"Egypt the prize": Why?

Please read the following article carefully:

The Current Strategic Agenda of the United States


Targeting Saudi Arabia

Perhaps the most startling element of this plan is the targeting of Saudi Arabia, long considered the most faithful American ally among the Arab countries—the base for the American assault on Iraq in 1991, a continuing US military base thereafter, the US’s largest market for weapons, the largest supplier of oil to the US (at a special discount to boot), and the source of up to $600 billion of investments in the US. On July 10 2002 a researcher from the RAND Corporation (a prominent think-tank, created by the US Air Force but now quasi-independent, that regularly does projects for the American defence and foreign policy establishments) made a presentation to the Defence Policy Board—headed, as mentioned earlier, by Perle. The briefing, titled

"Taking Saudi out of Arabia", claimed that "The Arab world has been in a systemic crisis for the last 200 years" and that "Since independence, wars have been the principal output of the Arab world". It went on to describe Saudi Arabia in bizarre terms as an enemy of the US ("the kernel of evil, the prime mover, the most dangerous opponent", "The Saudis are active at every level of the terror chain, from planners to financiers, from cadre to foot-soldier, from ideologist to cheerleader"), and recommended that the US give it an ultimatum to prevent any anti-US activity in Arabia, failing which its oil fields could be seized by US troops and the House of Saud replaced by the Hashemite monarchy that now rules Jordan. The following quotation gives an idea of the line of thought, if it can be called that:

"‘Saudi Arabia’ is not a God-given entity

* The House of Saud was given dominion over Arabia in 1922 by the British

* It wrested the Guardianship of the Holy Places — Mecca and Medina — from the Hashemite dynasty

* There is an ‘Arabia,’ but it need not be ‘Saudi’ "An ultimatum to the House of Saud

* Stop any funding and support for any fundamentalist madrasa, mosque, ulama, predicator anywhere in the world

* Stop all anti-U.S., anti-Israeli, anti-Western predication, writings, etc., within Arabia

* Dismantle, ban all the kingdom’s ‘Islamic charities,’ confiscate their assets

* Prosecute or isolate those involved in the terror chain, including in the Saudi intelligence


"Or else ...

* What the House of Saud holds dear can be targeted:

— Oil: the old fields are defended by U.S. forces, and located in a mostly Shiite area

— Money: the Kingdom is in dire financial straits, its valuable assets invested in dollars, largely in the U.S.

— The Holy Places: let it be known that alternatives are being canvassed

"Other Arabs?

* The Saudis are hated throughout the Arab world: lazy, overbearing, dishonest, corrupt

* If truly moderate regimes arise, the Wahhabi-Saudi nexus is pushed back into its extremist corner

* The Hashemites have greater legitimacy as Guardians of Mecca and Medina"1

1.The presentation ends on the following cryptic note:

"Grand strategy for the Middle East

— Iraq is the tactical pivot

— Saudi Arabia the strategic pivot

Egypt the prize"

Presumably the first two phrases mean that invading Iraq offers a point of entry for the capture of Saudi Arabia. However, the last phrase remains obscure.



Egypt has very little oil
Greatest Oil Reserves by Country, 2001		
rank     	Country  	2001 proved reserves 
				(billion barrels)
1	Saudi Arabia                 	261.7
2	Iraq 				112.5
3	United Arab Emirates      	97.8
4	Kuwait				96.5
5	Iran				89.7
6	Venezuela			76.9
7	Russia				48.6
8	Libya				29.5
9	Mexico				38.3
10	China				24