Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Iran, nuclear weapons, and a common syntax and logic in nuclear discourse

by M. Ulric Killion

“Air strikes again are the only plausible option with any prospect of preventing Iran’s acquisition of nuclear weapons.” This is the studied opinion expressed in a New York Times Op-Ed piece written by Alan J. Kuperman, director of the Nuclear Proliferation Prevention Program at the University of Texas at Austin. He argues that incentives and sanctions will not work, but air strikes could degrade and deter Iran’s bomb program at relatively little cost or risk, and therefore are worth a try.  He agrees that Iran could retaliate by aiding America’s opponents in Iraq and Afghanistan, but it does that anyway. Bomb Iran?, Renovo Media, December 8, 2010.

In an earlier article, which follows Iran’s February 3, 2009 launch of its Omid (Hope) research and telecom satellite, I discussed issues concerning, and borrowing from the title of the article, Iran, nuclear weapons, and the effectiveness of economic sanctions (M. Ulric Killion, February 2010). From the perspective of Western powers, the launch of Omid was of critical importance. This is because Iran’s launching of Omid, at least from a Western perspective, served as an indicator of Tehran’s nuclear ambitions, while also exhibiting a major advancement in its space technology.

The threat (e.g., capability to send a nuclear warhead halfway around the globe; launching a heavy warhead intercontinental distances) posed by the launch of Omid may be more of an exaggeration, rather than reality, of Iran’s nuclear potentiality, however (Killion, 2010).

It should also now be common knowledge that any discussion of these issues necessarily entails equal consideration of the issues and/or consequences of Israel’s nuclear weapons program and nuclear proliferation in the Middle East. As earlier stated, “Borrowing from the jurist’s tool, if the issue sub judice is the proliferation of nuclear weapons by Iran in the Middle East, then a critical sub issue might also be the proliferation of nuclear weapons by Israel in the Middle East, thus, presenting the issues of Iran and nuclear weapons, and Israel and nuclear weapons” (Killion, 2010).

In the context of Israel, the issue, more particularly, is the relation of Israel’s policy of opacity and nuclear proliferation. According to Israel’s nuclear weapons program and attendant policy, as Avner Cohen and Marvin Miller (Bringing Israel’s Bomb out of the Basement, Foreign Affairs, September/October 2010) explained, “This posture is known as nuclear opacity, or, in Hebrew, amimut.”

As a direct consequence of this policy of opacity, Western powers, though perhaps unknowingly, may have presented credibility and legitimacy crises for the United Nations; the International Atom Energy Agency (IAEA); the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT); and individual Western powers such as the United States and the EU “troka” or France, Germany and Britain (Ulric Killion, Modern Chinese Rules of Order, 2007; discussing, in the context of Iran and nuclear proliferation, the collusion between China and Russia, and different perceptions between a first and second world).

For instance, the influence on the credibility and legitimacy, including enforceability, of the NPT is obvious. It is simply stated: “This is because Israel implicitly through the secrecy (i.e., policy of opacity) of its nuclear weapons programs has comfortably nestled itself in the category of a non-signatory state, pursuant to the NPT, alongside India. Nuclear weapons are already a geopolitical reality in the Middle East. This also presents a problem for nuclear deterrence theory” (Killion, 2010).

Israel’s policy of opacity (i.e., animut) is simply problematic for many reasons. Notwithstanding the NPT allows for peaceful use of nuclear technology, both the IAEA and NPT designedly intend to address the problems of nuclear deterrence and the proliferation of nuclear weapons. A critical problem arises from the historical and primary function of nuclear weapons as a nuclear deterrent.

For example, during the Cold War (1945-1991), as Jeffery Record (Nuclear Deterrence, Preventive War, and Counterproliferation, 2004), earlier explained, “[T]he principal function of nuclear weapons was to deter nuclear attack. Nuclear deterrence was not considered a tool of nonproliferation. The primary mechanisms for halting the proliferation of nuclear weapons were the nonproliferation regime established by the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) of 1968 and the U.S. extension of nuclear deterrence to states that might otherwise have sought security through the acquisition of nuclear weapons.” In other words, the IAEA and the NPT intend to address the issue or problem of nuclear deterrence theory and its attendant problematic proliferation of nuclear weapons (Killion, 2010).

