Arming to the Teeth

By Marc Schulman | Related entries in Iran, News, War
    “We believe there is a need for power to protect peace, and strong people with the capability to respond are the real protectors of peace. That is why we are keen to maintain the efficiency of our armed forces.�
    – Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, president of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of the emirate of Abu Dhabi

Spurred by their growing fear that Iran’s hegemonic pretensions will put them in the crosshairs, concerned that an overstretched America may be unable or unwilling to protect them and flush will cash as a result of high oil prices, Saudi Arabia and the smaller Persian Gulf monarchies and sheikdoms have gone on a shopping spree.

    Military officials from throughout the [gulf] region descended this week on the Idex military trade fair, a semiannual event that has become the region’s largest arms market, drawing nearly 900 weapons makers from around the world. They came ready to update their military capacities and air and naval defenses.

    [ . . . ] If they follow through on the deals announced recently, it is estimated that countries like the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Oman and Saudi Arabia will spend up to $60 billion this year. The biggest buyer in 2006, according to the defense industry journal Defense News, was Saudi Arabia, which has agreed to buy 72 Eurofighter Typhoon combat jets for $11 billion. It also has a $400 million deal to upgrade 12 Apache AH-64A helicopters to the Longbow standard. The kingdom also reportedly plans to acquire cruise missiles, attack helicopters and tanks, all for a total of $50 billion.

    Kuwait reportedly bought 24 Apache Longbow helicopters, while the United Arab Emirates has continued to take delivery of 80 F-16 Block 60 fighters, with plans to buy air tankers, missile defense batteries and airborne early warning systems. Bahrain ordered nine UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters in an estimated $252 million deal, while Oman reportedly bought 30 antitank rocket launchers in a $48 million purchase and is planning a naval overhaul.

John Kenkel, senior director of Jane’s Strategic Advisory Services, emphasizing that the new arms are meant to deter Iran, says that “It is a message to enemies that ‘We are taking defense seriously’” and “If the U.S. ever does pull back, these countries in the gulf have realized, they may have to fend for themselves.”

Commentary

For decades, Israel has successfully deterred aggression from its much more populous Arab neighbors by investing in a far more sophisticated and deadly military machine. Now, the underpopulated Gulf states are implementing an identical strategy vis-a-vis Iran. At present, their objective is to deter a non-nuclear Iran. Should there be future evidence — even if it is less than conclusive — that Iran is producing weapons-grade uranium, and should the Gulf states leaders not have confidence that the U.S. will provide a nuclear shield, the logical extrapolation is that, led by the Saudis, they will seek to acquire nuclear weapons by all possible means.

The possibility of a nuclear, Shiite Iran and a nuclear, Sunni Saudi Arabia separated by only the few miles of water through which passes much of the world’s oil supply is truly frightening. I can think of no better reason to prevent Iran from joining the nuclear weapons club.


This entry was posted on Friday, February 23rd, 2007 and is filed under Iran, News, War. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

11 Responses to “Arming to the Teeth”

  1. bob in fl Says:

    Marc, have you ever heard of MAD? Do you actually believe that either the Saudis or Iranians are foolish enough to actually use them? I am not suggesting letting any country develop a nuclear weapons program unchecked. I strongly suggest that a unilateral attack or invasion is guaranteed to fail. But if there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that any country is developing a nuclear threat, after the North Korea experience, we will have plenty of allies to back us up..

    Of course my assumptions may be wrong. I suggest that all diplomatic efforts be exhausted before any nation goes off half cocked. Especially one that believes the nuclear option is a realistic last ditch way to achieve “victory”. What good is victory if it meansthe end of humanity?

  2. DosPeros Says:

    I don’t think MAD fits into the jihadist paradigm quit the same way it did for the Soviet Union and the United States. The problem with exhausting all diplomatic efforts is that diplomatic efforts are NEVER exhausted…literally one can talk until there blue in the face and continue to talk and talk and talk and talk and talk, meanwhile Iran gets a bomb. Which lets face it, the libbies don’t really care that much about. If the U.S. can have the bomb it only seems fair that Iran should be allowed to have the bomb and, as you’ve made perfectly clear, they probably won’t use it anyway, so what is all the fuss about.

    I just don’t understand why people don’t come out and say it: What is the big deal about Iran having nukes?

  3. d'Brit Says:

    “What is the big deal about Iran having nukes?”

    Iran is most probably the foremost sponsor of terrorism in the world.

