US quietly expanding defense ties with Saudis

Despite their deepening political divide, the United States and Saudi Arabia are quietly expanding defense ties on a vast scale, led by a little-known project to develop an elite force to protect the kingdom’s oil riches and future nuclear sites.

The U.S. also is in discussions with Saudi Arabia to create an air and missile defense system with far greater capability against the regional rival the Saudis fear most, Iran. And it is with Iran mainly in mind that the Saudis are pressing ahead with a historic $60 billion arms deal that will provide dozens of new U.S.-built F-15 combat aircraft likely to ensure Saudi air superiority over Iran for years.

Together these moves amount to a historic expansion of a 66-year-old relationship that is built on America’s oil appetite, sustained by Saudi reliance on U.S. military reach and deepened by a shared worry about the threat of al-Qaida and the ambitions of Iran. Read more

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  1. The Saudis do not even have the pilots to staff all the materials being purchased. Therefore it looks more like ‘development aid’ from the oil rich Saudis to the near-bankrupt US state. (just my opinion). If the Saudis employ foreign mercenaries for all this equipment: Take care and remember the mameluks …

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