Are the Saudis working on getting the bomb? StrategyPage takes a look:
According to India Daily, Pakistan’s President Musharraf has entered into secret agreement with the Saudis to deliver the nukes. The publication speculated that the battered Musharraf wished to gain unconditional support of the Saudis in exchange of handing over the nuke blueprints. The U.S. was unable to help Musharraf maintain power in the Pakistani elections. The new president, Asif Ali Zardari, knows the river of American dollars will eventually dry up. Pakistan needs the money; the Saudis have oil money and they want the nukes. The Saudis are not interested in acquiring nuclear weapons manufacturing capability or weapons-grade material. The Saudis love to go shopping. They can shell out unlimited petrodollars to purchase anything they want. They want to acquire the actual weapons for missile warhead delivery.
What are indications that the Saudis have a nuclear weapons program in progress? Saudi Arabia has constructed a site for the deployment of long-range missiles in the Al Sulial desert 500 kilometers south of Riyadh. The “missile city” complex contains missile silos, factories and residential housing areas for hundreds of site workers. Satellite photos reveal two missile bases and a complex of 33 buildings, eight of them capable of storing Chinese CSS-2 medium (MRBM) and intermediate range (IRBM) ballistic missiles, which have a range of between 2,500 and 4,000 kilometers. The missile, 24 meters long, is capable of carrying a two ton non-conventional warhead. It seems unlikely that the Saudis would acquire nuclear- capable intermediate and medium range missiles with the intent to merely arm them with conventional warheads.
If true, this is part of the price we’re paying for not disabling the Iranian nuclear program. Absent an Iranian nuclear weapons program, the Saudis have no need for their own. The Desert Kingdom could have started working on nukes most any time in the last 30 or 40 years — yet they seem to have chosen to just as the Iranian Bomb comes closer to fruition, which the US has done little or nothing to stop.
And if the price of oil drops low enough that Saudi Arabia becomes unstable? Well, let’s not think about that. And why should we? It’s clear our previous president and our brand new one, haven’t troubled themselves.