In the syntax of nuclear deterrence discourse, this has presented a problem via a fallible logic in discourse, however. This is because the failures from policies adopted, pursuant to attempts to lend credibility, legitimacy, and enforceability to the IAEA and NPT, eventually manifested the lack of a singular common syntax and a standardized (or fixed) logic universal to all cases involving nuclear deterrence theory and the proliferation of nuclear weapons. In other words, what evolved manifested the lack of universality rather than a more standardized syntax and common sense logic.

Moreover, these failings are apparent and present themselves in many forms. For example, and demonstrating a lack of universality rather than a more common sense logic, there is the example that Cohen and Miller (2010), though perhaps inadvertently, offered as another manifestation of these problems. They opine that a combination of resolve and restraint, including fear (e.g., shadow of Holocaust), led Israel down the path to a particular code of nuclear conduct, which is distinguishable from that of all other nuclear weapons states. They are, more importantly, referring to Israel’s policy of opacity or amimut.

This lack of universality rather than a more standardized syntax and common sense logic arguably became clearer when, for example, as Cohen and Miller (2010) observed:
The policy and practice of nuclear opacity was codified in 1969 in an extraordinary secret accord between Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir and U.S. President Richard Nixon. Although this agreement has never been openly acknowledged or documented, its existence was revealed in 1991 by the Israeli journalist Aluf Benn, and more information came out in some recently declassified memos regarding Nixon's 1969 meeting with Meir written by Nixon’s national security adviser, Henry Kissinger. According to the Nixon-Meir pact, as long as Israel did not advertise its possession of nuclear weapons by publicly declaring or testing them, the United States would tolerate and shield Israel's nuclear program.
Ever since, all U.S. presidents and Israeli prime ministers have reaffirmed this policy -- most recently, U.S. President Barack Obama, in a White House meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on July 6, during which Obama stated, “We strongly believe that, given its size, its history, the region that it’s in . . . Israel has unique security requirements. It’s got to be able to respond to threats. . . . And the United States will never ask Israel to take any steps that would undermine [its] security interests.”
Then there are examples that actually demonstrate this much-needed common sense logic. For example, “[I]f Israel has already developed and now possesses nuclear weapons, then Israel is the first country to actually, introduce nuclear weapons into the Middle East. For this reason, assuming arguendo, Iran is developing a level of enrich uranium that is approaching a weapons-grade level, then Iran may have launched its nuclear weapons program in direct response to Israel’s existing nuclear weapons arsenal, or simply, as a nuclear deterrent or pursuant to nuclear deterrence theory (Record, 2004; explaining that nuclear deterrence is not a tool of nonproliferation). In such a scenario, Iran and its nuclear weapons program, in conjunction with Israel’s nuclear weapons arsenal, may, ultimately, be equally blameworthy for the proliferation of nuclear weapons in the Middle East” (Killion, 2010).

As previously mentioned, “Borrowing from the jurist’s tool, if the issue sub judice is the proliferation of nuclear weapons by Iran in the Middle East, then a critical sub issue might also be the proliferation of nuclear weapons by Israel in the Middle East, thus, presenting the issues of Iran and nuclear weapons, and Israel and nuclear weapons” (Killion, 2010). Additionally, the earlier mentioned thesis of Cohen and Miller (2010) is that it is now time for Israel to reconsider its policy of nuclear ambiguity (i.e., amimut), and that it can do so without jeopardizing the nation’s security. In other words, Cohen and Miller arguably advocate adoption of policy that is not so distinguishable from that of all other nuclear weapons states. Alternatively stated, and more importantly, Israel’s policy of opacity is hardly conductive to promoting or implementing a common syntax and logic in all spheres of nuclear deterrence discourse, including the proliferation of nuclear weapons.

Copyright © Protected - All Rights Reserved M. Ulric Killion, 2010.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs considers tougher sanctions on Iran

by M. Ulric Killion

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad tours the Natanz nuclear facility; AFP Photo/Ben Knight, Defiant Iran building 10 more nuclear plants, ABC News, November 30, 2009.

What follows are reports of the proceedings related to the December 1, 2010 hearing before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, which specifically addresses issues of Iran and economic sanctions. Thereafter, a summary of blog-postings related to Iran and economic sanctions follow.

