Recently, President Trump called Saudi Arabia an important ally. Most analysts saw it as another Trump exaggeration for political consumption. Then General Mattis called Saudi Arabia an important ally and that has a much different meaning. An ally is a country with mutual support agreements and who backs up that commitment in action. Allies do not work against each other. With General Mattis calling Saudi Arabia an ally, it implies that America’s military will be deployed to defend and possibly die for that ally.
What is Saudi Arabia?
It is reported that Australian Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull asked President Obama, “Are the Saudis your friends?”
President Obama responded, “It’s complicated.”
Lets clear the table of the largest piece of FICTION: The United States needs Saudi Arabia for oil.
FALSE. Saudi Arabia is a minor player in terms of imported oil into the United States. Canada is the kingpin and is the country Trump should not be insulting. It provides between 40 to 50 percent of America’s imported oil on a daily basis at above 3.3 million plus barrels a day. In 2017, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela sat within a few 100 thousand barrels per day of each other. In 2018, United States domestic crude oil production escalated to the point that America became an exporter.
Saudi Arabia is not a strategic ally in terms of oil supply.
An ally supports the United States in conflicts with shared values.
FALSE for Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia refused to send troops to Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. For the Record, Iran supported Operation Enduring Freedom but not Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia refused to send troops to Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.
Saudi Arabia refused to support the operation in Libya in 2011. Jordan, Qatar, and UAE supported the operation, but not the Saudis.
Saudi Arabia did support the effort in Syria against the Islamic State but at the same time Saudi Arabia was funneling weapons to a wide range of Sunni Jihadi groups in Syria who supplied those weapons to the Islamic State. Does that sound like an ally?
Allies share military bases for strategic reasons.
FALSE for Saudi Arabia. The kingdom, in 2003 when the United States needed an airbase in the region, closed Prince Sultan Air Base to US jets because it feared angering the al Qaeda supporters in Saudi royal family.
In that vein, allies do not fund your enemy. But Saudi Arabia funded al Qaeda, the group that attacked the World Trade Center and killed over 2,000 Americans. In a confidential United States Treasury report Saudi Arabia’s royal family was found to be a significant funder of al-Qaeda between the 1990’s and 2006. They funded the International Islamic Relief Organization as a front to fund worldwide terrorism.
Allies do not work against other United States allies.
FALSE. For the last three years Saudi Arabia has boycotted Qatar the site of America’s Al Udeid Airbase and significantly hurt the relationship between the United States and Qatar. This only displays that Saudi Arabia does not see the United States as an ally and will act in its own self interest.
Obviously, General Mattis missed all these facts in his rush to protect Saudi Arabia’s human rights abuses. But then General Mattis gave his reason for the sudden rush to embrace his new “ally”. “The United States needs Saudi Arabia in its fight against Iran.
Really? How did General Mattis get the name the Scholar General? General Mattis’ position is that the United States needs the Saudi Army to fight off Iran. Did I hear that right? The same Saudi army that has been struggling for years against the rag tag, starved, Houthis in Yemen? The Saudi army with zero combat experience—save for the Yemen disaster—is going against a battle hardened Iranian army with experience against Iraq and seven years in Syria. The Saudi army is going against Hezbollah with the IRGC who are possibly pound for pound some of the best fighters in the world? Hezbollah who fought Israel to a stand-still in Lebanon.
Maybe General Mattis plans on support form Egypt? The Egyptian army has more experience killing its own citizens than another army. The Egyptian army that can not handle bands of bedouins—“terrorists”–in the Sinai. Maybe Mattis is planning on support from the Emirates, whose major cities and airfields are within artillery range from Iran.
Of course, there is always Israel to take on Iran. Israel whose army is pinned down in a brutal occupation of the West Bank, pinned down guarding the Gaza border, pinned down watching Hezbollah in Lebanon and with 30 percent of its population refusing military service. The freedom fighters of 1967 are long gone in Israel and the current Israeli soldier has more experience arresting children and slapping around women than fighting armed soldiers.
Saudi Arabia is NOT an ally. It is America’s best weapons customer. Some 20% of America’s weapons prior to Trump have gone to Saudi Arabia.
General Mattis has turned the United States military into a mercenary force to protect the wealthy military industrial complex.
Islamic World Books