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From the wonderful people who brought you the Al Yamamah arms deal

This from the Jerusalem Post:

"The British government has blocked almost one third of British military exports to Israel this year, citing possible threats to regional stability and fears the equipment might facilitate human rights violations".

Meanwhile, "
The report also reveals that during 2006 the UK authorised the export of more than 15,000 sniper rifles to countries including Pakistan, Jordan, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Saferworld said the exports to Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey were of concern because the UK has no way of finding out where the weapons end up. Export licences approved included components for military aircraft and tanks for China, heavy machine guns for Colombia, and components for combat aircraft and armoured vehicles for Russia". Source.

And all of the countries above are peaceful, stable, human rights-loving liberal democracies with interests that no way clash with our own......

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Anonymous nomad said... 8:14 am

Can anybody tell us who Saudi Arabia is planning to invade or who it is defending itself from with all these extraordinary arms purchases? Or do they just like expensive toys to play with in the desert?  



Blogger Guthrum said... 6:54 pm

Just buying protection from their own people  



Blogger Croydonian said... 10:35 pm

Nomad - I wouldn't fancy Saudi (the only country in the world named for its rulers...) Arabia's chances against the UAE.  



Anonymous nomad said... 2:10 am

Mr C: You may be right, but having spent some 8 years in and around the Gulf (a long while ago now!) I cannot think why the two would come to blows - unless of course the Saudi muzbot fringe loonies tried to destabilise any of the UAE rulers. But in that scenario I would imagine both sets of rulers would firmly unite. The Saudis have already demonstrated their willingness to be uncompromising towards those who would seek to cause a bit of mayhem (eg Mecca siege a few years ago). How the UAE would react remains to be seen, but I suspect they (and the people) too would fight very hard to retain what they have built up over the past 30 years or so.

As I recall many of the UAE service personnel and police were in fact Omanis, although this may of course have changed over the years. The UAE and Oman remain very friendly towards each other both at government and people levels. The rulers of Dubai and Abu Dhabi are of course extremely rich (unlike the other four, perhaps who have not been quite so blessed with natural resources), but they have taken care to spread the wealth around the people so I doubt their will be an internal insurrection any time soon either.

...all of which returns me to my original question...!  



Anonymous nomad said... 2:12 am

oops, sorry - final para: .. doubt there will be etc...  



Blogger Smith said... 6:42 pm

Saudi Arabia is unlikely ever to use the huge amount of weapons we sell to it. In fact they can't properly use alot of the kit due to lack of training. While if they ever did have to use them say against Iran, the west would be fully behind them. The lack of people killed by Saudi weapons means it is easy to sell to them, because human rights groups have nothing tangiable to create a public backlash against such sales.

The Israeli's will use these weapons and every anti-Israeli groups will have lots of photos of people injured by them with which to whip up a movement against such sales. Even the sale of electronics for US F16s, destined for Israel caused controversy. The Israeli market is not worth having the entire industry put under a microscope for. Even if this means refusing to supply one alley while over supplying a potential future enemy.  



Blogger Jeremy Jacobs said... 11:17 pm

Typical pro-Arab stance. What do you expect?  



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