‘US Taxpayers Can No Longer Support Riyadh’s Security and Fight Its Wars’

US taxpayers can no longer support Saudi Arabia and provide for the security of other Persian Gulf monarchies as they fight their wars, geostrategic analyst Mathew Maavak told Sputnik, adding that Riyadh’s influence in the Islamic world is waning. The academic suggested that a new center of power may emerge in the Middle East/North Africa region.

Barack Obama’s decision to veto legislation that would allow the families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia’s government has come as no surprise: for decades the US political elite has been protecting the Custodians of the Two Holy Mosques. Trillions of Dollars Wasted on Gulf States’ Protection 9/11 Terror Attacks: World Trade Center © Flickr/ Cyril Attias US Senate to Consider Overriding Obama’s 9/11 Act Veto on Wednesday In an interview with Sputnik, Mathew Maavak, a geostrategic analyst and doctoral candidate in Security Foresight at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) called attention to the fact that Washington has already spent about $10 trillion to protect the Persian Gulf monarchies and their oil infrastructure since the late 1970s. Maavak referred to Roger Stern, an economic geographer at Princeton University, who carried out a detaled analysis of the US military expenditures for protecting oil-rich Gulf region in his 2010 article for Energy Policy entitled “United States’ cost of military force projection in the Persian Gulf, 1976-2007.” In the late 1970s, James Earl Carter declared that the crude flowing from the Persian Gulf was of an ultimate importance to US national security. Citing the Carter and Wolfowitz doctrines, Stern pointed out that the US’ Middle Eastern policy had resulted in $8 trillion being wasted since 1976. “The cost of military force projection in the Persian Gulf (CPGfp) is an important variable in US energy and national security policy. The cost of oil supply protection is widely cited as national security externality… Externalities related to energy security, or more properly to energy insecurity, have been described as ‘the loss of economic welfare that may occur as a result of a change in the price or availability of energy.’ These welfare losses are of three kinds: those related to (1) energy import volume; (2) energy price variability; and (3) national security and military expenditures for supply protection,” Stern underscored. Mark Thompson of TIME had repeatedly quoted Stern’s study, raising alarm over the “money wasted” (that had reached $10 trillion by 2014) and urging to ease Washington’s addiction to Gulf crude, “which too often has served to grease the skids of war.” In fact, the US has been spending about $300 billion per annum for the Gulf monarchies’ protection, Maavak stressed. Saudi Arabia’s Involvement in Funding Extremists Casts Shadow on the US According to Maavak, since Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States have been spotted funding Sunni radicals and Islamists in the Middle East and beyond, the poisonous US-Saudi alliance has dealt a heavy blow to America’s international image. “The global public perception fallout has been disastrous, with the man in the street equating the United States with ISIS [Daesh] and Al-Qaeda itself. [US Republican presidential nominee Donald] Trump may have done some damage limitation by attributing the rise of ISIS (Daesh) to Hillary and Obama, but the complete failure of the War on Terror and Gulf Arab appeasement since 9/11 — a continuation of the Rambo script of Mujahedeen ‘holy warriors’ of the 80s — has only reinforced this public perception of a tight US-Jihad entanglement,” the academic argued. People stand on the rubble of a school destroyed by a Saudi-led air strike in an outskirt of the northwestern city of Saada, Yemen September 14, 2016 © REUTERS/ Naif Rahma Scholar: US, UK Supporting War Crimes in the Middle East “Winning hearts and minds and attempting geostrategic pacts like the ‘Asian pivot’ is impossible under the current status quo. This may be the reason why there is a fierce ongoing tussle in Washington over legislation that allows families of 9/11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia,” he suggested. The New York Times reported on September 21 that the 9/11 families “demonstrated outside the White House to pressure President Obama not to veto the legislation, as he has vowed to do.” Two days later, when Obama did veto the bill, the media outlet signaled that US Congress may override the 9/11 lawsuit bill veto. On Monday CNN confirmed that the Senate will vote Wednesday to override Obama’s veto for the first time in his presidency. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation is facing accusations that it has constantly whitewashed Saudi Arabian connections to the 9/11 attacks in the wake a new update report on the Bureau’s investigations. © AP Photo/ Gene Boyars The US Federal Bureau of Investigation is facing accusations that it has constantly whitewashed Saudi Arabian connections to the 9/11 attacks in the wake a new update report on the Bureau’s investigations. Washington Can No Longer Fight Gulf States’ Wars On the other hand, “US taxpayers can no longer support Gulf Arab security and fight its wars, and Trump’s so-called isolationist foreign policy reflects this economic reality more than any national introspection or conscience,” Maavak told Sputnik. In his latest opinion piece for EurasiaReview.com the scholar remarked that “the average Westerner rarely, if ever, takes notice of the $300 billion spent by the US per annum over the past 40 years to securitize Gulf Arab regimes which, in turn, frees up native petrodollar profits for global jihad.” Maavak remarked that, according to a 2003 testimony delivered at the US Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security of the Committee on the Judiciary, Riyadh allegedly spent more than $70 billion between the mid-1970’s and 2002 promoting “Wahhabism” worldwide. “In the past 25 years or so, according to official Saudi information, Saudi Arabia has given over $70 billion [281 billion Saudi riyals] of what they call development aid, which in fact they themselves confirm goes mostly for what they call Islamic activities… This is nearly $2.5 billion per year. This makes it the largest sustained ideological campaign in history, in my view,” Alex Alexiev, Senior Fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., told the committee. Riyadh’s Influence in the Muslim World is Waning The 1,000-year-old Bab Al-Yemen (the Gate of Yemen) at the centre of the old town of Sanaa © Wikipedia/ Jialiang Gao Untold Story of Saudi-Led Coalition’s War on Yemeni Historical Heritage However, Maavak argues that Saudi Arabia’s influence in the Muslim world is waning. “The Gulf Arab states, particularly Saudi Arabia, are caught in a double-whammy as their depleting oil revenues can no longer support radical Islamist activities worldwide as well as their hyper-subsidized internal economies at the same time,” he told Sputnik. Maavak highlighted that the Saudis “were noticeably absent” from the August 17 — 25 conference entitled “Who Are the Ahlu-s-Sunnah” (the People of Sunnah) which took place in Grozny, the capital of the Russian republic of Chechnya. “[The conference] brought Sunni and Shia clerics from all over the world,” Maavak underscored. “Even the official website of the OIC [Organization of Islamic Cooperation] — that would never dare cross their main Saudi and Gulf Arab patrons before — were enthusiastic about this event. The 200 prelates and officials present included Egypt’s Grand Imam, Ahmed el-Tayeb of al-Azhar, the most important theological authority in the Islamic world, who effectively called for ‘a return to the schools of great knowledge’ outside Saudi Arabia.” Given this, a new Islamic center of power may one day emerge in the Middle East and North Africa region aimed at uniting Sunnis and Shiites “outside Saudi control,” the academic envisions. However, it may result in further turmoil, that can eventually spin out of the international community’s control, Maavak warned. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

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