Saudi Arabia has been conducting a major multi-service military exercise.

The exercise, entitled Sword of Peace-7, takes place nearly every year and includes every service in the military.

The Saudi command has attended Sword of Peace, commanded by Maj. Gen. Zein Bin Talihan Al Harbi, head of the military’s Northwest Command.

The officials included Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khaled Bin Sultan and Saudi Arabian National Guard deputy commander Gen. Miteb Bin Abdullah.

“Training is one of the major elements of success in wars,” Maj. Gen. Harbi said.

The reason given by the Saudis for these exercises: the danger of an invasion by a neighboring state.

The only nation at war with the Saudis today is Israel. The Saudis declared war against Israel in 1948 and have refused to agree to any armistice, peace treaty or cease-fire with the Jewish state in the past 60 years.

Senators Again Threaten Saudi Arabia

A group of Democrats in the U.S. Senate have introduced a resolution meant to hamper U.S. weapons sales to Saudi Arabia.

Five senators have introduced a resolution of disapproval of a major weapons sale to Saudi Arabia. The resolution linked any U.S. arms deal to a decision by Saudi Arabia to increase crude oil production.

“We are saying to the Saudis that, if you don’t help us, why should we be helping you?” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said. “We are saying that we need real relief, and we need it quickly. You need our arms, but we need you to cooperate and not strangle American consumers.”

The resolution, introduced on May 13, came on the eve of President Bush’s tour of the Middle East. Mr. Bush was scheduled to discuss Saudi oil production during his visit to Riyadh over the weekend.

The Senate resolution called on the Bush administration to block any Saudi military procurement unless the kingdom increased oil output by 1 million barrels per day. The resolution followed two months of warning by the Senate group that Congress would ban weapons sales to Riyadh unless it helped lower the price of gasoline.

U.S. Firm Offers Co-Production Of Missiles To Saudis

A U.S. defense contractor has offered technology and co-production of missiles to Saudi Arabia.

Raytheon Missile Systems has been negotiating several proposals with the Saudi Defense Ministry that would pave the way for the return of the U.S. company. Executives said Raytheon envisions participating in several projects for the Royal Saudi Air Force in 2009.

“The Saudis have ordered aircraft and upgrades and they’re going to need weapons,” an executive said. “We hope that we will be a leading supplier.”

Raytheon wants to revive its relationship with the Saudi firm Advanced Electronics Co. (AEC). In the 1990s, AEC participated in the production of the Paveway II laser-guided bomb for the Saudi Air Force’s F-15S fleet.

The Paveway program established AEC as a major Saudi partner for Raytheon, executives said. They said AEC could expand its production share of Raytheon missiles, including upgrades of the Paveway.

In 2007, Riyadh signed an $8.9 billion contract with BAE Systems for 72 Eurofighter Typhoon combat jets. The Saudis were also expected to upgrade its F-15 and British-origin Tornado fleets.

“We see Saudi Arabia as a partner in the production of several Raytheon missiles,” the executive said. “We also envision the kingdom as being a maintenance and support center for Raytheon missiles throughout the Gulf region.”

This special report prepared in conjunction with the Middle East Newsline.

©The Bulletin 2008


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David Bedein
David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.