MESA: an Alliance or a Gold Mine for America to Dig?


It is not just a coincidence that a Middle East Strategic Alliance (MESA) is being rolled out as an ‘Arab NATO’ at a time when the US is also deliberately picking up a fight with Iran. Of course, alliances like MESA would not be required unless there is an enemy to be countered through a supposed combined strength. This is the very logic of practice behind the creation of alliances. Starting from NATO when Soviet Union was cast as an ‘enemy of the free world’ to the creation of MESA, such military alliances have only thrived not just because these alliances provide a pseudo sense of security, but also because these alliances happen to be lucrative business activity for the military industrial complexes. The US president Donald Trump made this point sufficiently clear during the latest NATO summit held last month when he said that the US was willing to help NATO countries buy US-made weapons if they were going to spend the required 4 per cent of their GDP on the alliance. A military alliance is not therefore simply a strategy; it is business as well, one that strongly corroborates with the political economy of defence.

The creation of MESA, too, confirms this pattern. First, the US withdraws from the hard-bargained and well-negotiated Iran nuclear deal and thus re-casts Iran as an enemy that can’t be “trusted” and is, in fact, out-there to destroy its rivals. The US then rolls out the idea of an alliance, comprising of countries that are Iran’s rivals, to counter the increasing security threats that Iran is posing. Period. The key question is: how will this alliance, comprising of countries (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Egypt and Jordan) that have no indigenous defence industry and some even lack a proper standing army, defend themselves against Iran? Most certainly, they will do so by buying made-in-USA weapons. MESA is, therefore, going to be a gold-mine for the US military industry complex and a real boost for the US president Trump’s “Buy American” plan.

While there is hardly any doubt that the creation of MESA would send a new wave of militarization in the Middle East and set off a fresh arms race, the US stands to benefit from it even then.

For instance, after Syria, a still largely un-resolved conflict in the region is Yemen, where the Saudis think Iran is supporting the Houthis. While a Saudia led Arab attack on Yemen has already created a worst humanitarian crisis, MESA’s immediate attention would still be Yemen and the imperative of defeating an “Iranian conspiracy”; hence, the immediate need of weapons.

Already, the White House has confirmed that the US has been tasked with ‘modernizing’ the Saudi army. The modernizing aspect has its own politics. For example, while the US has already squeezed hundreds of billions of dollars out of Saudia for weapons they don’t need, the Saudis don’t have the required expertise to use these weapons either, which then requires training; hence, the modernizing programs.

By inking an arms deal worth over 110 billion dollars, Trump president has invariably expanded the potential of Saudia as a weapons market for US military industrial complex. Even if that is not enough, the real prize is in the biggest weapon sale in history, which has the potential to bring in 380 billion dollars for the US over the course of a decade.

Weapons deals notwithstanding, this isn’t the only area where the US will be massively benefiting from the Saudi and Gulf money. Gulf countries, particularly Saudi Arabia, are also to make investment, worth billions of dollars in the USA.

According to reports, the House of Saud will make a 250 billion dollars of commercial investments in the US, providing the Trump administration with thousands of badly needed new jobs, buying passenger aircraft and investing in US infrastructure projects.

Similar is the case with other would-be members of MESA. Among other recent deals made with the Gulf countries include a  2 billion dollars sale of Patriot missile defense systems to the United Arab Emirates, and a proposed 15 billion dollars sale of terminal high-altitude area defense systems and supporting equipment to Saudi Arabia. In March, the US Defense Department announced that Boeing had been awarded a 1.2 billion dollars contract for 28 F/A-18 Super Hornets for the government of Kuwait. Last fall, Bahrain signed on to buy 16 upgraded F-16 Fighting Falcons from Lockheed Martin at an estimated cost of 2.3 billion dollars.

Again, when it comes to purely commercial activity, UAE happens to be one of the biggest destinations for US products and investment. In 2016, the US had a  19 billion dollars trade surplus with the UAE, the US’ third largest trade surplus globally. And UAE is undoubtedly the biggest buyer of Boeing air-planes worldwide as well. This is apart from the billions of dollars the tiny Arab state has invested itself in the US. To take just one example, GlobalFoundries, a joint venture between AMD and Advanced Technology Investment Company (ATIC) of Abu Dhabi, has invested about US 17 billion dollars in the US and operates on almost 7000 jobs.

Considering the depth of engagement, the US president’s election-campaign rhetoric of extricating the US from the Middle East seems to have been converted into an even more deepening of ties through military cooperation and creation of military alliances such as MESA, which confirms that the US isn’t following a strategy of exit, but a strategy of entrenchment.

