Weekly cables

Week 22 - 2017

Saudi Arabia between Trump and the deep State 

Last month, while visiting Riyadh, Trump suggested Saudi and United Arab Emirates officials that his administration would back an attempt to force Qatar to cut ties with Iran. The White House believes Iran’s influence in the region to be on the rise and is willing to act as to curtail Iran’s clout. On the other hand, the US defense and security apparatus finds the existing regional balance of power satisfying and believes it doesn’t need any overhaul. Moreover, in Qatar the Pentagon operates the Al Udeid Air Base, headquarters of United States Central Command. Being extremely weak and utterly dependent on the US, Saudi Arabia has no alternative but to count on Trump to try to hit its archenemy Iran and Qatar for being close to Teheran. However, Riyadh risks getting trapped in the ongoing confrontation between the White House and the US federal agencies. With Saudi Arabia possibly choosing the losing side, as it is usually the so-called deep State to get its way in the end. As already proved by the $12 billion contract signed on June 14 by Qatar and the US administration for the sale of several dozen F-15 fighter planes, which runs counter to Trump’s maneuver to isolate Doha.

US wants to retain its bases and open more installations in Germany

Confirming what MacroGeo previously wrote, we now learn that the Pentagon wants to retain a base in Mannheim, Germany, which was slated for closure in 2015, as to keep steady pressure on Moscow. More specifically, Coleman Barracks base provides logistical ties needed to send more tanks and vehicles to Eastern Europe. Negotiations are already underway between the US Army and Berlin over possibly extending the lease. Pentagon authorities are also verifying the availability of an old arms depot located next to the town of Kriegsfeld, in southwestern Germany, which Washington abandoned at the end of the cold war. Trump’s pronouncements and Nato’s obsolescence notwithstanding, such moves signal the US persistent commitment to carrying out its imperial duties which inevitably ensue containing Russia and keeping Germany in check.

US Senate sends a clear message to Trump on Russia

On June 15 the US Senate overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan package of new Russia sanctions that also enables Congress to block President Donald Trump from easing or terminating penalties against Moscow. The 97-2 vote on the Russia sanctions plan was merged with a bipartisan Iran sanctions bill.  Even though in the next weeks the package might be killed in the House or vetoed by the White House, with his vote the Senate has sent a clear message to the president, warning him not to take any unilateral action towards Russia. Especially ahead of a much hyped bilateral meeting between Trump and Putin which might take place at the next G20 summit.