The internal problems of the United States not only make them reduce military spending and reduce their presence abroad, but also have a negative effect on relations with their allies. European allies are less and less willing to support Americans in military operations. Moreover, this trend is constantly increasing. The Libyan campaign refused to support Germany. And in September, 2013, when the US was ready to attack Syria, for the first time in many years of NATO’s existence, they refused to fight with Syria around the bloc's 10 countries, including Germany and Britain’s most loyal American ally. The unexpected refusal of the British Parliament to participate in this war was a serious blow to Washington. Only France, which continues to conduct a military campaign in Mali, was eager to fight. The refusal of the Cypriot government to wage war with Syria from the territory of the island, as well as Egypt’s ban on the passage of military ships through the Suez Canal and on the use of its airspace, was unexpected. Although Egypt - a longtime ally of the United States and receives financial and military-technical assistance from the Americans.
Europeans justify the fact that war is expensive, and in the context of the global crisis, it is not profitable for the EU. European states continue the policy of reducing military spending. Many of them have already lost the ability to conduct large-scale defensive and offensive operations, transforming their armed forces into a kind of expeditionary-punitive corps, equipped with the latest technology, but small and incapable of conducting military operations against the armies of industrial powers like Iran. Over the past 13 years, European states have reduced their military spending by an average of 15%. Europeans are offering the United States to continue to sponsor NATO. Washington insists on joint participation in solving this problem. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the secretary general of the military bloc, stated: "If the current trends in defense spending continue, this will limit the practical ability of European NATO countries to work together with their North American allies."
In the East, the entire system of alliances that the USA has been creating for decades has collapsed. Even such a loyal and completely dependent on Washington ally as Afghan President Hamid Karzai sharply criticized the NATO bloc, accusing its command of the fact that in ten years the West has failed to ensure stability in Afghanistan. The withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan will lead to the victory of the Taliban and increase the threat to the Central Asian republics.
The money issue is becoming increasingly obvious in Washington’s relationship with one of Asia’s main allies, Islamabad. So far, the United States annually gave Pakistan 2 billion dollars in a joint "fight against terrorism" and sold weapon at a big discount, Islamabad was a faithful and obedient ally. A particularly close alliance between the US and Pakistan was when they confronted the USSR in Afghanistan. But as soon as Washington faced financial difficulties and two years ago suspended financial cooperation, Islamabad immediately blocked the transit through its territory of cargo for the US armed forces and its NATO allies in Afghanistan, putting Washington in a difficult position. Americans even blamed Islamabad for supporting the Taliban, which is the case, and threatened to retaliate. Pakistani Foreign Ministry responded very harshly. Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar said: “You can lose your ally. You should not make Pakistan a pariah ... otherwise you will have to answer for your choice. " In addition, in Pakistan the campaign of mass protests and indignations against the United States has been going on for several years. US accused of violating Pakistani sovereignty in connection with the use of drones in the airspace of Pakistan. Americans regularly strike at the leaders of terrorist movements and their bases, while civilians are often killed.
The US was forced to soften its position, and in October, Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was invited to the talks. The two powers agreed to expand bilateral trade and investment. In addition, Washington plans to renew military aid and allocate more than 1,6 billion dollars. However, it is obvious that the former union will no longer exist. Islamabad is increasingly focused on Beijing. China is gradually replacing the United States in Pakistan. China and Pakistan are actively engaged in military-technical cooperation, Beijing is arming Islamabad. Celestial Empire implements a wide range of projects in Pakistan, invests in the Pakistani economy.
Not having time to resolve all issues with Pakistan, the United States received a blow from yet another most faithful ally in the Middle East - Saudi Arabia. She, who sponsored the war in Syria, did not like the fact that the Americans abandoned the military operation and also began negotiations with Riyadh’s main enemy, Iran. As a result, they began to realize in Riyadh that they could simply be abandoned - Saudi Arabia could become the next victim of the “Arab spring”. On October 22, the head of Saudi intelligence, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, announced a possible curtailment of cooperation with the United States. “Departure from the United States is becoming the strategic line of Riyadh, we don’t want to live anymore in a situation depending on the opinion of Washington,” a source in the Prince’s inner circle told Reuters. Riyadh plans to revise the principles of cooperation in the energy sector and in the procurement of American weapons (Riyad spends tens of billions of dollars to buy the latest weapon systems). It is very symbolic that the new strategy of Saudi Arabia was voiced by Prince Bandar. Until recently, he was known as the most persistent and principled supporter of the union of the United States and Saudi Arabia. For more than twenty years, the prince was ambassador to the United States and during that time he “replaced” five American presidents, having received from journalists the nickname “an errand boy at the White House”.
