Saturday, March 31, 2012

Missiles in the Gulf

Karen DeYoung reports in WaPo this morning about the first "strategic cooperation forum" meeting between the U.S. and the six countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council (Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Oman, and Saudi Arabia).

The UAE, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia already have U.S. Patriot missiles and the U.S. is planning to help tie these systems together into a regionally integrated system, according to DeYoung's article. (The Patriot, for those rusty on this, is a surface-to-air missile designed to hit planes and ballistic missiles; the Wikipedia article on it appears to be fairly thorough.) Presumably these Patriot missiles are supposed to deter an Iranian missile attack on Saudi Arabia or the other GCC countries. Thus it may be worth noting that a recent article in International Security [abstract] which simulated an Iranian conventional missile attack on Saudi oil installations found "
no evidence of a significant Iranian missile threat to Saudi infrastructure."

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