Terrorism or Oil Wars??


An Excerpt:
The United States said Tuesday that it would withdraw all combat forces in Saudi Arabia by this summer, ending more than a decade of military operations in this strategic Middle East nation.
Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his Saudi counterpart, Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz, said at a news conference here that the end of the Iraq war and Saddam Hussein’s government meant that America’s military mission here was over. Only a small military training program will remain.…Even before Tuesday’s announcement, American forces in Saudi Arabia, which doubled to 10,000 during the Iraq war, had started pulling out of sprawling desert airbase used by United States warplanes since 1991 to patrol the no-flight zone in southern Iraq.
The presence of American forces since the 1991 Gulf War has been a contentious issue in Saudi Arabia, and has fuelled the terrorism of Osama bin Laden. The Qaeda leader, who was born in Saudi Arabia, has called for the withdrawal of “infidel” American troops from the land of the two holiest sites in Islam.
Tensions between the two allies flared shortly after the air operations centre open in 2001, just before the Sept. 11 attacks. In the first day of the Afghan air campaign, Saudi Arabia did not allow American warplanes to fly through Saudi air space, an American official said. The issue was quickly resolved but the delay rankled American commanders. The Saudi government barred the United States from launching airstrikes against Afghanistan or Iraq from Prince Sultan Air Base. One reason the Pentagon built the back-up air command centre in Qatar was because officials fear the Saudis might deny us use their site in the Iraq war.
30 April, 2003. International Herald Tribune

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