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

6873 words 28 pages
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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However, final decisions in regards to the security and defense of Saudi Arabia rest solely with the King (Metz, 1992). Senior personnel in the Ministry of Defense and Aviation are predominantly princes of the royal Saudi family and they routinely maintain their positions for extended periods of time. The current Minister of Defense and Aviation, Crown Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, has held his post since 1962 (Ministry of Defense & Aviation, 2009), and the current King was commander of the Saudi National Guard from 1962 until ascending the throne in 2005 (Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, 2009). The Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, currently Saleh bin Ali al-Mahya, serves as a four-star general, while the chiefs of the individual services serve as three-star generals (Metz, 1992). The Chief of Staff is invariably an army officer, and the service chiefs serve as his advisors, as compared to the United States where service chiefs are advisors to the civilian government and not to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Like the United States, the military staff organization is comprised of four sections: G-1 for personnel, G-2 for intelligence, G-3 for operations, and G-4 for logistics (Metz, 1992). The armed forces of Saudi Arabia are also distributed geographically amongst nine regional commands that are tasked with protecting the country’s borders and defending against