US policy has been criticized by other members of the royal house. So, Prince Turki al-Faisal, he was the predecessor of Bandar as director of intelligence and became his successor as ambassador to the United States, called the Syrian policy of the White House "deplorable". Riyadh was so vexed by the position of Washington that it refused to be a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon received an official letter from the authorities of the kingdom that Saudi Arabia, unfortunately, cannot take a place in the UN Security Council, for which she was elected on October 17 2013 of the year. The official explanation of Riyadh was the statement of the Foreign Ministry of the Kingdom about the inability of the Security Council to resolve the conflict in Syria and the Palestinian problem. Saudi Arabia’s partners in the Gulf Cooperation Council, which unites Arab monarchies, unanimously supported the decision of Riyadh.
The refusal of the United States of a military strike against Syria and the promotion of the idea of international control over Syrian chemical weapons allowed Damascus to win a strategic victory. Even more Riyadh is worried about the negotiation process of the Western powers with Iran, although relatively recently the question was raised about a US strike with Israel on the Islamic Republic. The prospect of a deal between Washington and Tehran simply scares the Saudis, as it can lead to a loss of leadership in the region, and in the long term to a complete disaster. Riyadh, despite the huge financial opportunities and the presence of a huge arsenal of modern weapons, is not able to stand alone against Iran. The Saudi army has low combat capability.
It is necessary to take into account the financial factor. For several decades, Saudi Arabia has been completely tied to the American financial system. The Kingdom very long translated its fabulous oil revenues into dollars and US Treasury bonds. The Saudis, in exchange for a military "roof", were in fact sponsored by the United States. It is clear that the rumors that the United States has a plan for a managed default and a waiver of debt obligations with a transition to the domestic currency (“amero”) are very concerned about Riyadh. If the United States focuses on internal problems, moving to the policy of isolationism, and abandoning its debt obligations, the first wave of the crisis will hit precisely the closest allies of the United States most dependent on Washington and the dollar. Such a prospect with the simultaneous loss of the US military "roof" is the end of Saudi Arabia, which cannot counter Iran and its allies.
It is clear that the Saudis are not going to sit quietly while the familiar world collapses around them. Rumor has already emerged that Saudi Arabia is ready to acquire its nuclear weapons, which will become a new security guarantee. Saudi Arabia and previously contacted with Pakistan (possessor of nuclear weapons) on this issue, has funded the development of the Islamabad nuclear program. But earlier they had a guarantee of military security from the US, and Washington was holding back Riyadh’s nuclear ambitions. Now the picture is changing radically. This is what the Israelis say. The former head of the Israeli military intelligence (AMAN), Yamos Yadlin, said at a conference in Sweden in October that if Iran created a nuclear bomb, "the Saudis would not wait one month." “They’ve already paid for the bomb, they’ll just go to Pakistan and pick up what they have to pick up,” said Yadlin. Saudi Arabia has already warned the United States that if the Islamic Republic of Iran "crosses the line" and creates an atomic bomb, Riyadh will also receive atomic weapons. The Pakistani Saudis can also get delivery vehicles.
According to others, the kingdom already has them. The Saudis bought from China CSS-2 (Dongfeng 3) ballistic missiles with a range of 2,5 thousands of kilometers and a drop of two tons. A more sophisticated modification of Dongfeng 3A (DF-3A) has a range of 2,8 thousand km (up to 4000 km with lightweight MS). Around 60-120 of such missiles and 9-12 launchers, China put Saudi Arabia back in the 1987-1988 years.