Hearing before the U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs (1 December 2010) --
Howard L. Berman (berman120110.pdf):
-- Wednesday, December 1, 2010 - Chairman Howard L. Berman’s opening statement at hearing, “Imposing Tougher Sanctions on Iran: A Progress Report”

William J. Burns (bur120110.pdf):
-- Testimony of Ambassador William J. Burns Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs House Committee on Foreign Affairs United States House of Representatives – December 1, 2010
Stuart A. Levey (lev120110.pdf):
-- Embargoed Until Delivery - Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence Stuart Levey Written Testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs “Implementing Tougher Sanctions on Iran: A Progress Report” - December 1, 2010

Patients wait for body scans using technetium-99, a nuclear medicine used for diagnosis, in Tehran's Shariati Hospital; Photos by Newsha Tavakolian/polaris/Thomas Erdbrink and William Branigin, In Iran, nuclear issue is also a medical one, Washington Post, December 20, 2009.
See also;

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Short history of etymology of the word liberal: of Liber and Alis!

by M. Ulric Killion 

This masterpiece painting by Eugène Delacroix is called Liberty Leading the People, and portrays the July Revolution using the stylistic views of Romanticism. Since Liberty is part of the motto “Liberté égalité fraternité”, as the French put it, this painting became the primary symbol of the French Republic. 

The word liberal directly derives from its Latin source, which is the Latin word—liberalis, which means freedom or “relating to freedom.”  Its etymology is deduced by separating the Latin lexicon of liberalis, thus, there are two separable words of liber and alis. The derivatives are liber, libera, and liberum. More specifically, as for Liber, it has a Latin-adjective meaning of free, unrestricted, unrestrained, etc. As such, as an adjective, liber probably derives from the Latin verbs of libero, liberare, liberavi, or even liberatus, which also means to set free. 

Alternatively, Liber could be used as a substantive adjective within the context of the Latin language, thereby, essentially, meaning a freeman or freedom.  Consequently, in modern society, there are various word forms that we, at least English-speaking and perhaps even the Romance languages in general, employ with the word liber in them, and count as examples, lexicons such as liberty, liberation, and liberator.

In comparison, the original Latin expression of Alis, as an older Latin form of verbs, such as alius. Alius, alia, and aliud, is another adjective that generally means another, other, etc.  A linguistic evolution follows and, actually, transforms alius into the suffix “-al.”  Subsequently, “-al” employs as an attachment to the end of words, thus, changing other words into adjective forms; for example, economical, political. economical or political.  Another example of how the suffix “-al ” employs in modern society are those instances of alis as an abbreviation for “et al” or its equivalent “et alii”, both of which literally mean “and others.” 

In this print, published March 6, 1818, they are sneering at Napoleon Bonaparte following his retreat from Moscow and for betraying the ideals of the French Revolution. 

In other words, or more colloquially speaking, the early Romans would combine the two adjectives of liber and alis for forming one singular word and meaning, which is liberalis. With the passage of time, and the processes of both social and linguistic evolutions, there was a subsequent fusion of the Latin language into first, the domain of the Old French language (ancien français), and then later, what hails as Middle English, which, eventually, resulted in the last two letters of the lexicon, being “-is”, now being dumped from the lexicon of liberalis, and resulting in the word liberal. Moreover, liberalis in its original Latin context, literally, means another matter of freedom.

Moreover, and serving as a reminder of the powers of the spoken and written word, or simply, the language or linguistics of the social sciences, including law and political economy, and their respective lexicons, there are also the critical social and linguistic revolutions of the eighteenth century. The early eighteenth century, the Enlightenment, the French Enlightenment, France in the Age of Enlightenment (Siècle des Lumières, 1715-1792), or the controversial German equivalent of Aufklärung (Illuminism) (Schmidt, 2003), generally characterize developments in the sciences, especially the social sciences or the new sciences of society, or la science sociale (the social sciences) and sociologie (sociology). 

Both of these nomenclatures,  la science sociale and sociologie, are attributable to the contributions of the French utopian socialist Saint-Simon and Comte in founding the new social sciences, though a controversy as to who is actually due credit for naming the new science of society (F. A. v. Hayek, The Counter-Revolution of Science, 1941).

However, for the purposes of this short history, Siècle des Lumières also serves to represent a critical revolution, both social and linguistic, in the usage of the lexicon of liberal (French: liberté). This is because the lexicon of  liberal became a mainstay in the rhetoric and fervor of France in the Age of Enlightenment. In terms of the rules of nomenclature for pre-revolutionary France, the lexicon of liberal (liberté), whether in the context of the political, political economy or legal environment, would change the rhetoric of the revolution.

