The Corner

More On Saudis

My friend Paul Michael Wihbey has a good Saudi piece in the new London Spectator:

“So under the catch-all rubric of ‘oil for security’, a series of protocols was constructed to define the relationship. The reality was more complicated: a Faustian bargain that exchanged Saudi oil plus Opec moderation for all-encompassing US security assistance to maintain the rule of the Al-Sauds. The Saudi royal family readily provided a $100 billion market for big-ticket US goods and services, on condition that the Americans refrained from commenting on or in any way investigating the internal dynamics of the kingdom or its pursuits. Among these were the purchase and deployment of Chinese CSS2 intermediate-range missiles; the funding of the Pakistani nuclear programme; and the creation of a Saudi-Wahabi zone of influence stretching from the Hindu Kush to the Balkans into East Africa and South-east Asia.”

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