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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Robert A. Heinlein's picture

Far out. Now pull out to the ME completely. That will show them all.  

spqrusa's picture

America has been Britain's tool for so long - it cannot figure out if its coming or going from any conflict.

Ask the friken Crown what America is going to do...

historian40's picture

And Britain has been the tool of the jews since Cromwell opened the floodgates.  Food for thought, the "Puritans" helped murder the king.


Saudi Arabia agreed to buy the S-400 "Triumf" Surface-to-Air Missile Defense System from Russia this week.

Saudi Arabia is the second U.S. ally to buy the S-400 system after Turkey agreed to purchase the system in September.

Saudi Arabia joins Turkey, Algeria, Belarus, India and China which have also ordered the S-400. An S-400 battalion has eight launchers, each with two missiles, plus a control center and radar and 16 missiles available as reloads. All equipment is mobile.






GreatUncle's picture

I thought India bought it a couple of years ago?

or was that the S-500 and are they not US allies?


Good catch!  "Delivery of Russia’s most advanced anti-aircraft defense system, the S-400 Triumph, to India could begin in 2020 according to an agreement signed by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the BRICS summit in India"

el buitre's picture

The S-500 is yet to be deployed, even in Russia, but it is not far away.  Rumor has it as amazing in its ability to take out missiles as well as aircraft.  I think it is the nearness of a S-500 rollout which has prompted Russia to sell its S-400's to nations which will permit USA engineers to examine all its details.  I doubt Russia will be willing to export the S-500 for many years other than possibly to China.

historian40's picture

Meanwhile. nations who are under attack or having their territory violated by the empire can't get the same defenses from Russia.  Why won't Russia sell Lebanon and Syria those systems?  Why, after paying for them, did Iran have to wait years to wati for the inferior s300 systems, due to Russia's co-enforcement of sanctions with the empire?

Pardon me if I see a sad repeat of the "Cold War' lies, where Russia and the US, ran by the same zionists, played good cop vs bad cop.

francis scott falseflag's picture

Did SA agree to buy the S-400 or did Russia agree to sell them the S-400?


There is a difference.

el buitre's picture

It appears that the S-400 system has major strategic advantages over the THAD system.  It is cheaper and it works.  What is interesting about the S-400 is its ability to shoot down military aircraft very reliably.  A million dollar missile can reliably destroy a billion dollar aircraft.  This changes the economy of war considerably

archie bird's picture

Saudi Arabia is the US's BIGGEST weapons customer of approx. $3 Billion a year, Qatar is one of them too.  

So the question is, "Is SA going to stop buying weapons from US manufacturers altogether, or does it just want to do business w/RU to add on top of what it already spends a year on military equipment from the US?

I definitely don't feel sorry for Lockheed or Raytheon if their quarterly profit statement is off, thats for sure.

William Dorritt's picture

Mohammad Obama sold SA $116 Billion in weapons if memory serves me correctly.

William Dorritt's picture

SA calling the tune for the US ended with Trump's election.

SA play to overrun Syria and Europe is coming to an end with the extermination of ISIS and SA cut off from Europe land route

Mohammad Obama and the Globalist Pedos are partners with SA

SA is in Russia to lick the hand of Putin and hope he doesn't drive them into the ocean

Turkey is also busy licking Putin's hand for the same reason, and NATO should allow the miserable Turks to be driven into the ocean and central Asia, they the Huns are a miserable race hated by all.

Trump cranked up weapons aka munitions and spares production when he was elected, hopefully the arsenal if full.

Libya needs to go back under a military dictatorship.....its Islamic, Syria is better off under Assad no matter how many Islamist fanatics he executes, Egypt is back under a quasi military's Islamic, SA needs to be erased.


Herdee's picture

The U.S. is going to be shut-out of most of Eurasian and Silk Road trade that's coming. It happens to be where the majority of the worl population is and their standard of living is increasing rapidly. Nobody want to be sanctioned through NeoCon/Nazi blackmail so they'll all just trade through another system that China has set up. Washington can shove its' shit dollar up its' own ass as it becomes worthless crap and it goes bust from all its' stupid wars.

SHADEWELL's picture

But China can keep the pollution that continues to poison its own people

PrivetHedge's picture

Like fracking waste, GMO and vaccines?

No, that's the US..