MESA, in this context, would only further that purpose and hardly counter Iran, although it would continue to project and even provoke Iran into a hostile relationship to justify the sale of weapons and thus keep the economy of military industrial complex well afloat.

Salman Rafi Sheikh, research-analyst of International Relations and Pakistan’s foreign and domestic affairs, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

New Eastern Outlook

Dear friends of this aggregator

  • Yes, I intentionally removed Newsbud from the aggregator on Mar 22.
  • Newsbud did not block the aggregator, although their editor blocked me on twitter after a comment I made to her
  • As far as I know, the only site that blocks this aggregator is Global Research. I have no idea why!!
  • Please stop recommending Newsbud and Global Research to be added to the aggregator.

Support this site

News Sources

Source Items
WWI Hidden History 50
Grayzone Project 28
Pass Blue 103
Dilyana Gaytandzhieva 14
John Pilger 412
The Real News 367
Scrutinised Minds 29
Need To Know News 1973
FEE 3686
Marine Le Pen 276
Francois Asselineau 25
Opassande 53
HAX on 5July 220
Henrik Alexandersson 659
Mohamed Omar 283
Professors Blog 10
Arg Blatte Talar 39
Angry Foreigner 17
Fritte Fritzson 11
Teologiska rummet 32
Filosofiska rummet 83
Vetenskapsradion Historia 130
Snedtänkt (Kalle Lind) 190
Les Crises 2181
Richard Falk 132
Ian Sinclair 85
SpinWatch 54
Counter Currents 7192
Kafila 393
Gail Malone 34
Transnational Foundation 221
Rick Falkvinge 94
The Duran 7639
Vanessa Beeley 93
Nina Kouprianova 9
MintPress 5121
Paul Craig Roberts 1324
News Junkie Post 54
Nomi Prins 25
Kurt Nimmo 191
Strategic Culture 3976
Sir Ken Robinson 18
Stephan Kinsella 72
Liberty Blitzkrieg 814
Sami Bedouin 62
Consortium News 2264
21 Century Wire 3123
Burning Blogger 301
Stephen Gowans 70
David D. Friedman 141
Anarchist Standard 16
The BRICS Post 1483
Tom Dispatch 441
Levant Report 17
The Saker 3677
The Barnes Review 490
John Friend 384
Psyche Truth 146
Jonathan Cook 135
New Eastern Outlook 3385
School Sucks Project 1747
Giza Death Star 1665
Andrew Gavin Marshall 15
Red Ice Radio 577
GMWatch 1954
Robert Faurisson 150
Espionage History Archive 34
Jay's Analysis 808
Le 4ème singe 88
Jacob Cohen 202
Agora Vox 12430
Cercle Des Volontaires 423
Panamza 1821
Fairewinds 105
Project Censored 776
Spy Culture 421
Conspiracy Archive 67
Crystal Clark 11
Timothy Kelly 512
PINAC 1482
The Conscious Resistance 648
Independent Science News 69
The Anti Media 5912
Positive News 820
Brandon Martinez 30
Steven Chovanec 61
Lionel 272
The Mind renewed 217
Natural Society 2539
Yanis Varoufakis 857
Tragedy & Hope 122
Dr. Tim Ball 78
Web of Debt 131
Porkins Policy Review 366
Conspiracy Watch 174
Eva Bartlett 569
Libyan War Truth 296
DeadLine Live 1907
Kevin Ryan 62
Aaron Franz 201
Traces of Reality 166
Revelations Radio News 121
Dr. Bruce Levine 125
Peter B Collins 1403
Faux Capitalism 205
Dissident Voice 9881
Climate Audit 221
Donna Laframboise 381
Judith Curry 1076
Geneva Business Insider 40
Media Monarchy 2106
Syria Report 74
Human Rights Investigation 90
Intifada (Voice of Palestine) 1685
Down With Tyranny 10661
Laura Wells Solutions 28
Video Rebel's Blog 417
Revisionist Review 485
Aletho News 18601
ضد العولمة 27
Penny for your thoughts 2764
Northerntruthseeker 2136
كساريات 37
Color Revolutions and Geopolitics 27
Stop Nato 4668 Blog 2801 Original Content 6367
Corbett Report 2151
Stop Imperialism 491
Land Destroyer 1130
Webster Tarpley Website 1001

Compiled Feeds

Public Lists

Title Visibility
Funny Public