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Saudis beef up their army

Saudi Arabia has announced its plans to enlist half a million men into its army and National Guard units. The regional behemoth will buy $30 billion worth of new weapons, and since they will be buying also from China, that’s a tremendous amount. In any case, that equals about a decade’s worth of Israeli military procurement. Among other items, the Saudis will buy 500 new fighter jets.

The Saudi army is irrelevant against Iran, mainly because of its lack of fighting spirit, but also because its low numbers and poor training. Our worry is that the Saudi monarchy is doomed to fail like other monarchies around it, and its weapons will fall into the hands of Islamic extremists, just as Qaddafi’s arsenals ended up with terrorist groups.

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Past coverage: Saudi Arabia
29.10 Saudi succession is in danger
17.10 In loyalty, Saudi Arabia is ahead of Israel
10.10 Well-armed Shiite lambs
22.08 Turkey is no Egypt