The Secret US-Saudi Axis

The New York Times* article on the links between the CIA and Saudi intelligence doesn’t reveal anything new. It is, however, the first time that this information has appeared in a major American newspaper, and the article’s publication comes at a time when the pro-Atlanticist press is publishing an ever increasing number of articles on Saudi crimes. It’s as if the United States is threatening to cut its ties with Saudi Arabia. As Manilo Dinucci highlights, the New York Times covers the current US-Saudi collaboration in the fight against Syrian government, but does not mention military cooperation in Yemen.

Code name “Timber Sycamore”: this is the name of the operation to arm and train Syrian “rebels”, a mission secretly authorised by President Obama in 2013. This is what is revealed by an investigation, published on Sunday by the New York Times.

When the president gave this secret mission to the CIA, “it already knew that it had a partner who was prepared to finance it: Saudi Arabia”. Along with Qatar, “it provided several millions of dollars, while the CIA directed the training of the rebels”.

The supply of arms to the “rebels” (including radical groups such as Al Qaida) had begun in 2012 when, via a network set up by the CIA, Saudi agents had bought thousands of Ak-47s in Croatia together with millions of bullets and the Qataris had smuggled over the Turkish border into Syria Chinese Fn-6 shoulder-fired missiles, bought on the international market.

As the supply of weapons was not properly organised, the CIA director, David Petraeus, summoned the allies to Jordan and imposed a tighter system of control on the whole operation. A few months later, in the spring of 2013, Obama authorised the CIA to both train the “rebels” in Jordan and in Qatar and to supply them with arms, including TOW anti-tank missiles. Again, using the billions of the “greatest contributor”, Saudi Arabia. This is standard procedure for this type of operation.

In the 70s and 80s, Saudi Arabia helped the CIA with a series of secret operations. In Angola the CIA, using Saudi funds, supported the rebel forces against the government, an ally of the Soviet Union. In Afghanistan:

“the Saudis helped arm the mujahedeen rebels to drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan. The United States committed hundreds of millions of dollars each year to the mission, and the Saudis matched it, dollar for dollar via a CIA Swiss Bank Account.”

When the Reagan government launched a secret plan to support the Contras in Nicaragua, the Saudis, via a bank in the Cayman Islands, gave 32 million dollars to support the operation. It was through these secret operations and others like this, including the current one in Syria, that the long-standing relationship between the CIA and Saudi intelligence was forged.

Despite the resumption of diplomatic relations with Iran, a development which did not please Riyad, “the alliance persists, kept afloat on a sea of Saudi money and a recognition of mutual self-interest”.

This explains why the US has been reluctant to openly criticize Saudi Arabia for its human rights abuses, its treatment of women and its support for the extreme strain of Islam, Wahhabism, which has inspired many of the terrorist groups the United States is fighting.

It also explains why:

“The Obama administration did not publicly condemn Saudi Arabia’s beheading this month of a dissident Shiite cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, who had challenged the royal family.”

Added to this, and this is something the New York Times does not mention, is the fact the US Secretary of State, John Kerry, on his visit to Riyad on 23 January, had reaffirmed that in Yemen, where the Houthi insurgency threatens Saudi Arabia, “the US stands with our friends in Saudi Arabia”.

Friends who, for almost a year now, have been massacring civilians in Yemen, by bombing even hospitals. The US helps them by providing them with intelligence (that is to say, they indicate which targets to strike), weapons (including cluster bombs) and logistical support (which includes aerial refuelling of Saudi bombers).

Last November, these same friends held a meeting in Riyad with the Italian prime minister, Matteo Renzi, who promised to support their military efforts and supply them with weapons “in the fight against terrorism”.

*U.S. Relies Heavily on Saudi Money to Support Syrian Rebels”, Mark Mazzetti and Matt Apuzzojan, The New York Times, January 23, 2016.


Article Translated from French

The original author was Manlio Dinucci, a geopolitical analyst and geographer. His latest publications include: Laboratorio di geografia, Zanichelli 2014 ; Geocommunity (en trois tomes) Ed. Zanichelli 2013 ; Escalation. Anatomia della guerra infinita, Ed. DeriveApprodi 2005.

