Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Philip
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Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby Philip » 18 Sep 2003 07:52

Here is the latest expose about Saudi nuclear ambitions,which were demosntrated decades ago with the acquisition of Chinese ballistic missiles,capable of reaching India,as wel as secret funding of the Paki "Islamic" bomb.It is only now,with the west unhappy at the role played by prominent Saudis in anti-west terrorism,that these reports are surfacing.All this time the US &Co. were very happy to ignore Pakistan's nukes and missiles,China's proliferation,N.Korea's role too and the Saudi connection.Knowing the duplicitous character of the Pak military regime,one can almost take it for granted that the Saudis already have a few bombs in their bunkers.This is going to be another fast developing issue in the region.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/0,7722,,00.html

Ewen MacAskill and Ian Traynor in Vienna
Thursday September 18, 2003
The Guardian

Saudi Arabia, in response to the current upheaval in the Middle East, has embarked on a strategic review that includes acquiring nuclear weapons, the Guardian has learned.
This new threat of proliferation in one of the most dangerous regions of the world comes on top of a crisis over Iran's alleged nuclear programme.

A strategy paper being considered at the highest levels in Riyadh sets out three options:

· To acquire a nuclear capability as a deterrent;

· To maintain or enter into an alliance with an existing nuclear power that would offer protection;

· To try to reach a regional agreement on having a nuclear-free Middle East.

Until now, the assumption in Washington was that Saudi Arabia was content to remain under the US nuclear umbrella. But the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the US has steadily worsened since the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington: 15 of the 19 attackers were Saudi.

It is not known whether Saudi Arabia has taken a decision on any of the three options. But the fact that it is prepared to contemplate the nuclear option is a worrying development.

United Nations officials and nuclear arms analysts said the Saudi review reflected profound insecurities generated by the volatility in the Middle East, Riyadh's estrangement with Washington and the weakening of its reliance on the US nuclear umbrella.

They pointed to the Saudi worries about an Iranian prog-ramme and to the absence of any international pressure on Israel, which has an estimated 200 nuclear devices.

"Our antennae are up," said a senior UN official watching worldwide nuclear proliferation efforts. "The international community can rest assured we do keep track of such events if they go beyond talk."

Saudi Arabia does not regard Iran, a past adversary with which Riyadh has restored relations, as a direct threat. But it is unnerved by the possibility of Iran and Israel having nuclear weapons.

Riyadh is also worried about a string of apparent leaks in American papers from the US administration critical of Saudi Arabia.

David Albright, director of the Institute for Science and International Security, a Washington thinktank, said he doubted whether the Saudis would try to build a nuclear bomb, preferring instead to try to buy a nuclear warhead. They would be the first of the world's eight or nine nuclear powers to have bought rather than built the bomb.

"There has always been worries that the Saudis would go down this path if provoked," said Mr Albright. "There is growing US hostility which could lead to the removal of the US umbrella and will the Saudis be intimidated by Iran? They've got to be nervous."

UN officials said there have been rumours going back 20 years that the Saudis wanted to pay Pakistan to do the research and development on nuclear weapons.

In 1988, Saudi bought from China intermediate-range missiles capable of reaching any part of the Middle East with a nuclear warhead.

Four years ago, Saudi Arabia sent a defence team to Pakistan to tour its secret nuclear facilities and to be briefed by Abdul Qader Khan, the father of Pakistan's nuclear bomb.

A UN official said: "There's obviously a lot of restlessness in the Middle East. Regional insecurity tends to produce a quest for a nuclear umbrella. The Saudis have the money and could provide it to Pakistan."

Mr Albright said the Saudis would face a long haul if they were determined to acquire nuclear weapons. He doubted whether anyone would sell.

Arab countries yesterday urged the International Atomic Energy Authority, the UN nuclear watchdog, to get tough with Israel to let inspectors assess its nuclear programme in line with similar pressure on Iran.

Oman's ambassador to the IAEA, Salim al-Riyami, speaking on behalf of the Arab League, which represents Arab states, said it was time to get tough with Israel. "I think it's time to deal with this issue more substantively than before," he said.

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby Y. Kanan » 18 Sep 2003 08:52

A question for the "nooklar" experts: if you buy a batch of nuclear warheads from some other country, how long can the weapons be kept functional? What is the "shelf-life" of a typical fission-based warhead?

Is it really possible for Saudi Arabia to just "acquire" a nuclear detterent by purchasing weapons from Pakistan, and for them to keep the weapons in working order without the benefit of having their own nuclear infrastructure? Every nuclear nation I know of possesses reactors, reprocessing plants, etc. Does one need this extensive infrastructure to keep existing weapons operational for any length of time?

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby Denis » 18 Sep 2003 15:50

Y Kanan, Hi!

I am a "No Clue Yaar!" expert :) , but still let me answer some of the questions you have raised.

