For a long time there was confusion about the "quo" to the Saudi Arabian "quid" over its agreement to side with the US on the Iranian "nuclear deal" (which incidentally looks like it will never happen simply due to the Russian and Chinese UN vetoes).
Then over the weekend we finally got the answer thanks to the the WSJ, which reported that "Gulf States want U.S. assurances and weapons in exchange for supporting Iran nuclear deal."
The details are quite familiar to anyone who has seen the US Military-Industrial Complex in action: the US pretends to wage an aggressive diplomatic campaign of peace while behind the scenes it is just as actively selling weapons of war.
Leading Persian Gulf states want major new weapons systems and security guarantees from the White House in exchange for backing a nuclear agreement with Iran, according to U.S. and Arab officials.
The leaders of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, plan to use a high-stakes meeting with President Barack Obama next week to request additional fighter jets, missile batteries and surveillance equipment.
They also intend to pressure Mr. Obama for new defense agreements between the U.S. and the Gulf nations that would outline terms and scenarios under which Washington would intervene if they are threatened by Iran, according to these officials.
Qatari Foreign Minister Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah, center, and Saudi deputy foreign minister Abdulaziz bin Abdullah, right, with Gulf Cooperation Council Secretary General Abdul Latif Bin Rashid Al Zayani on April 30
The Persian Gulf countries say they need more drones, surveillance equipment and missile-defense systems to combat an Iranian regime they see as committed to becoming the region’s dominant power. The Gulf states also want upgraded fighter jets to contain the Iranian challenge, particularly the advanced F-35, known as the Joint Strike Fighter.
A senior U.S. official played down chances that the administration would agree to sell advanced systems such as the F-35 fighter to those nations—though the planes will be sold to Israel and Turkey—because of concerns within the administration about altering the military balance in the Middle East.v
There is much more but a question already emerges: why does the "Gulf Cooperation Council" need so many ultramodern weapons to "defend" against an Iran which is supposedly halting its nuclear program and is in the process of showing its allegiance to the west by endorsing a peace process.
Unless it was all merely a ruse to arm the Middle East from the very beginning?
And now the "end" is near because when it comes to matters of revenue and profitability for the US Military-Industrial complex, seek and ye shall find. According to Reuters, "Obama is expected to make a renewed U.S. push next week to help Gulf allies create a region-wide defense system to guard against Iranian missiles as he seeks to allay their anxieties over any nuclear deal with Tehran, according to U.S. sources."
The offer could be accompanied by enhanced security commitments, new arms sales and more joint military exercises, U.S. officials say, as Obama tries to reassure Gulf Arab countries that Washington is not abandoning them.
Not only is Obama not abandoning "them", but the entire Iran "negotiations" farce increasingly appears to have been produced from the very beginning to give the US a diplomatic loophole with which to arm the biggest oil exporter in the world. Sure enough:
Gulf Arab neighbors, including key U.S. ally Saudi Arabia, worry that Iran will not be deterred from a nuclear bomb and will be flush with cash from unfrozen assets to fund proxies and expand its influence in countries such as Syria, Yemen and Lebanon.
U.S. officials with knowledge of the internal discussions concede that Obama is under pressure to calm Arab fears by offering strengthened commitments. “It’s a time to see what things might be required to be formalized,” a senior U.S. official said.
All of this should come as a surprise to precisely nobody as the US takes advantage of its waning years as a global hegemon, and seeks to sell US weapons far and wide to the benefit of a select few Raytheon, General Dynamics and Lockheed shareholders.
And yet something peculiar emerges: in the Reuters piece we read that "Obama is all but certain to stop short of a full security treaty with Saudi Arabia or other Gulf nations as that would require approval by the Republican-controlled Senate and risk stoking tensions with Washington's main Middle East ally Israel."
Which brings up another interesting regional player: Israel. Because while we now know the real reason for Saudi's complicity in the Iran "nuclear deal", a key middle east player is none other than Israel, which under Netanyahu's control has puffed and huffed against the Iran deal, and yet has done nothing. Why? Here Bloomberg provides some very critical perspective which introduces yet another major player in the global military exports arena.
