International Relations

Iran and Saudi Arabia

2019-09-17 14:32 #0 by: Max

Trump looks as though he is facing potentially the most difficult foreign policy decision of his Presidency to date and it looks like he has absolutely no idea what to do.

It seems entirely plausible that Iran is behind the strike against the Saudi oil facilities. It just seems too sophisticated and well executed to have really been carried out by Houthi rebels hiding in some sort of bunker. What the thinking behind Iran daring to do this is not easy to figure. They may have felt that given Trump's trashing of Obama's nuclear containment deal, they had little to lose in pushing the Saudis and US in to some sort of action. It puts the US I a despirate position. Either they role over and reveal themselves to be a paper tiger or they do something significant against Iran with the possibility of all hell being let lose. My guess would be that if you had a war between Saudi and Iran and others get involved Trump will figure oil prices will go through the roof and the world maybe pushed into recession and Trump's chances of being reelected and avoiding jail may be significantly reduced. My guess would be some sort of face saving cruiee missile strike which primarily rearranges the sand dunes but does not cause sufficient danage to necessitate retaliation. Probably the Saudis will go along with it as I am sure they have been flabbergasted by the way that a single strike seems to have taken out half of their oil production. I think their immediate concern will be a massive build up in anti missile defenses which will take time.

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2019-09-18 10:57 #1 by: Niklas

But what type of cruise missile attack could the USA carry out that would not worsen the situation? The target would have to be Iran since they are the ones the US has pointed out as responsible (sort of). Then Iran can claim that they have been attacked, which is an escalation of the situation, and retaliate when they get a chance. Best, I think, would be to do nothing and let the Saudis deal with it if they dare and want to. Or, perhaps even get back to the negotiating table, but that would likely mean the USA had to loosen its sanctions. Otherwise, Iran isn’t going to be interested in talks.

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2019-09-18 11:02 #2 by: Niklas

Are there any other possible architects behind the attack? How about the Russians? I could see Putin being pleased if they lured Trump into a Middle East war. Don’t you think so?

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2019-09-18 11:21 #3 by: Max

For once I think Putin is off the list of "usual suspects" though of course if the thing did escalate into a full scale middle east war the price of Russia s oil would sky rocket. However I think the area is such an unpredictable tinder box, I don't see the Russians as wanting to meddle. The right wing of Israeli opinion has long wanted to get the US to attack Iran and certainly the level of precision and efficiency is something we are more used to seeing from Israel than Yemeni rebels. I think any US cruise missile attract would have to be largely symbolic rearranging the sand dunes rather than doing any real damage. This might allow both sides to save a certain amount of face. There can be little doubt that a serious attract on Iran would quickly lead to facilities all around the gulf going up in smoke with the possibility of a serious crisis. I think it's largely major Trump inspired mistakes that got us into this mess, but there are no real attractive answers how to deal with the consequences.

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2019-09-18 11:25 #4 by: Niklas

Okay. We are likely to soon find out which way it goes.

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2019-09-20 01:04 #5 by: Max

The Iranians are pretty smart. They have been putting out the idea that the Saudis want to fight to the last drop of American blood. The difficulty is that Trump has already ripped up all the treaties and maxed out on sanctions, but esp with the Iranians threatening all out war if he attacks them I don't think Trump will risk doing anything to trigger them. For Trump everything is personal because his liberty may well depend on re election.

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