Deterrence is all about posturing. The idea is to deter your adversary. An adversary can only be deterred, if he feels that:
</font>
  • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"> you have credible means of carrying out what you promise </font></li>
  • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"> he has got no way to prevent you from carrying out your threat. </font></li>
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">What this means is, that </font>
  • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"> You should have the nukes in sufficient qty to deter him </font></li>
  • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"> Delivery system for to deliver these bombs </font></li>
  • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"> The capability to make your arsenal survive any pre-emptive strike by your adversary </font></li>
  • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"> Alternate succession plans (in case the primary leadership is wiped out by enemy's first strike ) </font></li>
  • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"> Intelligence, early warning and computing resources for effectively targetting your opponent </font></li>
  • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"> Means of secured, reliable and fool-proof communication to exercise the option. These means should be workable even after a pre-emptive nuclear strike carried out by the adversary </font></li>
  • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"> Safe custody of nuclear assets from rogue elements, accidents, unauthorised use etc. </font></li>
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">This list is not exhaustive but indicative of the structure that is needed to make your threat work and hence act as a credible deterrent. This structure is all about command, control, computing & inteliigence. This structure needs a sound technological,adminstrative and strategic base.
One may still get a proven weapon design (as Pak got from China), or smuggle enriched uranium, or get a "Peti Packed" ready-to-use bomb without having nuclear plants and infrastructure, but It is doubtful that this can get you deterrence.

I am not aware of the Saudi capabilities on these aspects. Some Experts here can evaluate Saudi capabilities on these aspects for us to get some picture.

Just my 2 paisas

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby daulat » 18 Sep 2003 16:35

If I were a TSP general I wouldn't give anyone my nooks, I'd promise to, but I'd keep em. I'd like saud to pay for them, but they'd be on a promisory note for when they were needed, on the grounds of maintenance, etc.

so i don't think that they have them. what they're quaking about right now is the revelation from Eye-ran about nooks (if any have been built let alone weaponised)

i think this is sabre rattling from saud to signal to others that they are not going to be rolled over and gubo'ed since unkil has left the building

the desire to link up with other nook protectors is that signal. so, where are they going to go? to Russia, China... or India!??! ;)

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby Umrao » 18 Sep 2003 16:40

Thanks to prez Bush and his company, The Paki Nuke establishment dont need any marketing department. Orders are zooming for centrifuges , they may even out source to Indian CII.

Ha

'A nuke in the back yard and a ICBM in front court of every country is the best way to foster Nuke disarmament' Spinster 1998.

But again along with Pakis the Saudis are very rational as certified by Spin city folks.

Coming out of closet is the norm of the day anyway.

PS: If Gandhiji popularised Charka (spinning wheel to make thread out of cotton) The progeny of Jinnah are spreading another kind of spinning wheels called 'Centrifuge'. True to the nature of Pakis indeed.

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby svinayak » 18 Sep 2003 22:59

Originally posted by Daulat:
so i don't think that they have them. what they're quaking about right now is the revelation from Eye-ran about nooks (if any have been built let alone weaponised)

i think this is sabre rattling from saud to signal to others that they are not going to be rolled over and gubo'ed since unkil has left the building

the desire to link up with other nook protectors is that signal. so, where are they going to go? to Russia, China... or India!??! ;)
This is a sophesticated psy ops on the royal family to backout of the isolation into the arms of the (fmr)protector. Iran is being used in the ME to increase the stress level for the regimes to make a decision to be with us or ...

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby Prateek » 18 Sep 2003 23:04

Here are two reports posted in the Indo-Arab thread ...

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posted 18 September 2003 12:08 AM
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Saudi Arab considering for nuclear bomb: British daily -- Detail Story
http://www.hipakistan.com/en/detail.php?newsId=en39048&F_catID=&f_type=source

LONDON: Saudi Arabia, in response to the current upheaval in the Middle East, has embarked on a strategic review that includes acquiring nuclear weapons, a London based daily reported on Thursday.

This new threat of proliferation in one of the most dangerous regions of the world comes on top of a crisis over Iran's alleged nuclear programme. A strategy paper being considered at the highest levels in Riyadh sets out three options: To acquire a nuclear capability as a deterrent; To maintain or enter into an alliance with an existing nuclear power that would offer protection; · To try to reach a regional agreement on having a nuclear-free Middle East.

It is not known whether Saudi Arabia has taken a decision on any of the three options. But the fact that it is prepared to contemplate the nuclear option is a worrying development.

------------------------------------

muddur
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posted 18 September 2003 12:11 AM
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Saudis consider nuclear bomb

Ewen MacAskill and Ian Traynor in Vienna
Thursday September 18, 2003
The Guardian

Saudi Arabia, in response to the current upheaval in the Middle East, has embarked on a strategic review that includes acquiring nuclear weapons, the Guardian has learned.
This new threat of proliferation in one of the most dangerous regions of the world comes on top of a crisis over Iran's alleged nuclear programme.

A strategy paper being considered at the highest levels in Riyadh sets out three options:

· To acquire a nuclear capability as a deterrent;

· To maintain or enter into an alliance with an existing nuclear power that would offer protection;

· To try to reach a regional agreement on having a nuclear-free Middle East.

