The Saudi government has just made a major military move away from the United States and toward Russia, reports Geostrategy-Direct, a private intelligence service offered by the somewhat clandestine East West Services, Inc. In a report titled "Fears of U.S. ‘grand bargain' with Iran sends Saudis to Moscow" (available only via paid subscription), it details the recent visit to Moscow by Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia, where he reportedly began a strategic dialogue with President Vladimir Putin and spent (according to the Gulf Research Center) $2.2 billion on scores of main battle tanks and up to 150 Mi-17 and Mi-35 helicopters.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin (left) greets Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz at the Kremlin.
Comment: However problematic Putin's Russia, it is not the Soviet Union, promoting its own brand of totalitarianism. Therefore, should it reduce or rid American politics of the noxious fumes of Saudi influence (for some of its manifestations, see my article on "The Scandal of U.S.-Saudi Relations"), I do not see this development as particularly harmful from the point of view of U.S. interests. (December 5, 2007)