U.S. in $3.5 billion arms sale to UAE amid Iran tensions

Comments (9)
rts18202 wrote:

And, we wrapped up the arms deal on Christmas day. So much for celebrating the birthday of the Prince of Peace.

Dec 31, 2011 1:59pm EST  --  Report as abuse

The UAE deal is worth $3.48 billion; Kuwait wants $900 million in Patriot missiles; and the Saudis want $31.7 billion in F-15SA’s and Patriot upgrades. The West is responding to reports of Iran’s hacking programs, but the Patriots won’t stop the Iranian missiles, and THAAD and F-15SA’s may be vulnerable to the hacking programs. The US is going to run the risk of a decade of depression in the US and EU to test new defense systems. Iran will run out of oil by 2050, has too few rivers for hydroelectric, has sandstorms that will ruin wind and solar, needs many years for nuclear power plants, and doesn’t want to build nuclear weapons that it can’t use. We probably need 10 years of depression to grow up, but the US is making China the dominant power in the world by default.

Dec 31, 2011 2:18pm EST  --  Report as abuse
jwab wrote:

An arms race has begun. Iran cannot match the whole world. At least the good ol’ US of A is making a few bucks.

Dec 31, 2011 5:40pm EST  --  Report as abuse
JRZ wrote:

WMDs for sale from the good ol’ USA.

Dec 31, 2011 11:34pm EST  --  Report as abuse
matthewslyman wrote:

@alanchristopher: ahhh, my old nemesis from the previous discussion!

> “THAAD and F-15SA’s may be vulnerable to the hacking programs” just like US F-15′s were vulnerable to Iraqi hacking during the Gulf wars? Or, vulnerable to Soviet hacking during the cold war?
Because Soviet hardware performed so well against the F-15 and other modern US warplanes… And the Soviets were obviously not worried at all by Reagan’s anti-missile programs?
Or, were they?

They were so paranoid about it they practically bankrupted the Soviet state outdoing the Space Shuttle programme with an all-weather, all-season, fully automated pilotless, military/civilian “Buran”.

I will grant that the USA looks VERY incompetent in defending against hacking attacks.
And they don’t even seem to be that well informed about what is or is not happening:
But looking at other news, Iran looks even more incompetent than the USA… They needed help from Belarus to even identify that malicious software was responsible for the effects that Stuxnet was causing. No doubt, Iran’s best experts would have been on that job. SO they don’t scare me very much!

> “the US is making China the dominant power in the world by default.”

Something we can agree on… The Iranian propaganda and military build-up is an opportunity for the USA to rebalance world trade with middle eastern nations that have massive budget & reserve surpluses; and pay down U.S. debt. If the USA decides to spend mega-money and invade Iran instead, the opportunity will be gone, confidence in the USD might fall precipitously (especially if Iran succeeds in shutting off the straits of Hormuz and gets their timing just right in doing that); there will in that case be another big financial crisis and probably another big war, and world power will potentially be rebalanced (either through the USA achieving a Pyrrhic victory as the British Empire did in the cold wars, or, through other means): but that all depends on a lot of things happening.

We’ll see whether the USA plays their cards sensibly, by maintaining a balance of power for “pax Americana”; rather than seeking world ever-expanding domination that would exhaust the USA financially. In this sense, Iran, North Korea etc. are the USA’s best friends…

Jan 02, 2012 3:03am EST  --  Report as abuse
matthewslyman wrote:

@rts18202: good point. They could have waited a few days, couldn’t they; in a nod to world peace? I’m sure the Muslims would have understood perfectly well and respected, a desire on our part to observe (or at least be seen to observe) the most important religious holiday in the Christian calendar… Shame the U.S. negotiators didn’t see the light on that.

Jan 02, 2012 3:06am EST  --  Report as abuse
matthewslyman wrote:

“Pyrrhic victory as the British Empire did in the cold wars” I mean world wars of course.