Until now, the assumption in Washington was that Saudi Arabia was content to remain under the US nuclear umbrella. But the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the US has steadily worsened since the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington: 15 of the 19 attackers were Saudi.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/saudi/story/0,11599,1044402,00.html

David Albright, director of the Institute for Science and International Security, a Washington thinktank, said he doubted whether the Saudis would try to build a nuclear bomb, preferring instead to try to buy a nuclear warhead. They would be the first of the world's eight or nine nuclear powers to have bought rather than built the bomb.

"There has always been worries that the Saudis would go down this path if provoked," said Mr Albright. "There is growing US hostility which could lead to the removal of the US umbrella and will the Saudis be intimidated by Iran? They've got to be nervous."
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rudradev
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posted 18 September 2003 01:35 AM
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Recently, there was much debate on these boards about sending Indian troops to Iraq at America's request. Some of us believed such an action would enhance India's prestige internationally, expand her sphere of influence in West Asia, demonstrate her ability to project power beyond her borders etc.

Personally I disagreed...not only was I sure it would be a catastrophe militarily, but I also didn't think there was anything too impressive about being seen worldwide as America's newest running-dog, even if a very large one. Consider the contempt and derision the UK government has earned for its role in Iraq.

I believe we can fulfill the same goals outlined above, at much less risk and with potentially far greater rewards to look forward to, if India could in fact become the long-awaited honest broker who precipitates a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Consider our qualifications. We have good, and improving relations with Israel. We have good relations with Iran and most of the Arab states (with the exception of KSA and possibly UAE, who lean towards Pakistan quite consistently). We have a reputation for being fair and honorable in our dealings with other nations (the ONE advantage that our decades of NAM and Nehruvian moralpolitik have caused to accrue). We are far enough away from Israel and Palestine to maintain an appearance of disinterest (as Norway must have appeared to the SL government and LTTE). Yet, we are more conversant with the cultures involved in the conflict than Norway is with Lankan or Tamil culture.

Besides, who else is able to do it? The United States is viewed by the Arab world as completely biased in Israel's favour, not without some justification.

The European powers are viewed by the Israelis as hostage to the opinions of their Islamic populations, and have been snidely malicious in their condemnation of Israel's "human rights record". The Arabs on the other hand remember them as colonial powers who contributed significantly to the creation of the problem, and hence are not to be entirely trusted to come up with a disinterested solution.

The Chicoms, I am sure both the Israelis and Arabs are smart enough not to trust any further than they can spit. I'm not even sure if China envisions a role for itself that far afield, yet.

Russia's confrontation with the Islamic world, and its fading relevance, make it a relatively poor candidate. It is seen as a grabby, would-be resurgent superpower that in fact doesn't have the wherewithal to make its words stick.(India's confrontation with the Islamic world does not, by contrast, extend beyond Pakistan.)

A country from the Islamic world itself, obviously, would be unacceptable to Israel. That leaves Australia/NZ, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and us.

I think we're pretty much the best choice out of those. I have no idea yet what kind of a peace plan we might propose to the Israelis and Palestinians, I would welcome your views on that score. But I do know one thing...sans the backdrop of an insatiable thirst for control over oil resources, without aircraft carrier battlegroups and other big sticks in our hands hovering over every international neighbourhood, we would be a *different* kind of broker than the United States, one that relies only on its good standing with both parties to bring about consensus, one that doesn't bring to the table the arrogance of a global policeman laying down the law. Just maybe, by treating the Israelis and Arabs as equals rather than clients or lowlife trailer-trash "suspects" from an episode of "Cops", we might well get much further than Unkil ever has.

Of course it would put the wind up America's neocons if we tried. But I don't see us as having anything to lose, and potentially the further goodwill of both Arab states and Israel to gain. Not to mention making the Pakis look like the thoroughly insignificant cretins they really are by comparison...we would gain far more prestige in the Islamic world than they ever could hope to... and getting one up on the Chicoms as well.
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posted 18 September 2003 03:08 AM
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Following a posting on the TSP discussion thread - what with India now being friendly with Israel, Iran and Turkey - that leaves 'the Arabs' with some very limited choices vis a vis India - and the implications of that on TSP are more profound

now if KSA stops bankrolling TSP, the end is delivered, only leaves the nooks to be sorted out - which makes it TSPA's last bargaining chip - and that is either very good or very seriously bad

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby Rudra » 19 Sep 2003 04:20

I wonder what KSA has asked Russia for in exchange of support to join the OIC ?

russia could easily arrange for some nooks to be stolen. and not a whole lot Unkil could do about it unlike with TSP.

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby Rye » 19 Sep 2003 04:25

Originally posted by Rudra Singha:
I wonder what KSA has asked Russia for in exchange of support to join the OIC ?

russia could easily arrange for some nooks to be stolen. and not a whole lot Unkil could do about it unlike with TSP.
Given their chechnya situation, I doubt the russians are that stupid; the do not have any love lost for the pakis or their financiers in the KSA. I think a more likely explanation, is that since the US has now cornered Iraq and essentially screwed russia's business interest in Iraq, they are now exploring new avenues with KSA. KSA and USA are both seeing a fallout taking place in public view, given all the recent reports and stories about Saudi money and terrorism in the world.

