Failure of US Weapons in Saudi Arabia

The US government is reporting that the recent attack on the Saudi oil refinery was due to a missile launched from inside Iran.

Yemen is claiming that the attack was conducted by them utilizing 10 drones.

Here’s the biggest problem with all the claims. No matter which way you view it, this indicates an absolute failure of US weapons sold to Saudi Arabia.

If the attack was conducted by drone, it’s somewhat more understandable, as drones can fly much lower than missiles. The distance would also be far shorter from Yemen to the refinery. However, there was still quite some distance for them to travel and there were ten of them. For an effective defensive weapons system, they should have been detected at some point and defended against.

If the attack was a missile from Iran, then the picture worsens greatly. A missile launched from Iran to the refinery would have had to travel at least 300 miles before reaching the target.

Nowhere have we seen/heard reports that any defense was mounted, let alone successful at bringing down any offensive weaponry. So the attack came as a complete surprise with no prior detection. The US State Dept is now claiming that the missile was detected by US satellite. However, the defensive weapons systems being sold to other countries allegedly link to satellite systems to make them more effective.

Make no mistake about it, the countries to whom the US sells weapons at costs of billions of dollars per year to them are watching this. They do not like what they see. They are now realizing how ineffective US weaponry truly is, leaving them largely defenseless. Offensive weapons are somewhat effective, yet the Patriot missile system and F35 fighter jet are plagued with problems. The Osprey has seen numerous catastrophic failures and requires massive amounts of maintenance, costing far more than it should for repairs.

The only advantage US weapons have in battle conditions is by sheer number. So, if a country is going to rely on number of weapons deployed, wouldn’t they buy less expensive weaponry in an effort to field as many weapons as possible?

Absolute numbers of weapons are a truly poor choice in either offensive or defensive tactics. If one accurate weapon can maneuver past or defeat ten inaccurate weapons, that is far more effective. This can be compared to a boxer throwing wild punches blindly, never landing a blow competing against an opponent who throws one or two targeted punches and knocking the wild boxer unconscious.

If a weapon fails to even detect a threat and respond, you may as well not have any weapons at all. This makes US weapons a bad deal for purchasing countries.

One reason other countries purchase US weapons is because they are subsidized, making them seem like a good deal. The more failures our weapons demonstrate, the worse that deal becomes, even if obtained for “free”. (Just pay shipping and handling!)

I have explained in previous articles that US weapons are sold to other countries at a net loss, even as they are portrayed as profitable. We give tens of billions of dollars a year in “aid” to other countries. Many times, those countries use a portion of that money to purchase weapons from US companies. As an example, we give $3.8 billion per year to Israel. Maybe they buy $2 billion a year in weapons. That’s already a net loss. However, when they receive the money, they receive it from the US government, in other words, the taxpayer. When they purchase the weapons, they purchase from a private US corporation. The country loses money, the corporation profits. Then the corporation is given tax breaks. Then the corporation gets paid for US military contracts. Then the weapons sold are transported by US military transport, with US military security escort. Every step of this process is a subsidy to corporate contractors which we pay for. Not to mention the fact that oil purchases from Saudi Arabia also serves as a war subsidy all by itself.

For weapons that fail.

Yes, we have the largest military budget in the world. Yes, we have forces in more locations than any other country. Yes, we once had the most advanced military technology but that is no longer true. Other countries have developed more effective, more accurate military technologies at lower cost as a direct result of the threat posed to them by the US. Now they are selling their weapons at lower cost to even more countries in competition with the US, while maintaining a faster delivery time. Meanwhile they are not incurring massive debt in the process.

Even less advanced weaponry has proven effective against US weaponry. IED’s and homemade RPG’s have been highly effective against US weapons in the Middle East, drones have been taken down by hand held weapons. While we remain engaged in conflicts we are repeatedly told would last only weeks, still going on 18 years later.

And we have not confronted an adversary with the capabilities and experience that Iran has.

These recent events, combined with the knowledge gained from observation of US conflicts are going to be influencing the future purchase of US weapons by other countries. Even the subsidies may prove to be ineffective in placing any trust in the capabilities of our technology. They are fully aware that our technology is so insufficient that we must also commit human ground forces. Yet our forces are growing weary and thin while our citizens are objecting to our involvement in conflicts that have nothing to do with us. We are objecting to the cost on all levels, especially monetarily and emotionally.

The time for diplomacy is now. Stop the arms sales. Stop the warmonger rhetoric. Stop the subsidies. Sit down and start talking. Openly, publicly. Find solutions that do not include destruction and killing.