The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Wednesday, May 26, 2004

The real purpose of Saudi armaments mega-spend

An explanation - I think from a BBC radio programme - of the prodigious spending on weapons by the Saudis: a means of paying off those who needed to be paid off.

Instead of just stealing the necessary money, they used commissions. In order to justify large-value commissions, one must have correspondingly greater-value transactions.

Few things would be big-ticket enough: armaments fitted the bill. Apparently, a lot of the stuff is still in the boxes it came in. Some of it, the Saudi forces don't have the chaps who know how to operate.

Just as Japanese politics is oiled by cash stripped from state construction contracts: half-built airports and the like abound. There might even be the shell of a seaport built fifty miles inland.

There's a ben trovato quality to the Saudi story - clearly, for now, to be treated as hypothesis only.

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