The saudis definitely have thoughts of acquiring nukes, though, and it will their last stupid idea, if they get around to doing that, because they will surely use it too.

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby Rudra » 19 Sep 2003 04:28

yes what you say makes sense. I get the feeling a France -- KSA economic umbilical cord will also form. A big order for Rafale would swing the french govt....

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby Prateek » 19 Sep 2003 05:37

The reason the KSA wants to go nuclear is probably because, though may not be made public, the USA has tightened the screws around the KSA and they probably have started to feel the heat now.

But this also puts a question in my mind ... What happened to the Billions of dollars that the KSA poured to acquire nukes VIA Pakistan ? Why can't they get the nukes from Pakistan ? Is that because Pakis are nook nude as N^3 says ? or is it that the KSA just wants to declare, formally and officially in the near future that they are a nuclear nation, after getting some bumbs from Pakistan ?

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby daulat » 19 Sep 2003 13:35

given the total love that the ummah has for each other, i doubt that TSP trusts the KSA's to have the bomb - much more political leverage to have it on promisory note in exchange for $$$$

besides the moment that mossad gets wind of nooks arriving in the desert...

unkil also would have got mighty upset

and despite their short comings, the russians are not going to willingly give nooks away, the chinese on the other hand (with a known track record of such gross stupidity)...

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby Rudra » 19 Sep 2003 15:32

Pak has limited room on these matters. Its a large and violent dog, but a running-dog nevertheless with Unkils hand firm at the leash and a whip always within whips'reach of Paks rump.

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby Denis » 19 Sep 2003 16:44

The more I read all the posts, the more I am convinced that one can rule out Pakis providing the Bum to Saudis. My reasoning runs along these lines.

Going by the various discussions, Pak either has nukes with independent control, or under super control of US, or has been denuked, or has the nukes on lease from Chinese. Only if it has nukes under its own independent control, can it pass them on to Saudis. I think even if this is the case, Pakis will be reluctant to do so because </font>
  • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"> any bumb given to saudis will be one bumb less with Pakis and will highten their paranoia. </font></li>
  • <font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif"> If US has seen through the Saudi involvement in 9/11 and this is resulting in frosting of ties, the US would have seen through the Paki involvement as well. Hence it will be under a strict watch. </font></li>
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">The Chinese are the mostly likely candidates. It fits in with their track record.

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby Rye » 19 Sep 2003 16:59

Another plausible reason is that the paks lose their value to the Ummah if they hand over the bomb to KSA. They are no longer the only ones in the Ummah with the bomb.

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby Denis » 19 Sep 2003 17:02

I have a question for the experts.

From whatever I have read I have come to form an opinion, that in arab world in general and KSA in particular, there is a significant discontent in the population against the rulers. The rulers do not enjoy the popular support. IIRC, the US support and presence in KSA ensure that the regime is able to rule.

My question is, If this is the case, then wouldn't it be dumb on the part of Saudis to court instability and loss of power by thinking of going nuclear?

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby Kati » 19 Sep 2003 17:25

I think this is a psy-op by KSA. By leaking this report, and then denying it officially, they are trying to protest to the US.
Sort of - "If you push us too hard, then we'll go the other extreme".

And there'll be some countries, groups who are willing to swall the billions of $$s of KSA bait - under wrap of course.

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby Rye » 19 Sep 2003 17:30

Originally posted by nabendu:
"If you push us too hard, then we'll go the other extreme".
I would like to see how much more extreme KSA can get, just out of sheer curiosity for the morbid. They are pretty much as extreme as one can get even today, but I am sure that we have not seen their real talent yet.

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby daulat » 19 Sep 2003 19:46

KSA is on the edge of a razor blade - if recent media reports in britian are anything to go by (Times, Telegraph, Skynews, BBC - which covers a broad political spectrum) - one week there is a story on full-on-beardie-weardies on the warpath, next week there is some good news story of economic growth, liberalism, emerging arab modernity and societal transformation

under the surface there is a war on, between the middle class who are looking for modernity and the deprived underclass of unemployed, madrassah educated and succored malcontented youth caught between the repressive sauds (propped up by the great satan-unkil) and the blazing sands. with nowhere to protest, the poor find voice in the mosque

sharief don't like it, rock da casbah, rock da casbah...

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby Rye » 19 Sep 2003 19:56

Originally posted by Daulat:
BBC - which covers a broad political spectrum) - one week there is a story on full-on-beardie-weardies on the warpath, next week there is some good news story of economic growth, liberalism, emerging arab modernity and societal transformation
from what I read about KSA, it is likely that former is reality and the latter stuff about "liberalism" is plain horse manure. i have noticed that western media projects steps taken by the ruling elite in ksa to protect their throne, as an example of "Cooperation on terrorism" or "liberalism". I will believe such stories when the prime-time mullahs of KSA are asked to shut up and do their religious thing and not interfere with affairs of the state, or similar indicators of reform....highly unlikely without the KSA royalty removing its dependence on the clergy to keep the people down via shariat laws.

