By Micah HalpernI've Been Thinking:
Russia has made a big move in the area of arms trade in the Middle East.
Qatar's defense minister signed a defense deal with his Russian counterpart. The deal, which was signed yesterday in Doha, the capital of Qatar, is entitled the Agreement on Military Technical Cooperation. It is based on the promise by Qatar to buy all kinds of Russian weapons.
This deal can be worth billions per year.
What makes this especially critical is the fact that in 2015 Qatar was ranked 1st in the world of any country who bought US weapons.
The rift between Qatar and Saudi Arabia has a spill over - and that might just be the reason for the cozy new relationship Qatar is building with Russia.
The United States tried to smooth over the differences, but to no avail. The cost to the United States of this rift can be measured in the billions of dollars in weapons sales they are set to lose.
This is a total shift by Qatar towards Russia and a move away from the US.
Military equipment is not interchangeable. Qatar will be replacing their entire military infrastructure with Russian equipment.
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