30th of May 2019

Several analysts in the Middle East believe that the US sees Saudi Arabia as just a “money source”, and that the Iranian threat to Saudi Arabia is an undeclared agreement between the US, Israel and Iran. Therefore, Saudi Arabia has to pay billions of dollars to enjoy the US protection from that dangerous Shiite threat. And the former US President Barack Obama had tried to do the same game to seize the largest amount of funds from Gulf states but failed. However, the current US president Donald Trump has succeeded to make arms deals with Saudi Arabia alone about four hundred billion US dollars over the past two years, and other deals of billions of dollars with Saudi and other Gulf countries these days.

In fact, these stories led me to the necessity of recalling several announced incidents as follows:

First, Saudi Arabia has asked former US President Barack Obama many times for arms deals, and Israel was pushing in the same direction. President Obama seemed that he was satisfied with the deals approved by Congress. The Congress is always complaining of the increase in arming Saudi Arabia because of possible expansion of armed conflicts which would lead to outbreak of an iranian Gulf war that is impossible to control and may last for years such as the first Gulf War. In his case, the US interests in the region would be under severe risk, especially against its competitors China and Russia. In November 2010, the Obama administration has quietly forged ahead with its proposal to sell $60 billion worth of fighter jets and attack helicopters to Saudi Arabia unhampered by Congress, despite questions raised in legislative inquiries and in an internal congressional report about the wisdom of the deal. The massive arms deal would be the single largest sale of weapons to a foreign nation in the history of the U.S., outfitting Saudi Arabia with a fully modernized, potent new air force. Comparing to Trump arms deal in 2017 we find that the amount does not exceed 15% of Trump’s deal.

Second: The arms deals concluded by the current US president with the Saudi Crown Prince two years ago are a repetition of Saudi demands for years, not a US pressure on Saudi Arabia, or a fabricated conspiracy by the US to force them to engage in arms deals that they didn’t want them or tried to avoid them.

Third: In September 2008, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked former US President George W. Bush to back Israel to launch an strike on Iran’s nuclear reactors, but President Bush declined the Israeli request because it’s against the US general strategy and its interests with the European Union (EU), which was announced in the Guardian newspaper on 25th of September 2008.

Fourth: President Obama’s position was not different from President Bush’s position in this regard but has continued in what was planned by the US administrations and the EU on the conclusion of the Joint Comprehensive Plan Of Action (JCPOA), which I known as the nuclear agreement with Iran, in July 2015. However, Israel continued on its plans for more than ten years till now, taking advantage of the fierce hostility between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Fifth: If Israel secretly conspired with Iran against Saudi Arabia, it would not have tried to strike Iran with all its strength for more than ten years till now, bearing in mind that Israel is currently in strong alliance with Saudi Arabia. On the other hand, if the US secretly conspired with Iran against Saudi Arabia, the US would not have imposed severe sanctions on Iran, and no major EU and Asian nations have tried to play the broker role to get an end to the current US-Iranian crisis.

Sixth: Iran is not an angelic or peaceful state, as it is trying to pretend, and what it iran has been doing for decades in the region illustrated that, same of several non-Arab and Arab countries in the region that are destabilizing the region.

Seventh: The US is constantly seeking to control the oil in the Middle East and the oil price policy, to enable the US to control industrialized countries such as EU countries, Japan and China. Also, to control the oil interests of Russia. Thus, controlling the global system.

US also seeks to maintain the advantage of selling oil only in US dollars, which is due to the agreement between former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and King Faisal bin Abdul Aziz, signed in May 1973, where Kissinger pledged to raise oil prices and Faisal pledged to sell it with only US dollar. Thus saving the US a cover for its currency after it lost a considerable amount of gold balance because of the economic crisis in the early seventies, which stopped the conversion of the dollar to gold and needed an alternative to free them from the obligation to print the dollar depending on the energy of domestic economy only, it has the ability to issue a dollar that covers internal exclusivity and international transactions, which enables the US to spend on a massive military machine.

This may show the Saudi Arabia’s importance to the US is farther than just arms deals, the issue that George W. Bush, Barack Obama and previous US presidents put together as one of the most important elements of the US general policy and strategy.

Sayed Ghoneim, Major General (retired)
Fellow, Nasser Higher Military Academy
Chairman, IGSDA