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby daulat » 19 Sep 2003 22:37

Originally posted by Rye:
from what I read about KSA, it is likely that former is reality and the latter stuff about "liberalism" is plain horse manure.
partially correct i fear, however there is i believe a strong undercurrent in many arab countries about frustration at lack of freedoms and economic opportunities for the common man. they wish to emulate the american way of life, but feel that america is preventing them from doing so in cahoots with whoever is the flavour of the month - and most months israel is on special

the issue in KSA is that there is a rapidly growing class of educated unemployed youth - who will have only the prospect of taking over jobs from 'menial south asians' to look forward to rather than the petro-$ driven luxuries of their parents

apart from oil - which doesn't really employ that many in the production phase, their aint much else in the kingdom. the old economy was based on camel trading in general, tourism for the hajj and a bit of trading on the red sea through jeddah

the oil boom prosperity spurred a huge growth in demand for goods/services and a population, but it doesn't provide for them in the long run. although there is a bit of mining and some agriculture, there is really no industrial base or services base to speak of, and most goods are imported

the saudi elite are ofcourse in denial, and this thread is rapidly merging with the india and the arabs thread, which of course is logical

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby Rye » 20 Sep 2003 00:13

Originally posted by Daulat:
they wish to emulate the american way of life, but feel that america is preventing them from doing so in cahoots with whoever is the flavour of the month - and most months israel is on special
Well, one can hardly expect to emulate the american way of life under the shariat rule, where the mullah decides what passes for appropriate behavior and what does not, unless you are one of the 40,000 members of the royal family.

the issue in KSA is that there is a rapidly growing class of educated unemployed youth - who will have only the prospect of taking over jobs from 'menial south asians' to look forward to rather than the petro-$ driven luxuries of their parents
The Saudi work counselor seems to advice these youngsters to take flying lessons with an emphasis on flying through obstacles -- learning how to land safely is optional.

the saudi elite are ofcourse in denial, and this thread is rapidly merging with the india and the arabs thread, which of course is logical
It appears to me that the rulers of these shariat driven countries will not acknowledge that it is their mullah-driven world that is responsible for their backwardness, and use the mullahs to redirect the ire of the youngsters to the west or some other scapegoat. I do not think these saudis are in denial at all --- they know exactly what they are doing.

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby Prateek » 20 Sep 2003 00:18

Probably relevant here ...

The nuclear club's new members and prospective candidates

http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2003/09/19/2003068402

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby Gerard » 20 Sep 2003 03:57

Originally posted by Y. Kanan:
A question for the "nooklar" experts: if you buy a batch of nuclear warheads from some other country, how long can the weapons be kept functional? What is the "shelf-life" of a typical fission-based warhead?
there is one nuclear material
which we know we will have to produce, tritium, a radioactive
isotope of hydrogen that is required for every modern nuclear
weapon. ...Tritium decays fairly rapidly. Approximately 5 percent is
transformed to helium every year. T
http://www.fas.org/spp/starwars/congress/1997_h/sh105-267.htm

The shelf life of U.S.
nuclear weapons was expected to be some 20 years. ... It may also be noted that for Soviet,
and now Russian, weapons, the expected shelf life has been 10
years.

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby SSridhar » 20 Sep 2003 10:43

Editorial in Arab News {Posted in full as the site does not maintain archives}
The UK’s Guardian newspaper has run a story claiming that Saudi Arabia is looking at the idea of acquiring nuclear weapons or, alternatively, of a military alliance with a country which would provide it with nuclear cover.

The story is ludicrous. Saudi Arabia has no ambitions to establish itself as a regional military superpower, and does not have a nuclear-energy industry that can produce the plutonium necessary for such weapons. The country has far more important things to spend its money on — on schools and colleges, hospitals and clinics, on job creation and helping new businesses to set up shop here. These are Saudi Arabia’s priorities. Defense is, of course, any government’s prime responsibility, but there is no sign of any nuclear threat to the Kingdom, not now or at any point in the future — which puts paid to the second suggestion. In any event, other than within the bounds of NATO, nuclear cover is not something that any non-nuclear nation has yet been able to acquire or that any nuclear one has ever been willing to provide. Saudi Arabia is not on the verge of changing its present friends and allies.

So why this fantasy report, citing an undisclosed “strategic paper” that no one else has heard of?

The sad truth is that the Guardian seems to be only too willing to accept as truth any anti-Saudi spin that comes from any quarter and will print any rubbish about the Kingdom, no matter how blatant a lie so long as it casts the country in bad light. It is old-fashioned disinformation and propaganda.