The “then” neologism of liberty or, perhaps more accurately, liberté, ultimately, served as a force of influence on both the French Revolution (1789-1799) and American Revolution (1763-1776), which, as a reflection of the new ideas, rhetoric, and language of the revolution employed by the new ideologues, eventually, shook the world (Kirby et al., 2000). 
Copyright © Protected - All Rights Reserved M. Ulric Killion, 2009.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Post-global financial crisis: The measure of the “Beijing consensus” as a variety of capitalisms


Munich Personal RePEc Archive


Killion, M. Ulric (2010): Post-global financial crisis: The measure of the “Beijing consensus” as a variety of capitalisms. Unpublished.



PDF - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader


In order to explore the prospective effects of what hails as the Beijing consensus, a conceptualization arguably near-synonymous with Beijing’s export-oriented strategy, the Article first discusses the state of the Chinese economy in the post-global financial crisis era. After reviewing some key indicators of the country’s economy, the Article presents a comparison between a Washington and Beijing consensus, contrasting ideological meanings between these two consensuses, and then explores the measure of the Beijing consensus as a variety of capitalisms. By doing so the Article reveals the broader role of Beijing’s export-oriented strategy and its eventual relation to international capital’s industrial transformation and the prospective effects of a Beijing consensus. The Article concludes by presenting a prospectus of the Beijing consensus as a variety of capitalisms in the post-global financial crisis era. By presenting the Beijing consensus or even export-oriented strategy as an evolving model in this new era, China’s trade and finance models prospectively present a distinctive modeling of capitalism and its tools of trade and finance models.

Item Type:
MPRA Paper


China; economy; export; capitalist; socialist; transformation

F - International Economics > F0 - General > F00 - General
P - Economic Systems > P0 - General > P00 - General
F - International Economics > F1 - Trade > F10 - General
Z - Other Special Topics > Z0 - General > Z00 - General

ID Code:

Deposited By:
M. Ulric Killion

Deposited On:
06. Nov 2010 12:45

Last Modified:
06. Nov 2010 12:45


Albert, M, 1998, Capitalisme contre capitalisme, [Capitalism against Capitalism], Seuil.

Bevilacqua, D. and J. Duncan, 2010, “Towards a New Cosmopolitanism: Global Reflexive Interactive Democracy as a New Mechanism for Civil Society Participation in Agri-food Governance,” Global Jurist: Vol. 10: Iss. 1 (Advances), Article 2; Available at:

Bradford, Jr., C. I. and J. F. Linn, 2009, September, “Is the G-20 Summit a Step Toward a New Global Economic Order?,” Brookings Institution, Policy Brief #170.

U.S. Secretary of Energy to Deliver Keynote Address at CERAWeek 2010, 2010, February 5, [Electronic version], CERA: News: Press Release.

Cha, A. E., 2006, April 23, The Beijing Consensus, Washington Post.

Chen, J., and Li Y., Eds., 2009, 2010 Economy of China Analysis and Forecast, [2010 Nian Zhongguo Jingji Xingshi Fenxi Yu Yuce], Social Sciences Academic Press.

China’s 8% economic growth goal achievable: economist, 2009, December 6, Xinhua News.

Coates, D., 2002, Models of Capitalism: Debating Strengths and Weaknesses, Edward Elgar Publishing, ix.

Cole, C. W., 1965, French mercantilism: 1683-1700, Octagon Books.

Deeg, R., and G. Jackson, 2007, “The State of the Art - Towards a more dynamic theory of capitalist variety,” Socio-Economic Review, Vol. 5, 149–179.

_____, and _____, 2006, “How Many Varieties of Capitalism? Comparing the Comparative Institutional Analyses of Capitalist Diversity,” Discussion Paper 06/2, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Gesellschaftsforschung.

Ding, Q., 2009, December 24, Outlook for Chinese exports still grim, China Daily.

Dittrick, P., 2010, March 9, “CERAWeek: Asia to dominate growing energy demand,” Oil & Gas Journal.

Dore, R., W. Lazonick and M. O’Sullivan, 1999, “Varieties of capitalism in the twentieth century,” Vol. 15 Oxford Review of Economic Policy.

Faison, S., 2009, December 20, Book review: ‘When China Rules the World’ by Martin Jacques, Washington Post.

Gipouloux, F., 1998, May-June, “Integration or Disintegration? The Spatial Effects of Foreign Direct Investment in China,” China Perspectives, 6.

Hall, P. A., and D. Soskice, (Eds.), 2001, Varieties of Capitalism – The Institutional Foundations of Comparative Advantage, Oxford University Press.

