Thursday, April 5, 2007
When Everyone Hedges Their Bets
According to this NY Times article, Israel is lobbying the US to strip satellite guided offensive weapons out of a proposed American arms deal with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. The impetus for the sale was to reassure the moderate Sunni states that regardless of what happens in Iraq (ie. even if we pull out and leave the place a mess), we'll still cover their backs against the Iranians.
Trouble is, Israel isn't so sure that the coalition of moderate Sunni states that's been talked about as a means of containing Iran is actually going to materialize. Plus they've got their doubts as to the Saudi kingdom's stability in the face of miltant Islamic extremists that have it in their sights. Which would put its "qualitative military edge" at risk.
Meanwhile, for their part, the Gulf states have been lukewarm about committing to the deal, for fear of antagonizing Iran with only an uncertain longterm American commitment to the region to go by.
So the question is, When the Iran containment train pulls out of the station, is anyone going to be on board?