There is, though, one element of truth in the Guardian’s fantasy. It reports, as an alternative to nuclear weapons or nuclear cover, the possibility of Saudi Arabia working for a nuclear-free pact in the Middle East. But there is nothing new about this; the government has canvassed the idea in the past. It makes profound sense. Israel’s nuclear arsenal, now estimated to contain as many as 200 devices, is frightening; the possibility of Iran going nuclear is worrying, even though Riyadh and Tehran are on close terms; the Middle East, with its many problems, cannot afford the dangers that merely having nuclear arms would create.

But how to move this forward? A pan-Arab agreement on a nuclear-free region is not an impossibility, but the region stretches effectively all the way to Pakistan. It is not going to act without India, and India is not going to act merely for the sake of the Middle East. But the Israelis are the major block. They are not going to give up their weapons unless forced to do so by the US, and there is no chance of that. Washington makes great play shouting about Iran’s and Pakistan’s nuclear potential, but keeps silent about Israel’s. Such hypocrisy destroys any chance of a nuclear-free Middle East.

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby Rye » 20 Sep 2003 10:50

The story is ludicrous. Saudi Arabia has no ambitions to establish itself as a regional military superpower, and does not have a nuclear-energy industry that can produce the plutonium necessary for such weapons. Blah de blah de blah......Such hypocrisy destroys any chance of a nuclear-free Middle East.
Well, make up your mind wontcha, dear peaceful people of KSA.

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby Tom A Hawwk » 20 Sep 2003 18:16

More Saudi psy ops? Looks like the camels are coming home to roost for the oil-obsessed liberators from America

Saudi diplomat speaks of U.S. "intellectual arrogance"

By Andrea Orr

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States said on Friday that his country was staunchly opposed to terrorism and had moved to discipline the clerics who had helped spread an anti-Western message before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

"Nine-eleven shook me to the roots because the confidence that was shaken was not with Congress or the media, it was with the American people," Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdul Aziz told a foreign affairs group here.

Bin Sultan said that the attacks were also a wake-up call that his government needed to move to address the attitudes of intolerance held by some in the kingdom.

"The bad news is that we found some ugly things do exist," said Bin Sultan. "The good news is that there was not nearly as much as you have been led to believe. If you watch the media you think everybody and their mother is an (Osama) bin Laden supporter, and that's not true."

But in remarks that were carefully balanced, Bin Sultan, a former fighter pilot, also said that America's dominance in world affairs brought risks of its own.

"I personally feel it's not in America's interest to be the only game in town. It costs money and no one says thank you," he said during an address to the World Affairs Council.

Bin Sultan also said he saw "a little bit of intellectual arrogance," in the popular American notion that democracy was a "cure all" for all the world's problems.

"It didn't solve all your problems here," the ambassador said when asked his thoughts about U.S. efforts to make the Middle East more hospitable to democracy.

"My family has been in leadership (in Saudi Arabia) since 1747. You can call us many things, but politically stupid we are not," he said. "We are not a holy monarchy. We are a working monarchy and every day we have our hand on the pulse."

Bin Sultan, who has served as Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. since 1983, even joked about the two Bush presidencies: "It shows you guys are going in the direction toward monarchy. So don't knock it."

Bin Sultan has played a key role in navigating the relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia, which have grown increasingly tense since Sept. 11, when 15 of the 19 suicide hijackers were identified as Saudi nationals. While the Saudi government says it has done everything possible to assist with the U.S. war on terror, many U.S. lawmakers have criticized the kingdom for providing only limited cooperation.

Bin Sultan, who rarely speaks in public, also used his remarks on Friday to defend the U.S.-led war in Iraq

"Everybody in the world wanted that regime to collapse. This president had the guts to go and do it," he said.


09/19/03 21:53 ET

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby Neshant » 21 Sep 2003 10:29

They partly financed Pakistan's nuclear bomb program so you can be certain they got/are expecting something in return for it.

However it may well be that the saudis wasted their money. US is now quietly attempting to gain control over Pak's nuclear (proliferation) program through Musharaff. The US is more than happy to help him stay in power with generous financial aid.

Once Iran aquires the bomb, the saudis will be frantic.

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby daulat » 21 Sep 2003 19:34

Originally posted by SSridhar:
Editorial in Arab News
but the region stretches effectively all the way to Pakistan. It is not going to act without India, and India is not going to act merely for the sake of the Middle East.
Sounds like another way of saying - we don't trust those TSP boys to deliver on their promisory note. Also implicit in that statement was a neutral stance towards India, which is significant - particularly w.r.t. TSP readers of this editorial!

oh well TFTA's - looks like you lost your last friend in this world! :)

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby SSridhar » 22 Sep 2003 10:54

Daulat, I also consider it as accepting the fact that India's considerations for nuclear weapons transcend just TSP.

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby Madhusudhan » 22 Sep 2003 19:01

Here's a summary of Saudi Arabia's missile program:

http://www.fas.org/irp/threat/missile/saudi.htm

Seems only logical that the Saudi Missiles (Chinese) and the TSP (Chinese) nukes will be combined at some point.

