This past July, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates made an extraordinary joint visit to key Middle East countries. Focused on securing greater Arab support for Iraq and isolating Iran, the mid-summer trip put the spotlight on a new $20 billion military sales package to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries. Rice stated this military package “will help bolster forces of moderation and support a broader strategy to counter the negative influences of al-Qaeda, Hezbollah, Syria, and Iran.”
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