USA defense contracting firm Vinnell has stated that they are not immediately considering withdrawing their staff after one of their employees was killed by Caliphascists in Riyadh on Tuesday. The employee was apparently stalked from a clinic to his house, at which point the gunmen opened fire.
This is not a good sign for the House of Saud. The report mentions the possibility of additional security from the Saudi Entity, but it’s not clear whether that would actually reduce the danger given the high level of infiltration of the Saudi security apparatus by the Caliphascists. It would certainly be better to bring in Western security forces, but I don’t see the Saudi Entity allowing that unless they are truly desperate. Moreover, would it really help? One would have to turn the areas in Westerners stay in to armed camps1, protected by non-local security. Imagine the impact of that on public support for the House of Saud.
This problem is course amusing, in an ironic way. Why are the westerners there? Because the locals aren’t capable of actually operating the oil industry. Why is that? Initially because the locals were desert nomands and herders, but it’s been a couple of generations since then. Other countries in similar circumstances (such as India or Japan) rapidly acquired the requisite expertise locally. In my view, one of the primary reasons for the lack of native expertise is the educational system, which is basically run by the same people who hate having the Westerners around. I’m sure this isn’t lost on those people, but they face the nasty fact that the oil money is a lot more popular than they are.
The anti-Western forces in the Saudi Entity must also grapple with the fact that creating a technically competent workforce would greatly erode their power, if not outright end it. I sometimes wonder why they haven’t arranged to destroy the oil industry infrastructure while finding a way to blame it on the West. That would seem to be the best long term strategy, unless the Caliphascists also plan to depend on the oil revenue to spread their ideology. As said in Dune, “he who can destroy a thing controls the thing”, but so far the Caliphascists seem unable to bring themselves to destroy the oil.
1 I had thought that such areas already were armed camps, but if gunmen can just drive in and open fire, they’re not even as secure as a gated community in the USA.