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby Umrao » 22 Sep 2003 19:26

WHy is it wrong for KSA or Iran to have Nukes?
Why cant Demorcatic Republic of Congo have Nukes?

Dont they have right to bare arms in their constitution?

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby Madhusudhan » 22 Sep 2003 22:16

WHy is it wrong for KSA or Iran to have Nukes?
Why cant Demorcatic Republic of Congo have Nukes?
I don't know about Iran, but KSA having nukes is like a sczhiophrenic, alcoholic, delusional person on LSD having an AK-47.

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby VirenH » 22 Sep 2003 22:39

Originally posted by John Umrao:
Dont they have right to bare arms in their constitution?
Umrao: KSAs religious police dosen't like it's wimmen folks with 'bare' arms in public and that's in their constitution.
:lol: <font size="-2">sorry, couldn't resist</font>

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby Anaath » 01 Oct 2003 21:42

"There are reports emerging but not confirmed that Pakistan has stored some nuclear weapons in storage in Saudi Arabia, but to remain under Pakistani control."

http://www.saag.org/papers9/paper807.html

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby Prateek » 21 Oct 2003 00:04

Pakistan-Saudi trade nuke tech for oil
http://www.upi.com/view.cfm?StoryID=20031020-115059-8319r
By Arnaud de Borchgrave
UPI Editor in Chief
Published 10/20/2003 12:20 PM
View printer-friendly version

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby Prateek » 21 Oct 2003 00:42

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/cms.dll/html/uncomp/articleshow?msid=241402
UAE offers to extradite 23 terrorists

ANI[ SUNDAY, OCTOBER 19, 2003 09:40:34 PM ]

ABU DHABI: The UAE's decision to extradite 23 persons wanted in India in connection with terrorist activity, including the recent Mumbai bomb blasts is seen to give a huge boost to the two nations' joint efforts to curb terrorism.

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby Prateek » 23 Oct 2003 23:44

The Islamic bomb expands

Posted: October 23, 2003
1:00 a.m. Eastern


© 2003 WorldNetDaily.com

There are reports emerging in the press of a secret agreement recently concluded between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. An Israeli intelligence official told the Knesset Defense Committee that Saudi Arabia is seeking nuclear warheads from Pakistan for its land-based missiles. The information, according to Maj.-Gen. Aharon Ze'evi, is consistent with details he heard last month in Washington from experts speaking before the U.S. Senate.

http://worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=35229

It is also consistent with news reports published this week following a hastily arranged "state visit" by Crown Prince Abdullah to Islamabad over the weekend. The Crown Prince arrived in Islamabad on Saturday, met with Musharraf, and was back on a plane Sunday evening.

Now that the U.S. has pulled out of Saudi Arabia, the House of Saud is thinking its oil fields look pretty vulnerable, and Iran's nuclear program is looking pretty scary. Let's take a look at the chessboard, as it is currently set up.

Iran is a Shiite theocracy. Saudi Arabia is Sunni. When they aren't fighting Israel or the infidel Americans, Sunnis and Shiites find killing each other fills the void.

Pakistan is majority Sunni and is facing off against its mortal enemy, India. India has concluded a strategic defense agreement with Iran.

The Saudis hope to checkmate Shiite Iran's ambitions by obtaining a nuclear deterrent from Sunni Pakistan. Pakistan hopes to checkmate India's strategic agreement with Tehran by supplying a nuclear deterrent to Saudi Arabia.

Are you following all this?

According to Israeli intelligence, Iran is within 10 months of being able to produce nuclear weapons, and "as such, no diplomatic initiative would be able to stop its nuclear program."

How credible are these reports? Prior to 9-11, there were just three countries that recognized the Taliban's legitimacy. The UAE, the Saudis and Pakistan. All three knew of the Taliban's relationship with al-Qaida.

The Saudis have steadfastly refused to cooperate with the U.S. war on terror. The UAE is keeping as low a profile as possible. Pakistan has provided only grudging support. Musharraf, it is to be remembered, was Osama's protector until he was given a choice between being an "ally" or a target.

The Saudis continue to fund the radical Islamic madrassas (Taliban schools) that exist all over Pakistan, where students are inculcated with anti-American, anti-Israeli and anti-Indian propaganda.

There are only two ways to get an education in Pakistan. Attend one of the 12,000 Saudi-funded Koranic schools, or be rich enough to afford a private education. Most Pakistanis go to the madrassas if they want to learn to read and write.

By the time they graduate, they are turned into is a fresh crop of al-Qaida wannabes, eager to block America's alleged plans to destroy Islam. And all of this courtesy of Saudi Arabia.

It is the graduates of these schools who now have nukes. The ones who trained them are hoping to have nukes soon. And there is no way to stop them.

During the Cold War, there were just two nuclear buttons – one in Washington, the other in Moscow.

Remember the excitement when the Cold War ended and we won? Remember the "peace dividend" we were going to have in a world without enemies? Remember when Oslo ended the Arab-Israeli conflict and peace and safety was breaking out everywhere?