Hao, Y., 2009, December 8, China’s foreign trade to recover in 2010, China Daily.

He, F., 2009, December 21, Economy needs some tweaking, China Daily.

Hu, Y., 2010, May 19, Urbanization to bolster GDP growth, China Daily.

Jacques, M., 2009, When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World and the Birth of a New Global Order, Penguin Press.

John Williamson Conversation, 2009, April 12, Washington Post.

Killion, U., 2009, “Post-Subprime Crisis: China Banking and GATS Liberalization,” Economics, Management, and Financial Markets, Vol. 4 (2), 13-26.

_____, 2008, “Regional Economic Integration – The Chinese Way,” The Analyst-Finance Magazine: Global Economy Special Issue (Aug.), 57-59.

_____, 2007, Modern Chinese Rules of Order: Paradox of Law and Economics, Nova Science Publishers, 83-86.

_____, 2006, A Modern Chinese Journey to the West: Economic Globalization and Dualism, Nova Science Publishers, 2.

Kleinbach, R., 1999, May 30, (Presentation), Sustainable Development and Neo-Liberalism, Conference, American Univ. (Kyrgyzstan), Last accessed 28 June 2010;

Lewis, G., 1994, “Proto-Industrialization in France,” The Economic History Review, Vol. 47, No. 1 (Feb.), 150-164.

_____, 1993, The Advent of Modern Capitalism in France, 1770–1840: The Contribution of Pierre-François Tubeuf, Oxford: Clarendon Press.

Meng, J., 2008, “The hypothesis of economic man and Marxist economics,” Zhongguo Shehui Kexue [Soc. Sci. China], Vol. XXIV, No. 1 (Feb.), 5-15.

Pei, C., 2009a, December 8, China’s foreign trade to recover in 2010, China Daily.

_____, and L. Peng, 2009b, “Reform and opening up in the area of circulation: a retrospect,” Zhongguo Shehui Kexue [Soc. Sci. China], Vol. XXX, No. 1 (Feb.), 36-53.

Prebisch, R., 1950, The Economic Development of Latin America and Its Principal Problems, New York: United Nations.

Privateer, P. M., 2006, Inventing Intelligence: A Social History of Smart, Wiley-Blackwell, 129.

Qiang, X., 2009, December 8, Blue Book: China’s GDP to rise slowly, China Daily.

Ramo, J. C., 2004, May, “The Beijing consensus: Notes on the New Physics of Chinese Power,” The Foreign Policy Centre, UK.

Rein, S., 2009, September 15, The New Post-Lehman Capitalist World, Forbes.

Ru, X., X. Lu, and P. Li, (Eds.), 2009, 2010 Society of China Analysis and Forecast, [2010 Nian Zhongguo Shehui Singshi Fenxi Yu Yuce], Social Sciences Academic Press.

Senior officials and scholars challenge “China Model”, 2009, December 10, China Daily.

Shambaugh, D., 2010, March 1, Is there a China Model?, China Daily.

Si, T., 2009, December 21, China’s economy grew by 9.6% last year, China Daily.

Strauss-Kahn, D., 2009, October 2, (Speech), Making the Most of an Historic Opportunity: Three Principles for Reshaping the Global Economic and Financial Framework, Speech, Istanbul, Çırağan Palace, Last accessed June 8, 2010;

Summers, D., 2009, January 29, Financial crisis: Gordon Brown calls for new global order, Guardian News.

The Economist, 2010, May 6, The China Model - The Beijing consensus is to keep quiet, London: Economist Newspaper Ltd.

Tronche, J. L., 2010, March 8, CERA Week 2010: Collaboration will help solve global energy problems, Fort Worth Business Press Last accessed April 15, 2010;

Walker, T., 2010, March 4, China lets its cash speak in the Balkans, Deutsche Welle, Last accessed June 22, 2010;,,5315134,00.html.

Woo, W. T., 2003, “A United Front for the Common Objective to Understand China’s Economic Growth: A Case of Nonantagonistic Contradiction, Wu vs. Woo,” Issues & Studies 39, No. 2 (June), 1-23.

WSJ, China blasted for “opportunistic” African loans, 2006, October 2, China Reform Monitor No. 641.

