Saudi Arabia’s Military: the Social Aspects of the Kingdom’s Armed Forces

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Running Head: SAUDI ARABIA

Saudi Arabia’s Military:
The Social Aspects of the Kingdom’s Armed Forces

Introduction For a land with such a long history of military conquests, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has a relatively short one. Strategic movements by the House of Saud in the 1800s started the birth of the Kingdom, and the military has quickly transformed from a tribal militia to a regional super-power. However, Saudi Arabia is not without its faults. In this paper, I will paint a brief picture of where the Saudi military originated from and how it evolved into its current state. I will then address significant issues with manpower in the Saudi armed forces, the most critical failure of their military
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In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Saudi Arabia played a key supporting role to the United States in the Iran-Iraq War and the Persian Gulf War. Saudi forces participated in international coalitions to protect oil interests in the Persian Gulf and to monitor hostile forces. Additionally, Saudi forces contributed to small combat operations in the Persian Gulf War, flying over 3,000 air sorties and deploying six army brigades. The traditional threats that Saudi Arabia was used to evolved in the late 1990s to Islamic terrorists and unstable neighbors with the capability of employing weapons of mass destruction, such as Iraq and Iran.
Structure of the Saudi Armed Forces Under the authority of the King, Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, who serves as president of the Council of Ministers, which is similar to a prime minister, the armed forces of Saudi Arabia, of which the King is commander-in-chief, fall under the Ministry of Defense and Aviation (Metz, 1992). The Saudi armed forces consist of the Royal Saudi Land Forces, the Royal Saudi Naval Forces, the Royal Saudi Air Force, and the Royal Saudi Air Defense Forces. The High Defense Council, which is similar to the National Security Council in the United States, has the responsibility of establishing and implementing the defense policy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Noyes, 1982). Members of the High Defense Council include the King, the Minister of

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