Procurement: Saudis Spend to Defend

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January 17, 2008: Saudi Arabia, as part of a ten year plan to buy $20 billion worth of U.S. weapons, will get nearly a thousand smart bombs. This is similar to the recent sale to the UAE of 1,300 laser and GPS guided bombs. Saudi Arabia is also buying Patriot anti-missile missiles. For many decades, the Arab nations in the Persian Gulf expected Iraq to deal with Iran. But with the Sunni minority of Iraq out of in power, the Arabs no longer believe that Iraq will keep Iran in check. The 1980 Iran-Iraq war demonstrated that Iran could be stopped. But this was done at such high cost to Iraq, that the Iraqis want no part of it again anytime soon. Moreover, the majority of Iraqis are of the same Islamic sect (Shia) as are most Iranians. While Shia Iraqis still fear Iranians (who are Indo-European, not Arab), they are more inclined to talk things out. The common religious practices make that possible. Sunni Arabs, however, tend to be rather tense and untrusting when dealing with Iran.

 


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