Today, there are nuclear buttons in Israel, Pakistan, China, North Korea, and coming soon, Saudi Arabia and Iran. This makes the Cold War look like the good old days.

Now we can get nuked from several directions by regimes that have none of the "safeguards" of the Mutually Assured Destruction doctrine that held the Soviet Union at bay. Some Muslim nations wouldn't be deterred by MAD. And some terrorist organizations know that we would have a hard time identifying exactly where to find those responsible for the nuke attack.

The Apostle Paul predicted the conditions of the Last Days: "While they are saying, "Peace and safety! Then destruction will come upon them suddenly like birth pangs upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But you, brethren (Christians), are not in darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief ..." (1 Thessalonians 5:3-4 NASB)

This day should not take a believer by surprise as long as he is paying attention to the Bible predictions. Prophecy indicates we are on the brink of the fulfillment all the events predicted for the Last Days. And the greatest promise is that we will not be here when the worst happens.

Hal Lindsey is the best-selling author of 20 books, including "Late Great Planet Earth." He writes this weekly column exclusively for WorldNetDaily.

Be sure to visit his website where he provides up-to-the-minute analysis of today's world events in the light of ancient prophecies.

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby Prateek » 28 Oct 2003 05:34

JNW News: Saudi Arabia heading for nuclear status?

JNW News
Saudi Arabia heading for nuclear status?
By Jerusalem Newswire Editorial Staff
October 27, 2003

Jerusalem (www.jnewswire.com) - A recent agreement reached by Saudi Arabia and Pakistan may lead to the permanent deployment of nuclear weapons in the oil-rich kingdom, according to a report by the Israel-based Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies.

Additionally, recent reported diplomatic moves by Riyadh were seen as opening the door for new major acquisitions of advanced US-made weaponry.

Earlier in the month, Israeli officials protested that the ongoing influx of arms and knowledge into Saudi Arabia threatened the Jewish state's national security.

Dangerous nuclear deal

In September 2003, reports indicated Saudi Arabia was considering a strategy paper listing its nuclear options, the Jaffee Center report said.

One month later, word spread that a deal had been reached with Pakistan.

"Although the joint communiqué mentioned an agreement for 'the maximum utilization of the existing economic potential of the two countries,' this could well be a euphemism for nuclear cooperation, since anything else would look like a marriage between an elephant and a mouse," the report noted.

Pakistan is a very poor country with the ability to produce nuclear weapons, while Saudi Arabia is an oil-rich nation that is limited in technical resources, making it a very good deal for both sides, Jaffee's Ephraim Asculai pointed out.

According to Asculai, this was the plan all along. He goes on to describe how Saudi Arabia financed Pakistan's purchase of Chinese material and know-how in its nuclear race with India, all the while intending to benefit by acquiring a nuclear weapon of its own.

This "may mean that Pakistani nuclear forces will be deployed in Saudi Arabia, upon request, at times of tension. Alternatively, they could be deployed there permanently," Asculai wrote.

Arms race

Meanwhile, a report in Middle East Newsline (MENL) Monday indicated that in addition to its nuclear ambitions, Riyadh could be preparing to make another major acquisition of advanced US-made weapons.

Saudi Arabia has reportedly expressed willingness over recent weeks to expand current military and defense cooperation with the US, after inter-state collaboration cooled following the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in New York and Washington.

Fifteen of the 19 terrorists who took part in those attacks were Saudi nationals.

The MENL story matched recent media reports of a parallel Egyptian military buildup, also by way of US-made arms.

Strategic threat to Israel

Yuval Steinitz, a Likud Knesset Member and Chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, warned last week that continued sales of advanced weaponry to both Saudi Arabia and Egypt posed a serious threat to Israel's national security.

Pundits suggested that while Washington has been quick to quash Israeli arms deals that may pose minor threats to remote American interests, Israel's chief ally won't refrain from selling weapons that may represent an existential threat to the Jewish state.

Most media have reported Saudi Arabia's military buildup and nuclear deal with Pakistan as a response to Iranian nuclear advancements.

Riyadh's long open hatred of Israel, however, has many Israelis seeing the new conventional and non-conventional arms deals in a different light.

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Re: Saudi Arabia's nuclear ambitions

Postby Prateek » 29 Oct 2003 00:39

'Stay away from Saudi Arabia'

US citizens have been warned to stay away from Saudi Arabia because of fears of an imminent terrorist attack, says ITV, which quoted officials in Washington as saying they had 'credible data' on a planned attack against Western aviation interests in the Arab state.
They told all US citizens to defer any non-essential travel to the country. The US embassy in Riyadh had earlier warned its nationals of possible attacks during the holy Muslim month of Ramzan in the kingdom.

"There is credible information that terrorists have targeted Western aviation interests in Saudi Arabia. The Department of State warns US citizens to defer nonessential travel to Saudi Arabia. Americans are reminded of the potential for further terrorist actions against US citizens abroad, including in the Persian Gulf region," it said.

The US warning follows a similar advisory issued by the Foreign Office to British citizens last week


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