SHADEWELL's picture

Then China can also choke on their produced goods whien its largest export destination refuses to accept any China good through trade embargo

China can then shove its goods up its own ass

el buitre's picture

China is well aware of the problem of a potential economic slowdown when export ceases to Exceptionalstan.  This is one of the reasons that they are pushing so hard to raise the infrastructure of other Asian nations so they can trade with them profitably as viable export markets for their goods.  China also realizes that the USD is going over the cliff into hyperinflation shortly and doesn't want to trade real physical assets for soon to be worlthless Treasury electrons.  They are desperately trying to move away from reliance on export to the USA before the SHTF in the world financial markets.

el buitre's picture

The US is going to economically sanction the rest of the planet until the entire world has been isolated from US trade.  Fifth dimensional checkers :-)

William Dorritt's picture

Yes China is making this play, the Silk Road and the China Bank etc


Yes the Globalist Pedos continue to push Russia into the arms of the Communist General Dictators run Mafia known as the Chinese Communist party.


Russia is an increasingly Christian Country that escaped the orbit of the Globalist Pedos under imperfect Putin, who at least is not trying to kill and enslave his own people and put little Russian Boys in Dresses for the pedos.


So far, the Former Warsaw pact countries are running away from Globalism, islamization, Communism and the Pedos who control all three, the same is mostly true in S America.


China is making their play, Russia will do what's good for Russia, E Euros won't fold to Islamic-pedo-commies in Brussels, S AM the party will continue and once Brazil is stable and fed up with Venezuela, the Brazilian military will move in and kill all who resist, which won't be many after their leaders flee to Cuba flying first class on Cuba Air.


Former Warsaw Pact countries need to move to Swiss like militarization of their countries to support the possibility of the W. Euro Pedo Socialist Christian Haters arming the Sunni Hoard within; which is 75-85% military age men from all over the Islamic World migrating as part of the Global Jihad.


To Defeat the Euro-Pedo-Elite may require a Crusade

into Germany, Austria, France, the Netherlands and low countries, and possible cross the English Channel with Russia cleansing Sweden after Finland and Norway voluntarily deport with dignity all of the Muslim invaders back to their home countries. Russian forces will be granted transit and overflight rights by both countries who will close their borders with Sweden. After a brief visit, Russia will have deported the invaders from Sweden to Syria for sorting, along with the Socialist pedo politician traitors for safe keeping in a luxury hotel, for the rest of their satanic pedo lives.

Bopper09's picture

You're needed for self defence, not meddling in other's business.  Bring everyone home, let other countries deal with their own problems.  If a specific country wants the U.S. there, they can pay for the protection services.  And since we've been shown that the CIA and FBI are enemies to the American people, end those agencies as well.  Plus countless others. 

Shapiro, we need you. 

el buitre's picture

But if we bring our "defense forces" home from the 1000 odd overseas bases, it might increase the unemployment statistic of our thriving economy above 4.8%/s

brokenspoke's picture

Why is Turkey a member of NATO?

francis scott falseflag's picture

Because of their proximity to Russia's southern flank.

Which way to the beach's picture

But a NATO spokeman would but it like this, "We are here to spread peace and democracy"


el buitre's picture

Because of their proximity to the southern border of the former Soviet Union.  There no longer is a common border between Russia and Turkey.

Catahoula's picture

Never trust a muslim

Beans's picture

You mean, never trust a (((muslim))), right?

William Dorritt's picture
Deception, Lying and Taqiyya: Does Islam permit Muslims to lie?

Muslim scholars teach that Muslims should generally be truthful to each other, unless the purpose of lying is to "smooth over differences.


"There are several forms of lying to non-believers that are permitted under certain circumstances, the best known being taqiyya. These circumstances are typically those that advance the cause of Islam - in some cases by gaining the trust of non-believers in order to draw out their vulnerability


francis scott falseflag's picture

We really don't know very much about the improving relations between Russia

and Saudi Arabia.  Are they improving in the same way that the relations between

Russia and Turkey improved in the 6 months after Turkey shot down a Russian



We know that Vladimir Putin, the new master of the Middle East, did not meet the

wealthiest monarch on the planet at the airport, when he landed in Moscow on a

blustery October evening.  We know of energy deals and weapons deals that were

agreed to between the king and the president.  And we know that the Pentagon

was not too be happy about the new Russian/ Saudi relationship, and suspended

military exercises with the Saudi coalition the very next day.


