Issue 33 - 14 Oct 1980
It seems fairly clear that the idea of sending four American radar surveillance aircraft (AWACS) to Saudi Arabia came from the Saudis themselves last month. That alone is evidence enough of the extent of concern among the smaller Gull states about the escalating Iraqi-Iranian war. Last time Washington sent a couple of AWACS to Saudi Arabia (during the Yemeni fighting in spring 1979), the kingdom could permit itself the luxury of huffing and puffing in newspaper editorials about American over-reaction. The Gulf states do not like an overt American presence because it offends their pride and because it provokes the radicals of whom they must perpetually be afraid. But they know that if the war spreads down the Gull, they need the protection which they cannot provide for themselves.
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