Jan 02, 2012 3:36am EST  --  Report as abuse

To matthewslyman. China has developed hacking programs, that they have shared with the Iranians. Stuxnet was delivered by hardware in a laptop sold to an Iranian nuclear technician, so it was not a hacking attack, but it made the Iranians cautious. They have built their own fuel rods because they want to build everything themselves. Also, they see the value of hacking programs that give intruding aircraft the wrong coordinates for attacks and tell the planes that Iranian antiaircraft missiles are friendly, so evasive actions are unnecessary. Another version of the instructions can take control of a drone and order it to land which was used on the RQ-170 drone. Iran does not have airfields that can handle an RQ-170 in all parts of the country, so the landing gear was damaged. Iranian and mocking US flags hid the undercarriage in the photos. Offensive missiles have hacking programs that tell defensive computers that the incoming missiles are friendly, so the defenders should not fire. This will allow strikes on US bases in Kuwait, Bahrain, and Qatar. Afghanistan is in winter, so airbases often work poorly if at all. Iranian attacks on US forces would require US naval air power, and supercarriers must come within range of Iranian missiles that would be launched in barrages at these targets. The US probably will lose two carriers and a few other ships and suffer 10,000 killed. Iran has unmanned underwater vehicles in the form of mines and torpedoes that don’t need minelayers, submarines, or PT boats that can sink shipping in the Persian Gulf, the Straits of Hormuz, and the Gulf of Oman. The most destructive economic damage will be the destruction of oil and gas infrastructure in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE, and Oman. The US and its allies will “defeat” Iran and destroy its oil and gas infrastructure, but the US and EU will plunge into a 10 year depression. Clearing the Straits and Gulfs will only take weeks, but infrastructure will take years to rebuild, and the West will collapse economically. Even if we save our bases and don’t suffer as much in the fleet, we cannot save the infrastructure. China has an oil and a gas pipeline from Russia, is building three more, has a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan, and has oil and gas pipeline projects under construction with the other six “stans.” China’s economy will continue with its 12th and 13th Five Year Plans (2011-2020) to develop the central and western provinces providing jobs for workers with paychecks to become customers and taxpayers. China has the resources to continue growth of 8% to 9% per year, and they will probably gain the reconstruction jobs for the oil and gas infrastructure in the Gulf states. The US will recover in 10 years, but the US may not like its reduced status in the world when it recovers because it will probably need drastic military cuts to pay for its recovery. Cutting $700 billion per year for 10 years can buy a lot of recovery. The US will need to let someone else be the world’s policeman for a decade. Iran will run out of oil about 2050, has too few rivers and too many sandstorms for hydroelectric and solar, so Iran need nuclear pawer not nuclear weapons that it can’t use. The US is risking complete loss of its position in the world for ONE contest of technologies. As a Special Forces combat veteran, this war doesn’t make sense.

Jan 03, 2012 6:52pm EST  --  Report as abuse
matthewslyman wrote:

> “Offensive missiles have hacking programs that tell defensive computers that the incoming missiles are friendly, so the defenders should not fire.”

IFF (Identify Friend or Foe) systems, and various kinds of attacks against them, are very old news. The West has been in this business for about five decades now, if not six or seven. Could cite public literature on these points (look me up on the public internet and email me). The upshot of this is that unless Iran can read the NSA’s email or has X-ray vision into the memory or network devices used to transfer IFF codes to the drones; they almost certainly can’t do what you’re describing and succeed at it (fool US warplanes into believing that incoming enemy missiles are friendly). I’ve also seen no evidence in the real world that US/NATO IFF has been hacked in the last 30 years. Beyond that, or off the public record; I don’t know.

> “Iran has unmanned underwater vehicles in the form of mines and torpedoes that don’t need minelayers, submarines, or PT boats”

Sounds dangerous. But on the other hand, if you know about these things, then I’m sure the US military does. Mine countermeasures are not unsophisticated. One more thing confuses me: if Iran has such big teeth, then why are they behaving like the little dog that barks aggressively at strangers (and sometimes neighbours) when they walk down the other side of the street?

On the economic issues, I’m partially with you, in that I think US economic resources would be much better spent developing the United States socially & in terms of healthcare, education and infrastructure. If the USA leaves these developments to China and tries to be the world’s policeman for everyone (especially without being paid for the job), the results will be quite predictable. Let the Arabs pay for the hardware, and do it themselves if the Iranians give them a real case for war… With the Americans in a supporting role, if appropriate…

Jan 04, 2012 2:13am EST  --  Report as abuse
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.