By Patrick Cockburn
The devastating attack on Saudi oil facilities by drones and missiles not only transforms the balance of military power in the Middle East, but marks a change in the nature of warfare globally.
On the morning of 14 September, 18 drones and seven cruise missiles – all cheap and unsophisticated compared to modern military aircraft – disabled half of Saudi Arabia’s crude oil production and raised the world price of oil by 20 per cent.
This happened despite the Saudis spending $67.6bn (£54bn) on their defense budget last year, much of it on vastly expensive -US made- aircraft and air defense systems, which notably failed to stop the attack. The US defense budget stands at $750bn (£600.2bn), and its intelligence budget at $85bn (£68bn), but the US forces in
Featured image: The Houthis have stepped up drone and missile attacks on cities in neighboring Saudi Arabia in recent months [File: Stephen Kalin/Reuters]
Patrick Oliver Cockburn is an Irish journalist who has been a Middle East correspondent for the Financial Times since 1979 and, from 1990, The Independent. He has also worked as a correspondent in Moscow and Washington and is a frequent contributor to the London Review of Books
This author does not have any more posts.