In Newsweek, Tablet Magazine Mideast columnist Lee Smith argued that the United States is perfectly happy to sell sophisticated military equipment, like F-15 fighter planes, to Saudi Arabiaâ€”and Israel is perfectly happy to see the sale go through, provided the planes lack longer-range capabilityâ€”because the name of the game in the region is increasingly the United States, Israel, and most Arab regimes versus Iran and its proxies Syria, Hezbollah, and Hamas. â€śIf Israel and Saudi Arabia arenâ€™t exactly headed toward rapprochement,” Smith wrote, “the old enmities are not what they used to be.â€ť (Turkey, for its part, is trying in various ways to please both sides, which has led it to fail to please both the U.S. and al-Qaeda.)
All told, the Jerusalem Post reported over the weekend, military sales to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar could top an unprecedented $60 billionâ€”which naturally doesnâ€™t include U.S. sales to Israel, such as the just-approved nearly $3 billion deal for 20 F-35s (the worldâ€™s most advanced warplane). Little wonder that Syria may want in and Iran is nervous.
Our Proxy War in the Middle East [Newsweek]