But what we don't know is how sincere the cast of characters is about the positions

they've taken.  Did Putin mean to affront the old king, by not having the President

or the Prime Minister there?  Did he suspect that the King Salman was there at the

behest of the CIA?  That Salman was there to imply the weakening of the Saudi/US,

when no such weakening exists?  And that the Pentagon struck the very next day

while the iron was still hot and suspended military exercises with Salman's coalition

to reenforce their displeasure with King Salman's deal with the Kremlin?  And that

Putin signed the deal knowing full well that he didn't have to honor it if the FSB

reports that the King was doing the CIA's bidding?  And, while I have your attention,

that the Ghawar wells really aren't in such bad shape; that the reports that say they

are, are no moar than CIA fake news to trick Putin?


So I'll need a lot more information from google and RT before I can predict where

things Middle East are going from here.  And whether or not the remnants of ISIS

and Daesh are flocking around the US troops and moderate rebels for protection?


Given the European Politicians and US analysts who now believe Obama and the

CIA created ISIS to topple Assad, there is little here of a conspiracy theory.  It

took Putin to bomb ISIS's oil tanker trucks.  The US military, who doesn't scruple

to kill innocent women and children, was reluctant about putting so much pollutants 

in the desert air.  


But now I am meandering....

francis scott falseflag's picture

       Boy, do you guys hate it when I remind you how little we all know about international events.


       The MSM is an outlet for info only when it agrees with your preconceived ideas.


       I won't trouble you with that inconvenient truth any more.


       Everybody at ZH knows as much as Putin and Trump.  OKAY? 

africoman's picture

Tylers you got to be kidding reporting this trash article as something to be bothered.

Saud and Merica suspend military exercise for one or two days after Saud visited Russia as if it was a secret visit.It was known in September Back in the thread of this announcement here.

Back to what matters knowing worth is where is the article detailing the war crimes of Saudi against children and destruction of Yemen investigated by UN yesterday, whose result report is just putting Saud on a blacklist? Accusing of Iran that tries to save humans as a destabilizer of ME to rip off the nuclear deal by Trump and silently watching the real criminal Saud is beyond belief, Hippocrates fucking evil

Saud is a vassal for evil empire America AND I$rahell to do their dirty work in the region and beyond.So don't presume as if its a shift to Russia.They/Saudi just wanted some military asset to counter Iran, Qatar and some Arab countries that obtained S-400 missile system and some real tanks, missiles, and jets that do further the killing of Yemenis, coz the expensive American toys are useless per say.Again Saud wouldn't dare go to the south it isn't allowed by US/Israel.Again its a diversion, while making the visit of saud to Israel a secret and visit to Russia official, something isn't right, but then I wouldn't expect anything right with these filthy nations.

Horse Pizzle's picture

$25/bbl oil is doable.

JailBanksters's picture

It's Funny when you talk about America and it's allies

Israel is their greatest allie

Saudi is the next greatest allie

And of course Russia is their Enemy

But when you Opposite theory, then it all makes sense

Because Russia hasn't killed a single US Citizen, it's a shame

America's Allies can't say the same.


oncemore's picture

what was the problem between uatar and SA?

-SA agreed to buy 400Bn package of weapons from US

-SA wanted Quatar to pay 100Bn

-Emir of Quatar refused, why should he pay it?

-consequently the camel jockeys stated the boycott.

Well it was not quite idea of MBS, but it came from MBZ, the moron from UAE, who has a main influence on MBS, the Saudi future moron.

Now half a year later, they have recognized, that US TItanic is close to the iceberg. They jump the ship and try to get onboard with Russia, the main factor in ME today.

Some Quataries told to me this version. And it sounds a plausible story; ALL OF THEM seek links to Russia and to China.


MBS Mohammed bin Salman, possibly future king of SA

MBZ Mohammed bin Zayed, emir of UAE.

U.S. military halts some exercises with Gulf allies over Qatar dispute.


Among the exercises likely to be affected is Eagle Resolve, an annual exercise held since 1999 that has GCC countries send forces alongside Americans to simulate working as a multinational force in battle. This year’s Eagle Resolve exercise, held in Kuwait in March, involved 1,000 U.S. troops.

[Qatar] is home to the U.S. military’s Central Command and the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet and crucial bases for its campaign against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, as well as the war in Afghanistan.