WTO, Trade Policy Review: China, 2010, May 31, PRESS RELEASE: PRESS/TPRB/330, Last accessed June 24, 2010;

Yan, P., 2009, December 8, Gov’t think tank: China’s economic growth to exceed 9% in 2010,, Last accessed May 14. 2010;

Yuan, Z., 2009, “Dialogue, Interaction and New Developments in Philosophy in Contemporary China – Specialist Forum on Chinese, Western and Marxist Philosophies,” Zhongguo Shehui Kexue [Soc. Sci. China], Vol. 30, No. 3 (Aug.), 151-62.

Zhang, J., 2002, “Capital Formation, Industrialization and Economic Growth: Characteristics of China Structural Reform,” Jinji yanjiu [Economic Research], No. 6.


MPRA is a RePEc service hosted by
Munich University Library in Germany.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The impact of U.S.-Arab arms deal: Balancing competing interests - ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick’

by M. Ulric Killion

McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) F-15 Eagle Air Superiority Fighter. DESCRIPTION: Forseeing the need to replace its fleet of F-4 Phantoms, the US Air Force issued the FX requirement for a long-range air superiority fighter in 1965. Performance requirements called for beyond visual range air-to-air capability, close-in dogfighting capability, twin engines, an internal gun, sufficient ferry range to deploy to Europe without refueling, and a maximum speed of Mach 2.5. McDonnell Douglas was selected over rivals North American and Fairchild Republic to build what would become the F-15 Eagle. . . . 

Although the Air Force had originally intended to order some 730 F-15A single-seat fighters and F-15B two-seat combat-capable trainers, only about 410 were built before production switched to the more capable F-15C/D models. . . .  Later F-15C/D models also received more powerful F100-220 engines plus the faster APG-70 radar with better resolution and greater memory when compared to the earlier APG-63. Older F-15A/B and F-15C/D models have also been progressively upgraded through an ambitious Mid-Service Improvement Program (MSIP). . . . The potential of the basic F-15 airframe has been further exploited through the development of the two-seat F-15E strike model that adds a potent surface attack capability. Older F-15A/C vehicles will begin to be replaced by the F-22 by about 2010. . . . ( Museum – F-15 Eagle).

Arab states transition from defensive to offensive capability

On October 20, 2010, the Obama administration gave notice to the U.S. Congress of its “plans for a multiyear, multibillion-dollar weapons deal with Saudi Arabia.” By doing so the Obama administration, according to Andrew Shapiro (U.S. State Department) intends to further “align the Saudi military relationship with the United States and allow the kingdom to better protect its security and oil structure, which is critical to our economic interests.”

The proposed arms deal is estimated to be worth up to $60 billion over a 20 year period, which is a deal that also includes the sale of “F-15 fighter aircraft and almost 200 helicopters, and the upgrading of 70 older-model F-15s” (Adam Levine, US plans $60 billion, 20-year arms deal with Saudi Arabia, CNN, October 20, 2010). Notwithstanding Congress exercising its right to raise objections within 30 days, the Obama administration will likely succeed in pushing its plan through Congress.

Additionally, the plan also includes “trainers, simulators, generators, spare and repair parts, and other related elements of program support, according to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the Pentagon unit charged with executing the program and processing the transaction. Some of the prime contractors involved are Boeing, Lockheed Martin and General Electric, according to DSCA Public Affairs Officer Charles Taylor.”

Members of the U.S. Congress presently appear divided on this issue. The concerns are many and vary. For instance, some members of Congress are prioritizing the issue of Israel maintaining military superiority in the region, other members of Congress are emphasizing the possibility of sparking an arms race in the region (i.e., raising the level of military technology), and then other members are flatly against arms sales. This is because of Saudi Arabia’s alleged history of financing terrorism (See; letter of objection by Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), the lead author of the letter, and other members of Congress; Hilary Leila Krieger, Some Congressmen come out against US-Saudi arms deal, The Jerusalem Post, September 17, 2010).

In support of Krieger’s position, the United States 9/11 Commission report did earlier find that, “Saudi Arabia has been a problematic ally in combating Islamic extremism” (Cade Wallace, Record breaking U.S.-Saudi Arms Sale Likely to happen, deal likely to Happen, September 15, 2010). There is also the concern about oil and/or access to oil, securing sea-lanes for oil transport, or simply, the geopolitics of oil. Then there is the added benefit of the arms sales creating an additional 75,000 U.S.-jobs (Wallace, 2010).

The U.S. intends to rearm its Arab allies in the Persian gulf. Photo/Deutsche Welle/Oct. 21, 2010.

Arms sales to Saudi Arabia, however, constitute only a part of the total arms sales package. This is because the arms deal as struck is actually between the U.S., Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, and Kuwait.

