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Author Topic: Saudi Arabia & the Arabian Peninsula  (Read 15541 times)
G M
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« Reply #100 on: April 20, 2016, 10:01:22 PM »

Actually, if we were to seriously produce oil like we have the potential to do, their usefulness is seriously reduced.


Asked and answered:

Frankly I am not so clear as to why we need to kiss up to the Saudis. ...

... Though we would all prefer them to Iran. [and ISIS and al Qaida and Boko Haram etc.]

Take it one step further, some of the 'moderate' Arab states will soon be allies of Israel, because Israel never was a threat to them and the common enemies Iran, ISIS etc. are.

The Kingdom is a strange place but they are our strategic ally.

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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #101 on: April 28, 2016, 10:23:39 AM »

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/saudi-arabia-brink-vikram-mansharamani?trk=eml-b2_content_ecosystem_digest-hero-14-null&midToken=AQEM_FYkB3NwIQ&fromEmail=fromEmail&ut=1uDiFxsOzlN7c1
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DougMacG
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« Reply #102 on: May 03, 2016, 12:15:35 PM »

My former customer, Saudi builder Binladin, reportedly cuts 50,000 jobs.

Construction company Saudi Binladin Group has laid off 50,000 staff, a newspaper reported on Friday, as pressure on the industry rises amid government spending cuts to survive an era of cheap oil.

http://www.cnbc.com/2016/04/30/saudi-builder-binladin-reportedly-cuts-50000-jobs-as-government-cuts-bite.html

(Can't really say no relation to the famous al Qaida leader.)

It's not only North Dakota feeling the squeeze.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #103 on: May 20, 2016, 11:28:07 AM »

Forecast

    Although Islamic State-related attacks in Saudi Arabia have increased over the past year, strikes against hard targets still appear to be out of reach.
    For al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the end of a more than one-year unofficial truce with the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen puts Saudi targets back in the crosshairs.
    Saudi authorities may struggle to maintain control of the jihadist threat as Islamic State fighters return from Syria and Iraq with more advanced skills.

Analysis

Jihadism has deep roots in Saudi Arabia, the second-largest source of foreign militants in Iraq and Syria since the Syrian civil war began in 2011. Since the mid-2000s, Saudi security forces have contained the jihadist threat in the kingdom, aware of the economic and security dangers it could pose if left unchecked. But in the past year, Islamic State activity in Saudi Arabia — and a recent series of raids against alleged militants — has raised fears that the threat may be growing beyond authorities' control.

Saudi Jihadism: A Chronology

The jihadist threat in Saudi Arabia is nothing new. In mid-2002, al Qaeda in Saudi Arabia launched a campaign of attacks in the country against both foreigners and the Saudi government. Saudi authorities eventually dismantled the group, forcing its members to flee the country. Many relocated to Yemen, where they helped to found al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

Aside from a failed 2006 assault on the Abqaiq oil collection and processing facility, an amateurish attack in 2007 that killed three French citizens, and a foiled assassination attempt against Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Nayef in 2009, Saudi Arabia has been eerily quiet. But the calm was shattered in 2015 when militants associated with the Islamic State began bombing mosques in Saudi Arabia's restive Eastern Province in an effort to inflame sectarian tensions in the kingdom.

Before long, the attacks spread beyond Eastern Province and Shiite targets. After a series of raids in Taif in early July 2015, Saudi officials stopped a man wearing a suicide vest at a roadblock in Riyadh on July 16. To avoid capture, the man detonated his device, setting off a government crackdown that led to the arrest of over 400 alleged Islamic State supporters within two days.

The following month, a suicide bomber detonated explosives inside a mosque in Abha, a city in western Saudi Arabia. The attack killed 15 worshippers, including 10 members of a special Saudi state security unit, and wounded many others. Since then, three other attacks against Shiite mosques in Eastern Province have occurred, along with a handful of small bombings in Riyadh and several assassinations of police and security officers. In addition, a number of raids against Islamic State members have been conducted in Riyadh, Dammam and Asir.

A raid outside Mecca on May 5 sparked a firefight that left four Islamic State fighters dead. Saudi security forces fatally shot two of them — one of whom had been named a suspect in the Abha mosque bombing — and the remaining two detonated suicide bombs to avoid capture. The same day, two other Islamic State members were allegedly arrested in Jeddah. Three days later, two gunmen killed a security officer who thwarted their attempted attack on a police station outside Taif.
A New Generation

These attacks differ from al Qaeda's operations in the early 2000s, which targeted foreigners and employed large vehicle bombs. Al Qaeda's Saudi branch understood the importance of expatriates to the Saudi economy and sought to cripple it by driving them and their families out of the country. Al Qaeda's campaign included assassinations, armed assaults on expatriate housing compounds and even an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Jeddah. In April 2004, the U.S. Department of State issued a travel warning, advising U.S. citizens to defer travel to the country, and ordered all nonessential diplomatic and consular staff to leave Saudi Arabia.

