The problem of the external security of Saudi Arabia at the present stage you can start to consider since the refusal of the government of Harold Wilson from military presence in the Middle East in the 60s-70s.
Saudi Arabia has very painfully apprehended this decision, as England ensured the aliasing problems between the Arabian monarchies and the expansionist mood of Iraq and the Shah of Iran.
This historical period was marked by abrupt start of the secular development projects in most Arab countries and the Middle East, monarchical regimes of the Gulf in the background looked archaic and could not oppose these projects, any adequate response.
The nature of bipolar world order did not leave Saudi Arabia choice - she could focus only on the United States as an adequate replacement for the departed from the region of England. Similar problems were experienced and the rest of the Arabian countries "the six". It was eventually found size-fits-all solution - the creation of a network of U.S. military bases that did not allow the situation go out of control and not to bring confrontation within "six", and between it and Iran and Iraq to open conflict.
There were several levels of safety concerns (well-known researcher of Persian Gulf I. A. Aleksandrov calls them "tiers").
The first level is the conflict between the six countries. These include territorial problems of Bahrain and Qatar over the hawar archipelago and the Northern part of Qatar Zubara. There are problems between Qatar and Saudi Arabiya border with the UAE an oasis Jofus. There was also a less significant territorial disputes between the UAE, KSA and Oman. Despite the fact that it was about small territories, they were all set in oil - and gas-bearing areas, and the issue price of each dispute could reach tens of billions of dollars.
The second level had a much more serious threat to security. The problems with Iraq and Iran. The desire for the annexation of Bahrain has been characterized for the Shah of Iran that was supported by the origins of the Shiite majority and their kinship ties with Iran and Shiite South of Iraq.
The Shiites of the Eastern province of Saudi Arabia does not have such a bloodline and are not willing to exchange a relatively stable income from work in the oil fields for political freedom and independence, but the Iranian presence in this province has always been a headache for the Saudi intelligence services. Another territorial issue between Saudi Arabia and Yemen was due to the presence of a Shiite majority in the disputed region of Asir, Saudi Arabia rented, and ultimately bought from Yemeni imams.
Kuwait has always been under threat of the Iraqi invasion, deemed unfair held the border and actually the very existence of Kuwait as an independent state.
Oman had a very complex problem with Pro-Soviet South Yemen in connection with diorskin conflict, where he led the fight against the leftist Front for the liberation of Dhofar , whose fighters were trained in a Soviet training centers near Simferopol. This level of security problems it faced the opposition of the USSR and the USA - and here Oman was directly interested in cooperation with US.
The United States eventually created a security system of the Persian Gulf in which they are not so much opposed to the Soviet Union, many were forced to bridge the gap between the countries of the region, with which they to some extent cooperated. While the U.S. relied on the Shah's regime that they took the role of "gendarme of the region". Shah answered with real actions - typing in Oman in 1972 a contingent of 10 thousand men to suppress the rebellion Tovarkovo. "The six Nations" in this system occupied a subordinate position, and the system was called the "half support", where a half was Saudi Arabia, and the whole pillar - Iran.
Revolution 1979 in Iran objectively hit US interests in the region and forced them to make a choice between Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Futile in its consequences of the Iran-Iraq war convinced the U.S. in the incapacity of the regime of Saddam Hussein in the role of a regional leader. This largely determined the future of the Iraqi war and "desert Storm", which was almost provoked by the United States, which inspired some hope for a favorable outcome for Iraq in the case of the occupation of Kuwait.
Saudi Arabia remained the only possible contender for the leadership in the region under the umbrella of the U.S. - and that resulted in a strategic partnership.
Nevertheless, Saudi Arabia could not become a full substitute for the Iran - its development has convinced US of the impossibility of creating in the Kingdom a full-fledged industrial economy, able to compete with industrialized Iran, which has shown steady growth even in the conditions of blockade and sanctions.
The collapse of Republican policies during the Iraq war forced the new democratic administration to think about leaving the region, who demanded exorbitant costs. The US economy could not withstand such an enormous cost to achieve obvious results. The logic of the new policy initially was based on the destruction of the well-established balance of power in the region through the massive "color revolution", during which the authorities were to come a moderately Islamist government seeking to implement a new pan-Arab project, but not on the romantic and socialist and nationalist slogans, and the cosmopolitan Islamist ideology, which Obama felt more natural and suited to the civilizational essence of the Middle East.
