Russia is the other big player in energy.  It is in the Saudis' interests to cultivate good relations. 

And, importantly, don't underestimate, the Saudis using the threat of cultivating good relations with Russia, to push the US to give them what they want.  The Saudis are masters at power politics.


researchfix's picture

Dream on. The rules of game are now written by Russia and China.

tuetenueggel's picture

War against N-Korea would be USA´s end.

China and Russia won´t heasitate to pay back  60 years of US-Terrorism .

No risk for WW3 because only USA will be the enemy. Canadian pussies one can forget.

Dark star's picture

North Korea is in China and Russia's backyard.

If things become serious America will discover as all Empires do, that Military adventures far from home end up with their supply lines being cut, followed by ignominious defeat.

The USA is neither assured of superiority in the skies, nor on the sea. Russian S400 systems work very well and there have been too many unexplained problems with U.S. Navy ships for anyone to guarantee U.S. Naval superiority.

The U.S. will find that it cannot sustain a war in Korea.

GreatUncle's picture

It is damage control, if you are going into NK you cannot have other fronts opening up.

At this time politically and diplomatically if that is on the cards then a firewall has to be put in place in other countries.

If you do get a wildfire like in WW2 soon every fucker is fighting each other so much of the game we now see will be to prevent this.

If so then the Democrats need to STFU over Russia or then we actually have an opposite in that Russia is prepping to take the US down if they attack NK.

Question for me is will China do this and get sold out later or object when nothing can actually be trusted.

China is still the wildcard, the SinoSoviet pact. (think 2000AD a comic a long time ago).


DEMIZEN's picture

putin hits back where it hurts, not your usual tit for tat guy. crimea stunt was brilliant, they should expect shrewd moves by now. retards. now they are going to plot a turkey type coup with a response already planned for.

TomGa's picture

So now the Russians will sell military hardware to the Saudis priced in Dollars while the Saudis keep pricing oil solely in Dollars.  Yeah, that's it....  No petrodollar weakness forseeable here. /sarc


Nothing happens by "coincidence."  /not sarc


Account Number 21214

beijing expat's picture

The Imperial model of American diplomacy has collapsed and they are helpless in the face of Russian diplomacy that offers a fair deal.

Rather than reassess their model, the empire has decided on a policy of plunging into chaos any state that does not bend over.

Syria Libya and Iraq are victims of this model. It they seem to be rallying under the Russian banner because the Russians offer stability and their Chinese partners, prosperity.

What does the empire have to offer? Threats, war, oppression, debt, and corrupt treasonous puppet leaders.

Who is going to win this race?

The only way America can save itself is to purge the deep state traitors who put the empire before the Republic. They will lose both and gain nothing.

Dark star's picture

This pushes the Gulf States towards Russian Arms purchases and military co-operation with Russia.

Just as the U.S. tarriffs on Bombardier will push Canadian and UK Carriers to substitute Airbus for Boeing.

Any Country impacted by U.S.Sanctions on a multitude of Countries would also be advised to ensure that their carriers purchase Airbus rather than Boeing.

Starve the beast.

serotonindumptruck's picture

The Deep State may be criminally insane, but they're not stupid.

When viewed objectively, it is abundantly clear that the USA is being isolated on the world stage, both economically and diplomatically.

Washington DC will take us all to war soon.

tuetenueggel's picture

But know one thing for sure:

This war will be faught on the north american soil, not in europe as last 2.

USA will be destroyed by entire world. It will be a fast war. not longer lasting then 2 months.

Just kick and rush.


Gohigher's picture

Yet the four countries at the heart of the dispute each host some of the Pentagon’s largest military bases outside the U.S. The Pentagon relies on cooperation between its Gulf allies for its demonic global terrorism promotion and to check Iran’s influence in the region.


Omen IV's picture

Iran is not the problem

SA is starting to shed its blinders in the face of USA incompetence for 70 years

We are witnessing, now that David R is DEAD the great unraveling

Kissinger sees it and is old enough to tell the truth

HenryHall's picture

So why don't the "Gulf allies" go ahead with the exercises without US participation given that the US does not want to take part?

It seems like the obvious solution. Useful to explore whether they can operate even if the ability of the US is somehow degraded.


Duc888's picture



"So why don't the "Gulf allies" go ahead with the exercises without US participation given that the US does not want to take part?"


People like you kinda crack me up.  As if US foriegn policy speaks with one voice, it does not.


NATO is running it's own gig.  DC is running another gig.  CIA is running a third gig, all on the same playing field.


Imagine 6 NFL teams playing football on the same field at the same time, all under the banner of USA.  There is NO USA when it comes to foreign policy.  Any half blind fucktard could see that a million miles away.

Dark star's picture

I think you are right; recently the fragmentation of command and control has become far more obvious and appears to be worsening.

If Las Vegas was a false flag, it is far more likely to be the work of a small out of control clique in the Deep State, rather than a centrally controlled operation.

The way things are going, there will be more and more such incidents.

TheLastTrump's picture

It's DC that calls the shots on troop manuevers in the middle east, not NATO or renegade CIA.


Of course there's a unified USA foreign policy, don't be stupid.


Obama was responsible for Syria/Libya/Egypt/Ukraine & rogue CIA ops including arming radical Islamic terorists in Syria. Guess who isn't running things anymore? Give Trump a chance to unwind 8+ years of bullshit.




Duc888's picture



"It's DC that calls the shots on troop manuevers in the middle east, not NATO or renegade CIA.

 Of course there's a unified USA foreign policy, don't be stupid.


I must be stupid, I do not agree.  When you have "US" flights leaving Kirkuk to bomb ISIS positions and more US flights leaving Kirkuk and hour later defending ISIS positions, one could hardly say USA, Pentagon, DC, CIA and NATO are all reading from the same sheet of  music.

07564111's picture

you don't have 4 years or 8 years left to do that ;)