Former US Defense Intelligence Agency analyst Thomas Woodrow writing in a publication of the Jamestown Foundation claims that Saudi Arabia may have funded Pakistan's nuclear weapons development program:
Beijing is rapidly becoming a major player in world oil markets, and increasingly sees access to energy resources as a critical component of its national security and long-term military strategy. It has assiduously cultivated ties with Riyadh since the mid-1980s, when it sold CSS-2 nuclear-capable intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBMs) to Saudi Arabia. Some reports indicate that Saudi Arabia has been involved in funding Pakistan's missile and nuclear program purchases from China, which has resulted in Pakistan becoming a nuclear weapons-producing and -proliferating state.
China maintains a very close relationship with Saudi Arabia as a key component of its strategy to guarantee access to oil resources in the Persian Gulf. Until 1995, China was a net exporter of oil. In 2001, it imported over 60 million tons. Its need for imported oil to maintain its GNP growth will at least double over the next decade. It will very soon become a major influence in the global oil market, a development that will have immense ramifications on resource competition and international security ties.
Later in the same report there is the warning that the Saudis might buy nukes from Pakistan:
If these reports are correct, what in essence has happened is that Saudi Arabia has given money to China for Pakistan's missile and nuclear programs. If so, Saudi Arabia could be buying a nuclear capability from China through a proxy state with Pakistan serving as the cutout. If Riyadh's influence over Pakistan extends to its nuclear programs, Saudi Arabia could rapidly become a de facto nuclear power through a simple shipment of missiles and warheads.
Separately Paul Wolfowitz claims Saudi Arabia purchased ballistic missiles from China:
In an address to a Washington audience on Oct. 24, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said Riyad acquired the missiles from China in a development that stunned Washington, Middle East Newsline reported.
"I believe in the 1980s when Saudi Arabia acquired long-range ballistic missiles from the People's Republic of China it took us completely by surprise," Wolfowitz told Frontiers for Freedom. "We think a relatively harmless surprise, but nonetheless a surprise."
Wolfowitz's disclosure comes as Riyad is said to be mulling a new missile purchase from China and Pakistan. Western intelligence sources said Riyad has built new silos and facilities for intermediate-range missiles and has intensified efforts to procure nuclear weapons.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2002 November 09 09:56 PM US Foreign Preemption, Deterrence, Containment|