MENA regional integration is an important US national interest that will ensure stability in this part of the world and prevent the US from being drawn into a land war with Iran so as to prevent Iran from conquering the Arab world. MENA regional integration is both economic and defense-related. Economic integration is vital to ensure that this region becomes prosperous rather than a source of instability and terrorism and this is an important US national interest. MENA regional integration in the defense sphere is vital for deterring Iran from conquering the Arab world and simultaneously attacking major cities of the American homeland with biological weapons.
Let us now address Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s demands from the United States government:
- A DEFENSE ALLIANCE: This should initially be a tripartite defense alliance between the United States, Israel and Saudi Arabia with other regional countries being welcomed to accede later to this MENA defense alliance.
- WEAPONS DELIVERIES: Once there is a MENA defense alliance in place must it be armed, however, this must be contingent on there being real regional integration both militarily and economically.
- TRADE: The MENA defense alliance must also become an economic bloc on the model of ASEAN and should sign a free trade agreement with the United States.
- NUCLEAR POWER: Riyadh wants to develop nuclear capacity in case Iran develops nuclear weapons but is otherwise not interested in nuclear weapons. It is understandable that the KSA wants a nuclear option as an insurance and here an understanding needs to be found between Riyadh and Washington.
- THE KHASHOGGI COMPLAINT: There is no reason why the US should continue bringing up this issue years after it happened.