    Once they acquire nukes it is just a matter of time till they give some to terrorist groups, who WILL use them on us and on Israel.

    Once a bomb detonates how do you determine where it originated from? So exactly whom do you retaliate against?

    They can also use them to effectively take over the middle east and essentially control the price of oil, threatening economic collapse of western economies is fairly serious as well, wouldn’t you agree?

    THAT is what the ‘big deal’ is with Iran getting nukes.

  4. DosPeros Says:

    Once they acquire nukes it is just a matter of time till they give some to terrorist groups, who WILL use them on us and on Israel.

    d’Brit, you’ve simply watched too many episodes of 24. Come on, get in the really world. With rigorous inspections from the United Nations they’ll be totally constrained.

    They can also use them to effectively take over the middle east and essentially control the price of oil, threatening economic collapse of western economies is fairly serious as well, wouldn’t you agree?

    Again, come on. They will be constrained by the principle of Mutually Assured Destruction and will naturally capitulate to an equilibrium between themselves, Isreal and the House of Saud.

    In short, relax. Give peace a chance.

  5. d'Brit Says:

    DosPeros,

    “rigorous inspections from the United Nations” is an oxymoron.

    MAD doesn’t apply when dealing with state-less terrorist groups and Islamic religious fanaticism doesn’t fear death, it welcomes it as the ‘door’ to paradise.

    24 is a case of art (badly) seeking to imitate life. That Jack Bauer sure is one AMAZINGLY lucky fellow…

    You have given a perfect example of denial grounded in naivity.

    ‘Peace’ has no chance when you are trying to ‘negotiate’ with those whose cultural conditioning views ‘diplomacy’ as appeasement.

    In all likelihood you will strongly deny it of course, just as pacifistic liberals in England did, right up until Hitler crossed into France.

    “Those who refuse to learn from history’s lessons, are doomed to repeat them”

  6. naj Says:

    D’Brit:
    Iran is most probably the foremost sponsor of terrorism in the world.

    Once they acquire nukes it is just a matter of time till they give some to terrorist groups, who WILL use them on us and on Israel.

    You feel prophetic or something huh?!

    Do you have any evidence for Iran’s military aggression on any state?!
    How much do you know about Iran, anyways?!

  7. d'Brit Says:

    naj,

    Your hostility is showing. Don’t shoot the messenger just because you don’t like the message.

    My characterizing Iran as ‘most probably’ is a reflection of the intertwined support for terrorism across the mideast. Does it really matter whether they are first, second or third?

    Iranian mullahs have consistently called for the “Death of America’, we are the ‘Great Satan’. Their ‘president’ has consistently called for the extermination of Israel and the Jews. It is commonly acknowledged by experts that he is a mouthpiece for the ruling mullahs.

    What evidence do you offer that they are bluffing? Your discomfort with the reality of malovence?

    I was 28 years old when Iran took American embassy personnel hostage. So I have observed the Iranians for a very long time.

    Iran attaining nukes will instantly raise its status beyond any other muslim nation. I wasn’t suggesting that the Iranians will necessarily launch a direct attack upon other nations once they acquire nukes, though if circumstance dictates, they may well do so. It is just as likely that they will use the covert threat of nukes to ‘persuade’ other mideast nations to ‘toe the line’.

    Your questions reveal a deep discomfort with acknowledging the reality of the malovence we face, which changes the truth of that reality not at all.

  8. DosPeros Says:

    d’Brit – I was being factitious, mocking the capitulating, cowardly, America-hating tripe you’ll hear from the corners of the defeatshpere. These people make Neville Chamberlain look like he had a huge set of balls. I share entirely your concerns re: Iran as does everyone without either a latent hatred for Western Civilization or a fantasy-world to live in.

  9. DosPeros Says:

    On a related note, John Edwards & Obama have come out for the immediate disarming of the chimpanzees as they pose a significant threat to the state of the Bushbabies.

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,253810,00.html

  10. Artillery Guy Says:

    d’Brit says, “Once a bomb detonates how do you determine where it originated from? So exactly whom do you retaliate against?”

    Identification of certain isotopes left as residue (ie fallout) can pin point exactly the source of a bomb. Nupoc 101.

  11. probligo Says:

    “For decades, Israel has successfully deterred aggression from its much more populous Arab neighbors by investing in a far more sophisticated and deadly military machine.”

    Including nuclear weapons.

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