The implementation of this pan-Arab project was to compensate for the dependence of Saudi Arabia on direct US military aid in the confrontation with Iran. US withdrawal from the region would be accompanied by a transfer of territory under the control of the new Islamist governments that were supposed to create a buffer between Shia Iran and Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The needs of the new Islamist governments in ensuring their safety guaranteed multi-billion contracts with the military-industrial complex of the USA that could help in the restart undermined by the crisis of American industry. Public support to shale gas revolution ensured the reduction of U.S. dependence on supplies of hydrocarbons from the Middle East did Saudi Arabia's position and its lobby in the United States less relevant.
Eventually, this policy worked in the second component - "clancey boom" really had the desired effect, but the rate on the moderate Islamists do not. Additional, but extremely serious problem for Obama's plans became stiff resistance of Syria and the explosive growth in the number of radical Islamist militant groups.
Here and there was an objective reason to create a rift in relations between Saudi Arabia and USA - for the Kingdom ending the war in Syria in the beginning of the U.S. withdrawal from the region and reduce their dependence on oil supplies inevitably leads to the transfer of this war on the perimeter of the Arabian Peninsula as an inevitable result of the victory of Iran. The US, on the contrary, there remains room for maneuver than they did.
Rapprochement with Iran returns to the US in a relatively comfortable situation early-mid 70's of the last century. The revolutionary fervor of Iran was replaced by a more sober view of the situation, and although the U.S. will remain for the foreseeable future the enemy of the theocratic regime, he is quite capable to ensure the security of the region in the absence of the United States. However, in this case, the task is complicated by the fact that Iran should distance from Chinese expansion, as the slightest sense to leave the region and let China, the us elite does not see - and here the position of the Republicans and Democrats are completely identical.
That is why in the current situation, the conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia objectively favorable to the United States. This conflict will create problems for the interests of China, who will be forced to solve very non-trivial issue to become a security guarantor in the region, or to intervene in the conflict on the side of one of the opponents, or even to stay away from it, limiting their presence in the region until the end of the conflict.
Chinese military doctrine does not consider the situation of their dominance in areas of potential conflict, therefore, the first and the second variant is the reaction of China is extremely unlikely that Obama was quite happy and it makes things very predictable.
This creates huge problems for Saudi Arabia, which loses the "umbrella" of the United States, and the only hope for securing its safety remains active funding groups and the groups radical Sunni orientation with the continuation of the war in Syria and Iraq.
This situation is very favorable for US. They can allow the Kingdom to continue the war until the outbreak of the crisis in transfer of power in Saudi Arabia itself. If necessary these problems can be initiated at any suitable time. Clan contradictions and the exacerbation of social problems in the Kingdom will allow you to pass control of the oil-rich Eastern province controlled by the United States to the clan or set of clans. Their security can be achieved with minimal strengthening existing bases in Bahrain, Qatar, UAE and Oman. Perhaps one of the conditions of non-interference in the conflict of Iran and Saudi Arabia will be the integrity of U.S. bases whenever there is a change of regimes in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
Thus, the United States will not allow China to penetrate the most important of province of present Saudi Arabia, and the creation of a "Shiite corridor" will allow to Orient Iran towards Europe - more secure than the Pakistani corridor towards China.
In Saudi Arabia the situation is becoming for USA a tool for reformatting the region, which will ensure great safety. In this case, China will not be able to strengthen its presence, that too is an important element in the development of the situation.
However, for US there is one very difficult task, the solution of which depends the participation in this new system the security of another player in the region - Israel. The problem of Iran's nuclear program.
Today, its peaceful nature is not in doubt. The lack of a number of critically important plants and uranium (and, therefore, militarily dead-end) orientation of the nuclear program allows you to confidently assume in the short term, its non-military development. But to ensure a rapid increase in this program and output it to another level in the medium term, of course, nobody can. Even Iran itself. Today is very difficult to imagine the configuration that will develop in case of collapse of Saudi Arabia. Therefore, the question about the direction of Iran's nuclear program, of course, you should guaranteed to solve now. It is in Russia's interests.
Therefore, the start of a new U.S. policy towards Iran is due to two principal factors - the outcome of the peace conference in Geneva and the negotiations with Iran in the format of "6+1". The speed with which the US is trying to resolve these two difficult tasks, suggests that they are extremely interested in the launch of a new policy. Actually, depends on the fate of Saudi Arabia - and the Saudis are doing everything possible to disrupt the peace conference in Geneva, which will prolonging the inevitable.
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