Riyadh has its own Royal Saudi Strategic Missile Forces. In July, 2013, the grand opening of a new luxury building - the headquarters and academy of the Strategic Missile Forces in Riyadh. Prior to this, the headquarters of the RSSMF (Royal Saudi Strategic Missile Force) was located in the underground complex of the air defense headquarters in Riyadh. The Saudi Strategic Missile Forces have a new partially underground missile base built by 2008 in the Al-Watah area (Al-Watah ballistic missile base). The base is located in 200 km south-west of the capital, in the rocky mountains, and has about 7 separate sites for mobile complexes. Their location indicates that the missiles are aimed at Israel and Iran. The Kingdom has two more older missile bases - Al-Sulayyul and Al-Jufair. Al-Jufair Base is located approximately 90 km south of Riyadh, and Al Sulayyul is about 450 km south-west of the Saudi capital. The Al-Sulayul base ballistic missile base was built with the help of Chinese specialists at the end of the 1980-s and has several parking spaces for mobile installations and two large launch sites. All three bases are armed with Dongfeng 3 Chinese ballistic missiles. There is information that Riyadh is considering to strengthen its missile arsenal and purchase from China two-stage Dunfeng-21 two-stage solid-fuel medium-range ballistic missiles with a range of up to 1700-1800 km with a drop weight of 600 kg. This missile can also carry a nuclear warhead, and its modification is an anti-ship ballistic missile.
It must be said that the throwing of the United States towards Syria and Iran caused irritation of yet another key ally of Washington - Israel. Jerusalem has already provoked Syria several times, launched a series of air strikes against Syrian military targets, trying to escalate the conflict and draw the United States into it. However, it did not work out. Now Israel is annoyed with the US policy towards Iran. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from the rostrum of the UN General Assembly said: “Israel will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. And if Israel is alone, then it will act alone. ”
Eastern press launched an active information campaign against the United States. The Arab News newspaper, 7, published in Riyadh in November, 2013, called the American President Barack Obama a “paper tiger”. At the same time, the author of the article, a well-known local political scientist, said that the United States would regret “their wrong policies that led to the strengthening of the role and influence of Russia in the Middle East.” Do not get tired of criticizing the United States and Egyptian newspapers. In Egypt, dissatisfied with the fact that the US cut military aid. Washington decided to suspend the transfer of heavy weapons and military aid to Cairo. In October 2013, this was reported in a written statement distributed by the head of the US State Department press service, Jen Psaki. The Americans suspended the supply of certain large military systems and monetary assistance until the political situation in Egypt stabilized. Every year, Washington gave Cairo about 1,5 billion dollars. Washington has already suspended the transfer of the next batch of F-16 fighters to Egypt and canceled the holding of the Bright Star ("Bright Star") annual joint military exercises. At the same time, the United States continues to assist Egypt in the field of border control, the fight against terrorism, and the provision of security on the Sinai Peninsula, and will supply spare parts for American-made equipment and assist in the training of troops.
Apparently, these US actions against Egypt and Saudi Arabia prompted the latter to intensify contacts with Russia. In the summer of 2013, the head of Saudi intelligence, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, secretly visited Russia. He held talks with V. Putin. They dealt with the situation in the Middle East. One of the prince's proposals was the purchase by Riyadh of Russian weapons for 15 billions of dollars and large investments in the Russian economy, in exchange for support in the Syrian and Iranian issues. A few days ago, the President of the Russian Federation and the King of Saudi Arabia held telephone talks on the conflict in Syria and the situation around the Iranian nuclear program. Egypt unexpectedly expressed interest in buying Russian weapons for 4 billion dollars. Given the difficult financial and economic situation in Egypt, only Saudi Arabia can pay for such a deal. Riyadh provides financial assistance to Cairo, not letting the Egyptian economy collapse. There was also a rumor about the possibility of the appearance of a Russian military base on the Egyptian coast. A Russian delegation arrived in Cairo headed by the ministers of foreign affairs and defense. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has already announced that agreements on military-technical cooperation between Egypt and Russia will begin to take shape in the near future.
It is obvious that Egypt and Saudi Arabia are trying to build a new security system in the region, actively inviting Russia to participate in this matter. The return of Russia to Egypt (the USSR had close military contacts with Egypt) could significantly change the balance of forces in the region. Cairo and Riyadh are not satisfied with the scenario when, after the final withdrawal of the United States from the region, Egypt and Saudi Arabia may disappear from the political map of the world. In the capitals of many Islamic states, they have recently begun to accuse the United States that their policies are aimed at redistributing the political map of the Near and Middle East and dividing the Arab states into smaller political entities. In such a situation, the leaders of the Islamic states are increasingly looking at Moscow, which does not support the course of the collapse of the former political system in the region and stands on the positions of preserving stability and the old order. Many media outlets of Islamic countries widely covered the meeting of the President of the Russian Federation with the mufti of the spiritual administrations in UN 22 October 2013, at which Vladimir Putin firmly said that Russia "is not interested in splitting or in rebuilding the Islamic world."
To be continued ...