Fact evidence: In late October 2018, Israels prime minister Netanyahu visited Oman under friendly terms. Not long after, following this, Trump said that ”Saudi-Arabia is on the clock”. Unfortunately I can no longer find the source to the Saudi-Arabia-is-on-the-clock statement, but I distinctly remember it word for word.
Very interesting. But I don’t expect that Oman will cave in to Israel! Israelis cannot project the necessary power in the Strait of Hormuz region to be able to do that. If Oman will cave in they will do it because the guy in the background is putting pressure on the country. I am of course talking about Trump.
And speaking about Saudi-Arabia. The United States is starting to export more goods than they receive oil in the other direction. The amount of oil the US receive from Saudi-Arabia 2018 is down 1/3 since 2015 while the exports to the country stays the same. So you probably have to look for the explanation there. The US has no interest in sustaining the state of Saudi-Arabia if they don’t get to import their oil. The numbers 1/3 comes from the CIA WORLD FACTBOOK 2015 compared with the numbers in the CIA WORLD FACTBOOK 2018-2019.
The Strait of Hormuz is 21 nautical miles (39 km) in width at its narrowest place. In 2011 an average of 14 tankers per day passed out of the Persian Gulf through the strait, carrying 17 million barrels of crude oil. That is 35 percent of the worlds seaborn oil shipments and 20 percent of the oil traded worldwide. Some say 40 percent of all oil traded worldwide. More than 85 percent of this oil goes to Asian countries, with Japan, India, South Korea and China the biggest buyers. Iran has repeatedly threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz throughout the years.
This doesn’t mean that Saudi-Arabia will become a target militarily. It is much more likely that Iran will become a target. But I think we can expect that the US will strive to put pressure on especially the Saudis to not cut back any more on the oil sales to the US and preferrably increase the oil sales quota to the US. They hope to accomplish this by projecting more power against the Iranians and by dwarfing the Chinese influence in the nearby region and, hopefully, in the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.
This dwarfing of the chinese Navy in the Gulf of Oman can be done by confining the Chinese Navy within the South China Sea. As long as America has the ability to project power at sea more than China has, the US can decide the rules of the game. But the difference between the streangth of the American Navy and the Chinese Navy on the other hand, is more than anything revolving around America’s Aircraft carrier groups superiority in number and capacity that dwarf the Chinese number and capacity.
China has an airbase at Gwadar in western Pakistan near by the Gulf of Oman. If China can continue on with a construction of new airbases in foreign countries in and around the region, then America’s superiority with their aircraft carrier groups will be leveled out in actual capacity compared to the Chinese. But the USAF currently has airbases in several Arab countries on the west coast of the Persian Gulf opposite Iran.
Should Iran allow China to construct airbases in their country, then the Chinese could place these airbases wisely, meaning more optimal for defense of Iranian oil-installations and self-defense than the Americans can do and have done. As a bonus the Chinese airbases would be more suitable for attacks against to Iran possibly hostile oil-nations in the north and west of the Persian Gulf.
1. Trump said that ”Saudi-Arabia is on the clock”. Can you think of any scenarios if the Saudis don’t comply with America? What will happen in the region you think?
2. Do you think that in the long run Iran will gain influence or that they will lose influence should the US threaten with war and then abstain from realize it? And if Iran gain influence, will there be a war? Will there be a war if Iran dwindle in power and there is a real threat of a serious upheaval in Iran?
3. For the overambitious; How do you think that China if possible will try to profit from these different scenarios, given the tense situation in the South China Sea? Pick one scenario that you think is the most realistic and suggest China’s politics:
• Saudis don’t comply.
• Saudis don’t comply and Iran gain influence in the region.
• Saudis don’t comply and Iran lose influence because of US war rattling.
• Saudis don’t comply while civil unrest in Iran.
Roger M. Klang, defense political Spokesman for the Christian Values Party (Kristna Värdepartiet) in Sweden