Source: Réseau Voltaire




Borders of Blood in the Middle East

A passage from Pierre Hillard’s book, The Irresistible March towards the New World Order (La marche irrésistible du nouvel ordre mondial)

The tensions and violence that have shaken the Middle East since the Israeli military intervention in Lebanon on the 12 July 2006, are merely the visible part of an enormous political, economic, religious and philosophical world programme.

The American occupation of Iraq in March 2005 launched a revolutionary project whose aim is to re-shape a vast geographical zone stretching from Morocco to Pakistan: the Greater Middle East. This name conceals a profound geographical reconfiguration which lies in store for these Muslim countries.

There are many theories and much speculation regarding the interntions of American and Israeli leaders. There are, however, some early indications permitting a solid interpretation of the current strategy. This is the focus of the following maps, calling for a geographical reconfiguration of the Middle East.

These maps (“BEFORE” – the situation in 2006 – and “AFTER” – situation following the reconfiguration) appeared in an article, published in an American military review (Armed Forces Journal) in June 2006, written by a retired lieutenant-colonel, Ralph Peters. From 1976, he quickly climbed the ranks in a mechanised infantry division and then, in 1980, went on to continue his career in military intelligence.

Author of a number of works on military strategy and international relations, Ralph Peters retired from the US army in 1999. But he remains in close contact with the US military as he is a member of the AFJ’s editorial board. This publication is just a small part of an empire in the American military press. Founded in 1863, this monthly review is aimed at American officers and deals with a wide range of subjects such as: military technology, logistics, strategy, military doctrine or tactics. In fact, the AFJ is controlled by a parent company whose publications are structured around three structures:

1) The Military Times Media Group which publishes : Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times et Marine Times.

2) The Defense News Media Group, an international group of defence reviews which publishes: Defense News, Armed Forces Journal (AFJ), Training and Simulation Journal, and C4ISR (intelligence, surveillance et reconnaissance).

3) The Federal Times, weekly newspaper dealing with new technology and financial issues.

Since the 1 August 1997, the Army Times Publishing Company has been a subsidiary of an even more powerful group, Gannett. Established in 1906 by Frank Gannett, this press and media empire publishes some 90 daily newspapers, the most famous of which are USA Today and USA Weekend, and controls 22 TV channels. Its activities also extend to the UK, where 17 dailies are under its control. The group generates colossal revenue, estimated at 7.6 billion dollars in 2005.

This introduction allows a better understanding of the environment in which the AFJ operates and of the importance of Ralph Peters work. Indeed, his proposals and calls for a radical change of Middle Eastern borders are clearly not just one man’s idle thoughts.

Numerous studies, calling for a review of national borders in the Middle East, have been launched within American military bodies and in various think-tanks.

As the map marked “AFTER” shows, the changes made to the borders are the result of a deliberate and careful analysis, the publication of which in a prestigious military review is no coincidence. The aim is also to gauge reactions, particularly those of the region’s Muslims. *

We must not regard this document, however, as being final. In fact it is a first draft, likely to be subject to various changes, which some term “adjustment variables”. In reality, the true interest of these documents is to demonstrate that the military, by no longer hesitating to make this fact officially known, is totally committed to a geographical area.

At the same time, this operation must be undertaken in accordance with Israel for whom this shake-up will have direct and immediate implications. Ralph Peters describes himself as an “old friend” of this country (New York Post, 22 July 2006).

* The aim of such a publication is to spark debate among the communities concerned. Inevitably, there will be supporters and opponents of such a reconfiguration. Opposition movements will emerge from the political parties and from the communities of Muslim countries. It will then be possible to put pressure on a particular ethnic or political group in order to encourage demands, which can only be met by the implementation of ethnic and regional policies. In fact, the disintegration of Middle Eastern nations mirrors that of European nations.

Translated from French

The original author was Pierre Hillard, former Professor of International Relations at ESCE, Paris, and author of numerous works on internationalism and the European Union.

Source: Cercle des Volontaires