Last month, when President Vladimir Putin of Russia announced plans to sell a powerful anti-missile system to Iran before the lifting of international sanctions, Israel was quick to join the U.S. in expressing shock and anger.
But behind the public announcements is a little-known web of arms negotiations and secret diplomacy. In recent years, Israel and Russia have engaged in a complex dance, with Israel selling drones to Russia while remaining conspicuously neutral toward Ukraine and hoping to stave off Iranian military development. The dance may not be over.
One of those issues is Israel’s neutrality toward Ukraine, where Russian-backed separatists have waged war over the past year. Israel has held back from selling weapons to the government in Kiev, which is backed by the U.S. and European Union, in the hope of keeping Russia’s S-300s away from Iran.... “Israel has come under a lot of pressure for not joining the all-Western consensus on the Ukrainian crisis,” said Sarah Feinberg, a research fellow at Tel Aviv’s Institute for National Security Studies. “It was a difficult decision for the Israeli government, which was concerned about possible Russian retaliatory moves in the Mideast - such as selling the S-300 to Iran.”
The issue at hand is the delivery of Israeli drones: whether to Ukraine, where such a deal was recently scuttled following internal dissent by opposition within the Israel government, or to Russia, which already has received Israel UAVs.
Russia expressed interest in buying Israeli drones after coming up against them during the 2008 war with Georgia. In 2010 Russia concluded a deal to purchase 15 of them from IAI, and to set up a joint venture to produce drone technology.
An Israeli familiar with the matter said the drone deal with Russia carried an unwritten quid pro quo: It would proceed only if the Kremlin suspended its announced S-300 sale to Iran. Now having gotten the Israeli technology, the Israeli said, that promise is no longer a factor in Russian considerations.
In other words, now that Israel - which is the world's largest exporter of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles - no longer has leverage over Russian military needs as Moscow has long ago reverse-engineered the Israeli technology, Israel may have no choice but to provoke Russia in the middle east.
“Sending drones or other arms to Ukraine would be an ineffective, even inconsequential Israeli response to Russia selling the S-300s to Iran,” said Feinberg. More effective, she said, would be for Israel to lift its political neutrality on the Ukrainian conflict, or take actions in the Middle East against Russian regional allies such as the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria.
For now however, Israel's full on engagement in Syria (or Iran) appears to have been prevented: "On April 23 Russia did appear to backtrack somewhat on its earlier announcement of the S-300 sale to Iran, with Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov telling the Interfax news agency that delivery won’t occur soon, and would only happen after political and legal issues were resolved. In his April 16 call-in show on Russian television, Putin acknowledged that Israeli objections had scuttled a potential S-300 sale to another Mideast nation, reportedly Syria."
To attempt a summary: under the pretext of Iran negotiations for peace, the US is preparing to quietly arm virtually all Gulf states with the latest US military technology, even as Israel has given Russia some of its latest drone technology which means Russia may at any moment proceed to arm Iran and Syria with modern Surface to Air missiles, while Israel is contemplaring retaliation not only against Iran but Syria as well: the country which nearly led to a global proxy war in the mdidle east in the summer of 2013.
In other words, we have, for the past few years, been on the edge of a razor thin Middle Eastern balance of power equilibrium which prevented any one nation or alliance from garnering an outsized influence of military power.
All of that is about to change the moment the MIC figurehead known as president Obama greenlights the dispatch of billions of dollars in fighters, drones, missile batteries, and surveillance equipment to Saudi Arabia and its peers, in the process dramatically reshaping the balance of power status quo and almost certainly leading to yet another middle eastern war which will inevitably drag in not only Israel and Russia at least in a proxy capacity, but ultimately, the US as well.
Just as the US military industrial complex wanted.
Because as every Keynesian fanatic will tell you: in a world saturated by debt, and where organic growth is no longer possible, there is only one remaining option.
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And just to assure the required outcome, moments ago John Kerry arrived in Riyadh to conclude the deal.