I liked your ideas as well.
I had few inspiration-
Wiki stating the Land Of Wind to be VERY populose. (But not bothering to explain why)
And stating they don't have clans. (Again without explaining)
So I tried to explain it.
Also I took inspiration from Middle East. (My brother hhas doctorate over Middle East studies, which did helped)
Sandy lands in our world, have high percentage of containing oil. (I dont know why.. but this seems to be the case.)
And Foriegener powers reshaped directly and indirectly the lands for it.
And Middle Eastren Cultures have quite loosened point of view on agreements. (Even in the Qurran...)
And their tendency for dicators who ensure oil in good price for the forces which support them.

I am not married to my idea for Kazekage your sound cooler.
And Oasis Nins do make more sense.