The total arms deal is estimated at up to $122.88 billion (88.4 billion euros) over the next four years and will be among the largest rearmament exercises the Persian Gulf has ever seen if and when it is approved by the U.S. Congress.

For instance, notwithstanding arms sales to Saudi Arabia, though the largest component of the proposed Gulf deal at an estimated $60 to $67 billion, the UAE will spend up to $40 billion on Lockheed Martin’s THAAD high-altitude missile defense system and join Kuwait in upgrading its existing Patriot missile batteries.

Further, Kuwait will also replace and upgrade its warplanes and command and control systems to the tune of $7 billion, while Oman will spend $12 billion to do the same with 18 new F-16 jet fighters and upgrades for another 12 thrown in for good measure. (Nick Amies, US takes calculated risks with Arab arms deals in volatile Persian Gulf, Deutsche Welle, October 21, 2010).

Assessing the Impact of the Arab Arms Deal

The objections to the intended Arab arms deal or sales are many and problematically as couched have a tendency to over-simply the many issues that are actually at stake.

A short article recently authored by Anthony H. Cordesman, which is titled, U.S.-Saudi Security Cooperation and the Impact of U.S. Arms Sales (Center for Strategic and International Studies, September 14, 2010),  provides an excellent summary of these many issues, as well as the need to balance these many competing issues and attendant interests.

All of which, admittedly, can also be said to justify divergent opinions coming from the halls of the U.S. Congress on whether to approve or disapprove of the Arab arms sales.

An excerpt from Anthony H. Cordesman’s (2010) article follows.
U.S.-Saudi security cooperation is becoming steadily more important as Iran expands its capabilities for asymmetric warfare in the Gulf, increases its long-range missile forces, and moves toward a capability to build and deploy nuclear weapons. The same is true of the enduring threat from terrorism, dealing with Iraq’s weakness and uncertain political leadership, the problems of Yemen, and instability and piracy in the Red Sea area and Indian Ocean.
The United States needs all the friends it can find in the Gulf. It faces serious uncertainties in reshaping its security posture in the region as its forces depart from Iraq. These include Iraq’s uncertain future political stance and government, the inability to predict Iranian actions and alignments, the uncertain outcome of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and uncertainties surrounding the success or failure of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Pakistan. . . .
Meeting the Challenge of Iran
Large as these arms transfers may seem, it is important to understand that the weapons numbers involved are relatively limited, given the overall size of forces in the Gulf. Moreover, their actual cost and size will only become clear once firm contracts are signed, and major deliveries will occur over at least a five-year period. They meet key Saudi concerns in force expansion and modernization, provide the basis for full interoperability with U.S. forces in a crisis or conflict, and give Saudi Arabia a significant “edge” in air superiority against Iran. Moreover, they given the kingdom the ability to improve the overall protection of its borders and coasts, assist in countering any serious terrorist attacks, and deal with any attacks or challenges in Yemen and the Red Sea area.
From a U.S. viewpoint, these arms transfers are part of a new post–Iraq War security structure that can secure the flow of energy exports to the global economy. They reinforce the level of regional deterrence rather than threaten it; and they help reduce the size of forces the United States must deploy or be ready to project into the region. They also help ensure the U.S. strategic position in the region at time when other powers like China are becoming key players in global energy and when recycling “petrodollars” is even more important than in the past.
Hopefully, a combination of such U.S. and Saudi efforts will create an effective deterrent and not have to be used. The United States also can never take Saudi willingness to support U.S. military operations for granted, particularly after U.S. miscalculations in Iraq. The fact remains, however, that U.S.-Saudi ties are critical to both deterrence and defense, to any effective effort to check Iran’s expanding military capabilities, and to any hope that regional security structures can advance to the point where the United States can create a far more limited and “over-the-horizon” military presence and set of contingency capabilities. . . . (Source: U.S.-Saudi Security Cooperation and the Impact of U.S. Arms Sales | Center for Strategic and International Studies).
Conclusion: ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick’

What Cordesman’s insightful article reveals more than anything else is the inherent uncertainty of any actions taken by the U.S., other non-Middle East countries, or Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia. As Cordesman observed, “At the same time, neither the United States nor its Gulf allies have any reason to seek open confrontation with Iran. This is particularly true of the Gulf states. ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick’ may not be an old Arab proverb, but Arab leaders have long practiced this with considerable success.”