The threat environment could change even more as Islamic State fighters return from Iraq and Syria, bringing with them experience gained on the battlefield. Like the previous generation of al Qaeda operatives in the kingdom, the Islamic State fighters could use their honed skills to conduct more complex and strategic attacks. Both groups have a history of attacking tourist attractions in Egypt and Tunisia to undermine those nations' economies. A more sophisticated Islamic State campaign might echo previous al Qaeda initiatives, targeting expatriates to impair the Saudi economy.

Don't Forget al Qaeda

In addition to the growing Islamic State menace, Saudi Arabia faces a renewed threat from AQAP. Following the March 2015 Saudi-led intervention in Yemen's civil war, al Qaeda and the Saudi coalition reached an unofficial truce: The Saudi coalition would refrain from attacking the group in exchange for the jihadists' cooperation in fighting Houthi forces and former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh. AQAP benefited greatly from this arrangement, seizing the opportunity afforded by the chaos to snatch up large quantities of money, weapons and manpower while it controlled Mukalla. Despite losing several key leaders to U.S. airstrikes, the group is now arguably stronger in terms of men and resources than it has ever been.

But the truce fell apart on April 25. Coalition forces entered Mukalla after AQAP withdrew to avoid heavy casualties. As a result, the group will likely begin to attack coalition forces. Furthermore, it could draw on its increased might to relaunch efforts to export terrorism to Saudi Arabia. Since Saudis have always constituted an important component of AQAP, the group could try to use its ties in the kingdom to facilitate new attacks.

Despite the surge in jihadist activity in Saudi Arabia over the past year, there is currently no sign that Saudi authorities will lose control of the threat. Nonetheless, potential targets in the kingdom must practice heightened awareness as they look for signs of change in the jihadist threat, such as attacks on oil infrastructure or expatriates, the use of larger and more sophisticated explosive devices, or increased surveillance on possible attack sites.
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Crafty_Dog
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« Reply #104 on: May 20, 2016, 07:49:42 PM »

second post


18WednesdayMAY 2016

POSTED BY MISHGEA | May 18, 2016 11:33:21 | ECONOMICS
≈ 28 COMMENTS

Liquidity Crunch or Worse

Saudi Arabia burnt through its reserves faster than anyone thought.

In signs of a huge liquidity crunch, at best, the country has delayed paying contractors and now considers paying them in IOUs and tradable bonds.
In retrospect, the Saudi threat to dump US assets looks more ridiculous than ever.

Please consider Saudi Arabia Considers Paying Contractors With IOUs.

Saudi Arabia has told banks in the country that it is considering giving contractors IOUs to settle some outstanding bills, according to people with knowledge of the discussions.  A projected budget deficit this year is prompting the government to weigh alternatives to limit spending. Contractors would receive bond-like instruments to cover the amount they are owed by the state which they could hold until maturity or sell on to banks, the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.

Contractors have received some payments from the government in cash and the rest could come in “I-owe-you” notes, the people said.
The government started delaying payments last year to prevent the budget deficit from exceeding $100 billion after the oil slump.

Beyond a Liquidity Crisis

Deficits don’t shrink if you delay paying the bills. Deficits arose because more money was spent than collected.  On May 17, the Senate Passed a Bill Allowing 911 Victims to Sue Saudi Arabia.  Obama threatens a veto. Meanwhile, Saudi threatens to dump $750 billion in U.S. securities and other American assets if the bill becomes law.

Does Saudi Arabia even have $750 billion. Color me skeptical.

Saudi Arabia’s bluff that it would sell US assets if the Obama signed the bill seems more ridiculous than ever.

For discussion of Saudi involvement in 911 and the alleged dumping threat please see Understanding the Saudi, Chinese “Economic Nuclear War” Threat; Saudi 911 Round-Up.

For discussion of Saudi Treasury holdings, please see Treasury Department Finally Discloses Saudi Treasury Holdings – Incorrectly?

There is no “nuclear” economic threat by Saudi Arabia or China as some have proclaimed.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock
 
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