Saudi Arabia in the future vietnam []
Most milita­ry analys­ts projec­t Yemen as ‘Saudi Arabia’s future Vietna­m’ The writer is a retired lieutenant colonel of the Pakistan Army and a PhD in civil-military relations There was a time when Saudi Arabia supported jihadists and provided funds for the construction of Wahabi schools, madrassas and mosques around the world. Not a tolerant Islam but a Wahabi version it exported to many Muslim countries. Before the 1979 revolution, Iran was not the ideological competitor of Saudi Arabia and had little reason to embroil in costly wars in the region against Saudi-led interests. That all changed after the Khomeini-led revolution and what we have today is both Iran and Saudi Arabia vying for domination in the Middle East and extending their regional influence beyond. It is in this context that the meeting of defence ministers of the Islamic Military Counter-Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) beginning in Riyadh on Nov 26th 2017 under the theme of ‘allied against terrorism’ is very significant. No doubt Saudi Arabia is witnessing ambitious reforms being undertaken by Crown Prince Muhammad bin Sultan. Which security challenges and terrorism issues will the coalition address is the real question. The threat to the Arab world has traditionally come from Israel with which Arab countries have fought many wars. But all that has changed and it is the ‘threat from Iran’ that draws not only Saudi Arabia’s but the entire Western world’s attention. Even the prime minister of Israel says that he is delighted with the emergence of the new Arab leader (in the shape of Prince Muhammad) who shares his vision of Iran. The coalition is looked upon by Iran as nothing more but a Western-influenced military coalition that has come into existence with a goal to ‘restore primacy in the Middle East’ and to end ‘Iran’s regional influence and aggression’. Even the Iranian president’s recent statement that “Saudi Arabia’s alliance with the United States and Zionists is a strategic mistake,” tells us that Tehran continues to view all Saudi military planning and strategies a direct result of the Israel-US-Saudi Arabia collaboration. Pitted on the opposite sides of political and military conflicts in Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and Syria both Iran and Saudi Arabia are the main stakeholders which fund many rebel groups and proxies in the Middle Eastern region. The Saudi style of warfare is to outsource its security to the US which has historically not only provided the latest military hardware and fighting machines to Saudi Arabia but has also fought for it in the two Gulf wars. With Saudi security almost outsourced not only to the US security and military guarantees but also to the presence of the Islamic coalition, it is Iran which stands vulnerable and feeling extremely threatened with the growing economic and military powers tightening the noose against its strategic interests around the world but particularly in the Middle East. While the Saudis may rejoice on the attendance of the Islamic anti-terrorism coalition meeting by ambassadors, diplomats and other high-ranking military officials of allied states, Iran would be ful and would not take kindly to any post-meeting communiqué that may qualify ‘Iranian interests’ in the region as security challenges and terrorism issues that the coalition may be gearing up to address. It is quite clear that the Saudi crown prince does not want to be bogged down in the region by Iran while he focuses on implementing his promised domestic reforms that are likely to bring Saudi Arabia as a progressive, forward-looking country finally coming into the fold of the modern world. Military component of his reform strategy is reflective in enhancing Saudi Arabia’s military power in the form of the presence of Islamic military coalition on Saudi soil. What the world has to cautiously guard against is Iranian attempts to balance against Saudi Arabia both politically and militarily. A current example of how both countries push and pull their interests in the region is Lebanon. Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, who is also a Saudi citizen, had quit earlier to force the fall of his government that has mostly remained dysfunctional due to the presence of (Iranian-backed) Hezbollah ministers in his cabinet. Saudi Arabia through Hariri wants the expulsion of Hezbollah ministers in the cabinet through new elections thus breaking the Iranian power sled in matters of government in Lebanon. [He has since witrawn his resignation]. With ongoing political uncertainty in Lebanon peaking and even Saudi Arabia asking its citizens to leave the country, Iran is blaming Saudi Arabia for creating enabling conditions for Israel to militarily once again intervene in Lebanon. If that happens what would be the role of the ‘Arab Nato’, the Islamic coalition? Countering terror is one of its specified roles and for that military aggression in the form of air strikes or even conduct of spe

One thought on “Saudi Arabia in the future vietnam []”

  1. Saudi creating their Vietnam by killing innocent civilians in yemen.
    No brain. They will one day regret for these war crimes.

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