Indeed, Cordesman’s prescription for addressing these issues – compelling needs and interests – is both intuitive and practical. In other words, as concerns peace and security in the Middle East, the new order of the day may well be many needs and interests and an ability to juggle these many competing needs and interests, while in the same instance avoiding an open confrontation with Iran.
Copyright © Protected - All Rights Reserved M. Ulric Killion, 2010.
See also;

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Our favorite Russian spy Anna Chapman: modern Mata Hari or wannabe femme fatale

by M. Ulric Killion 
Our favorite Russian spy Anna Chapman.

Speaking of the modern Mata Hari, maybe she speaks Russian. 

As for Russia and their spies, there is also the infamous Russian spy ring recently arrested and deported. On June 29, 2010, it was reported by news media outlets that a ring of 11 Russian moles right out of a Cold War spy novel was smashed.  

“Even though the Russian spy ring that included Anna Chapman failed to do much of anything other than get caught, the Kremlin has bestowed the country’s highest honor on the agents who were deported from the United States nearly three months ago” (New York: CBS). 

The most famous of the spies, of course, is fiery red-head Anna Chapman, who unlike her fellow spies, has chosen to embrace her new found popularity posing for various magazines and making public appearances. 

Her  most recent public appearance is in a scantly clad outfit in Maxim Magazine (俄美女间谍登上男性杂志封面-英语点津, October 20, 2010). 

The cover of Maxim. Russian spy Anna Chapman posed in the Russian version of Maxim magazine in the most provocative photographs yet to appear of the secret agent who was deported from the United States in July.
Click for video and photo of Russian spy Anna Chapman
Get Flash Player
Russian spy Anna Chapman posed in the Russian version of Maxim magazine in the most provocative photographs yet to appear of the secret agent who was deported from the United States in July. A photograph on shows red-haired Chapman dressed in nylon and lace and posing with a handgun. “Anna Chapman has done more to excite Russian patriotism than the Russian soccer team,” wrote Maxim. Nine other spies were deported from the United States with her. The Kremlin has seized on the Cold War aspects of the case to try to boost the prestige of its intelligence services and avert what has widely been seen as a major disgrace for Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), a successor to the KGB. . . .
(Read by Lee Hannon. Lee Hannon is a journalist at the China Daily Website.) (点击查看更多双语新闻) (Agencies).
. . . 俄罗斯美女间谍安娜•查普曼日前为男性时尚杂志《Maxim》(俄罗斯版)拍摄了一组极其性感撩人的照片。该期杂志尚未上架发售。美女间谍安娜今年7月被美国遣返回国。 网站刊登的一张照片显示,红发披肩的查普曼身穿吊带裤袜和蕾丝内衣,还举着把手枪。《Maxim》杂志写道:“在激起俄罗斯人的爱国精神方面,安娜•查普曼的贡献比俄罗斯足球队大得多。” 与她一同被美国遣返的还有另外九名间谍。克里姆林宫方面抓住了这起事件的冷战特性,试图以此提振情报部门的声望,避免该事件被普遍看作克格勃的后继者俄罗斯对外情报局的极大耻辱. . . . (俄美女间谍登上男性杂志封面-英语点津).


As for the original Mata Hari  (1876-1917), this was the namesake or the stage name of a Dutch exotic dancer and prostitute named Gertrud Margarete Zelle, who was shot by the French as a spy on October 15, 1917 ( 

One can reasonably assume that Mata Hara would have hardly found objectionable being asked to pose in a modern men’s magazine, or any other variety of magazines, though it is not meant to imply that Maxim Magazine is a smut rag.  

The association with the likes of a Mata Hari is also appropriately befitting her because intelligence gathering today, however, is not about people who clandestinely gather information and pass it along to spy masters. 

For example, the type of spying that occurred during the 18th century. or early days of the American Revolution, when many Philadelphia women passed key information along to General Washington at Valley Forge.


Then there is Rosie White’s recent book, Violent femmes: women as spies in popular culture (Routledge, 2007), which explores the role of female spies, especially Violent Femmes in popular culture (i.e., popular fiction, television and film), though Anna Chapman is arguably better described as a “wannabe” femme fatale, or simply, party girl, rather than Violent Femme (See book review). 

In the end, as for what to make of this Russian spy ring, especially Anna Chapman, it all reads like pulp fiction. It’s the kind of stuff that is too strange to have been made up.
Copyright © Protected - All Rights Reserved M. Ulric Killion, 2010.