Tuesday, December 16, 2008

THAAD and Citi

There is an interesting news item out of Dubai. It is all over the Middle East news organizations but it is very difficult to find any mention of it on CNN, Fox or the US media.

The US is planning to sell a new missile defense system, called Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, to Dubai. The cost is about $7 billion. The story in Gulf News is here.

This system will be different from other missile defense system installed in foreign countries in that it will not be manned and operated by US soldiers. It will be sold outright to the United Arab Emirates and operated by them. This essentially places classified technology in the hands of a foreign nation. A nation, that although it is friendly to the US and an ally in the war on terror, has a steady stream of dhows sailing between Dubai and Iran with almost no customs control. Can you say “smugglers paradise”?

The stated objective of the missile defense system is to protect UAE assets, but it’s difficult to figure out just what those assets are. Their oil reserves are in decline. That’s why they have embarked on the mega building campaign. They need to replace the money from the sale of oil with other commerce. The “Navy Base” is only a concrete dock and few trailers. Is it needed to protect the world’s tallest building and the world’s biggest shopping mall?

My guess is that it is placed there to protect other GCC (Gulf Cooperative Council) countries such as Qatar and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which do have large energy assets and would be embarrassed by the need to have US military installations within their borders.

Oh, yeah. Your Congress Critters approved this. Do you remember seeing that news?

And in other news that you won’t see in the US media; Citibank has loaned Dubai about $8 billion dollars. Yup, the bank that was just bailed out with $45 billion is loaning money to one of the richest little countries in the world. With Abu Dhabi Investment Authority owning 4.9% of Citi and a Saudi Prince owning 5%, doesn’t this loan have a little odor to it? Especially given the recent concern about property investments in the UAE.

1 comment:

The Old Man said...

So, basically we're selling them a weapon they can pimp out with their people and rent to the neighbors? Wow, they ARE smarter than our gov...