Monday, April 18, 2011
By M K Bhadrakumar
"Speeches from the Barack Obama administration suggest Saudi Arabia's hint it may extend the largest purchase of American arms in history has worked. In no time at all US Defense Secretary Robert Gates has twisted from urging reform in Gulf states to bowing to Riyadh's role in suppressing revolt and sharing its view that Iran is meddling in the Arab spring....
This growing sense of isolation prompted the Saudi leadership to invoke its ultimate reserves of influence in Washington - the Pentagon. The promise Abdullah made to Gates - that Saudi arms purchases from the US this year will exceed the $60 billion deal (which is already the biggest in US history) - changes the entire complexion of Persian Gulf security from the American perspective. Obama interprets arms sales to foreign countries as the means to create jobs at home. And if the Gulf Confederation idea takes hold, the sky is the limit for lucrative arms deals since a joint military will be created by the petrodollar states involving land, air and naval forces. The speeches by Clinton and Gates suggest that the Saudis have succeeded in making Obama reassess the Arab spring in the Persian Gulf region. Obama is never short on resonant words. Still, presenting with conviction his (revised) vision of the New Middle East in the major policy speech he is expected to make isn't going to be easy. "