For Saudis, U.S. Arms Deal Is a Challenge

(UPI) U.S. plans to sell Saudi Arabia advanced weapons systems worth $60 billion to counter Iran could turn out to be more of a problem than a panacea. The Saudis have always had problems absorbing high-tech Western systems. They already have more top-line equipment than they can effectively use, such as an air force with more aircraft than it has front-line pilots or commanders able to deploy them in combat. Saudi Arabia traditionally bankrolls part of Pakistan's military purchases and in return gets experienced Pakistan pilots to fly its U.S. and British combat jets, as well as seasoned naval personnel to run its navy. "The new deal will do little to balance the resurgent Iranian regime in the near-term," concludes the U.S. global security consultancy Stratfor. It could take a decade for the Americans to deliver the package, so it's unlikely the Iranians are quaking in their boots at the prospect of their main rival in the Persian Gulf region being deluged with top-line weaponry.

2010-10-27 09:47:58

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