Khalid bin Sultan
Bin Abdel Aziz
Prince Khalid bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz. Must be known to many people. During the second Gulf war, he came on the news repeatedly due to his involvement in the war and because of the many gaffes he made. The Americans fought the anti-Iraqi war, but Khalid alleged that he won it
He is the son of Defence Minister Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz and of Laila bint Ahmad Abdallah bin Uthman, sister of the late King Fasals wife Iffat al Thaniyan. He was born on 23rd September 1949 in Makkah and studied at the King Saud School for princes in Riyadh. Unlike his half brother Bandar, whose mother was a slave girl, Khalid was the subject of much attention from his father who saw in him his successor at the head of the Defence Ministry.
At a very young age, he was sent to train at Sandhursts military academy in Britain from where he graduated in 1967. He was then sent to Fort Pills in Texas for advanced training in air defence. He is said to have completed an MA in military Sciences at Fort Lefnort military Academy (Kansas City) in 1979. Meanwhile, he is alleged to have joined the Maxwell Air Warfare Academy in Alabama in 1980 and, strange though it may seem, he is officially reported to have carried, at the same time, yet another MA in Administrative and Political Sciences at Montgomery University, Alabama, only one year after the previous MA. Some people do have an extraordinary IQ and time.
In any case, back in Arabia, he was promoted very swiftly. He successively occupied the positions of Air Squadron Chief, Training Officer/ Assistant Staff Officer for Operations, Army Inspectorate Chief. Director of the Administration of Air Defence Projects, Deputy Chief of the Air Force, Chief of Air Defence and, to crown it all, Chief of the Strategic Missiles Force.
Quest of Notoriety:
Prince Khalid was in the shadow during his studies and while in the various offices he occupied. His urge to become known nationally and to be heard of internationally led him to do what the other Gulf princes normally do, that is to give an astonishing donation to save a westerner in danger of death. Khalid did just that when he offered a huge amount of money to an American child who needed a heart and kidneys transplant. He announced this sensational news in front of an American television crew during a holiday in the Bermudas.
But Khalid came to notoriety through his dealings with the London-based arms merchant Mohammad Wafiq al-Said. Arms deals involving Defence Minister Sultan and his sons made Wafiq al-Said a billionaire and Khalid the same. The first deal in which Khalid was involved alongside al-Said appears to have been the purchase of administrative equipment for an air defence system, bought from France in January 1984a deal which was, at that time, the biggest arms deal the French had ever made.
The commissions made on the it were to the tune of $750 million, with $300 million taken by Prince Khalid alone. Khalid also shared with his father, his brother Bandar, al-Said and others, a two billion dollar deal for the purchase of 10 Boeing transport planes and their spare parts for Saudia Airlines in 1984 (Sunday Times 5/8/84).
During the scandal over the £20 billion Yamama deal with Britain in 1984, Khalid was mentioned in the international press as being involved in the commissions which reportedly reached half the total of the cost of only the Tornado jets side of the Yamama deal. Witnessing before an American civil court, a former head of the British Arms Company, Gerald James said that each Tornado was sold to the Saudis for £40 million whereas the standard price is only £20-22 million.
Another nine billion dollar deal with American for the supply of F15 fighter jets was reported in the international press as having a real value of four billion dollars. Khalid was again quoted as having pocketed a share of the remaining five billion dollar commission alongside his father, brothers, King Fahd and the usual sharks around them.
The air surveillance AWACS radar planes deal of 1980, organized by Bandar bin Sultan, also involved a hefty commission for Khalid whose name was mentioned in this connection in the Dooley Papers. The usual partners in the deal got their share of commission through Global Enterprise Group, a company set up for this particular purpose.
Khalid Enters the Media World:
After the 1979 Sacred Mosque incident, the Iran-Iraq war and some other scandals involving their royal highnesses, the House of Saud, and the Sudeiris in particular, realized the importance of a media network under their control. So, from 1984 on, they embarked on building a veritable media network which has come to include many Arabic dailies and weeklies as well as radio and television stationsmost of international coverage. Once the network was in place, Prince Khalid was pushed to the fore mainly to project the Sudeiri familys views to the world.
Khalids first appearance in the media world was his attempt to buy the British daily The Observer. He offered a very attractive price but, however moderate an Arab he was in the eyes of the West, he remained after all an Arab and, in the view of some shadowy political lobbies, the Arab must not be given the opportunity to own media of international coverage. Hence, his offer to buy the British daily was turned down.
Continuing in his attempts, he bought off the Lebanese newspaper El-Hayat in 1988 and started its daily publication from London under the editorship of a former Lebanese Maronite, Jihad al-Khazen. Meanwhile, he bought actions in the Bahraini daily Al-Ayyam and later founded the weekly Al-Wasat in London. About a year ago, he set up the Arab-American Television station in the United States.
Even though all the Saudi-controlled media are in the hands of the Sudeiris, conflict between them erupted over many petty issues, which led them to a lot of bickering in public. This is how Al-Sharq al-Awsatfounded by Khalids uncle Salman! published the photo of Prince Khalids mistress Brigitte Nelson, while Khalids El-Hayat published King Fahds mistress Leila Alawi.
Desert Storm Blows Khalid Away:
Khalids career declined sharply with the second Gulf war. King Fahd entrusted him with the catering service of the anti-Iraqi coalition of forces under the leadership of American General Schwartzkopff. Misleadingly named by the Saudi monarch Chief of the joint forces. He was, in fact, simply a collaborator of the Americans against his own people because of assisting the friendly forces over sensitive issues likely to cause anti-American unrest among the Arabian people. His being constantly present alongside General Schartzkopff in the Operations Room got him some media coverage both nationally and internationally. So, he soon became too big for his boots. Apart from diverting an important part of the catering budget, which aggravated Washington, he dared criticize General Schwartzkopff, who had returned to America. Later Khaled wrote in his book Desert Warrior that the success of the Gulf war was due to his own planning.
Even more compromizing was his statement shortly after the war over the necessity of rearming the Arabian army (under the command of his father Sultan) and the National Guard (under the command of Crown Prince Abdallah, Sultans rival), and the need to make compulsory conscription, all of which are sensitive issue within the House of Sauds carefully maintained balance of forces. Other revelations made in his book, and which had been concealed by the Americans, regarding the role of the joint Arab troops during the Gulf war caused some friction between Washington and Riyadh which was the last straw and caused his downfall. Ironically King Fahad sacked him in humiliating circumstances for the same reason. Khaled went too far in his own imagination of being the Commander of the Forces. King Fahad was extremely furious when Khaled took several decisions without consulting him.
Khalid has ever since been ignored by the regime and the Saudi media. He has gradually slumped into oblivion. Neither his father, nor his estimated wealth of $10 billion have been of any assistance to remember him to the world. Perhaps another $50 billion donation to help control AIDS in America might do the trick
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