Political and economic military aspects in Saudi Arabia
There are several military aspects but for the purpose of this paper political and economic aspects of Saudi Arabia military are looked at. Economic aspects may be either positive or negative. When a country offers military economic assistance the economists of that given country may consider that act as “opportunity cost” according to them such funds should be used to provide goods and services such as food, clothing and good health services to the residents of the country. Military assistance is a basic component of the foreign assistance program. Military assistance may be in form of supporting assistance which involves providing commodities, raw materials, tools and machinery. Secondly, the assistance may be in form of technical assistance whereby the purpose of this fund is to assist developing countries. Lastly, another important economic aspect of the military is the amount of money spends in buying goods and services to be used by military personnel when they are in their bases or in foreign country mission.
Saudi have one of the best funded militaries in middle east and also in the globe. Approximately $ 80 million which is 25% of the countries budget is spent on military. It is worth noting that the Saudi Arabia military currently is involved in several missions. Some of these missions include the fight against the Islamic militants whereby they have employed the services of aircrafts to facilitate the mission, secondly they are in battle against rebels backed by Iran in its southern neighbor Yemen and finally it’s a member of 35 countries formed last year to fight “terrorism” in Muslim countries. A perfect example that shows an economic aspect of military in Saudi Arabia is when the Saudi Arabia government decided to cut off the military assistance they were offering to Lebanon’s military. They were offering up to $4 million dollars as assistance. The cutting off of military aid was as a result of the failure of Lebanon government to denounce Saudi Arabia’s diplomatic mission situated in Iraq.
As seen earlier economic aspect of the military can be a two way traffic. In this case of Saudi this argument stands. For instance, Saudi Arabia military can benefit from military assistance from other countries while also it offers military assistance to other countries. For example, the government of United States of America offers military assistance to the army of the kingdom. For instance, the Obama’s administration requested the congress to offer approximately $10000 to Saudi Arabia for training assistance and military education. When such funds are allocated to the military they improve the forces if appropriately employed. In this case the military officers benefited from the education offered by their counterparts from United States of America. The funds offered may also benefit the country directly whereby if the fund offered are used develop a base the economy of that region as large will improve greatly. For instance, development of a base will lead to establishment of other social amenities like schools, hospitals, improved roads, water and other services.
Another aspect of Saudi Arabia military is the political part of it. All over the world politics of the day cannot be separated from the military. In most cases for the military officers to receive maximum funding they must enjoy the blessings of the politicians. For instance, in the United States of America before the military can be involved in any mission the congress must give it a go ahead. Moreover, when the funding has to be increased the congress must be involved. In the same manner the kingdom of Saudi is also involved in military operations. A good casing point can be drawn when King Abdul Aziz and President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a secret agreement. This pact was signed on 14th January 1945 in United States of America. The agreement was that the USA to take over the strategic defense of Saudi Arabia. In exchange the government of USA would get oil supplies from Ryad. Weapons, security and political support in Ryad would be provided by Washington. From this it can be deduced that in military there is a political aspects because the two leaders influenced the course of military.
In recent months Saudi Arabia have joined hands with other middle east and they being involved in mission called the ‘North thunder’. Other countries also in this mission include Bahrain, Jordan, United Arab Emirate, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, the Maldives and many more. Before troops of Saudi Arabia joined the mission the political leaders had to authorize the mission to be undertaken. The purpose of this mission was to show that the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its friendly countries were united in confronting challenges and maintaining stability and peace in the region. Its clear that before all the troops in this mission “north thunder” embanked on the mission they had first to get the blessings of their countries leaders and in most case the leaders of the countries are normally politicians.
In Syrian conflict politician involvement in military actions can be seen. For instance, when president Putin decided to send his troops to Syria to go and try to return some normalcy. In this conflict in Syria Saudi Arabia was accused of funding the opposition so that President Assad could be toppled. Russia and Saudi Arabia were pulling from different side. Due to the political differences between Russia and Saudi Arabia definitely military differences developed.
When economic and political aspects in military are combined they can have positive or negative effects in a given country. For instance, in the next five years in Saudi Arabia there will be some consequences due to these two aspects. On military assistance when Saudi is receiving it from USA that’s only when it benefits. This military assistance is mostly in form of cash that’s why it fits in economic aspect. If the kingdom can put these funds in good use the country can improve in many sectors. On the other hand, when the military of Saudi Arabia is offering the financial and military assistance the country itself do not benefit directly. This is because the resources of that country are being taken to other country. As seen earlier the kingdom spends almost a quarter of it national budget on military that implies that a huge amount of that cash is used in foreign missions.