Locked but unloaded: Saudi Arabia not ready for war despite having top of the line weapons
Saudi Arabia is facing down a tough question in the aftermath of aerial strikes against oil infrastructure: How could a nation with the third-largest military budget and six battalions of anti-air threat batteries fail to stop an attack?
Despite a technologically top-of-the-line Air Force and an Army that has been dealing round-the-clock punishment from the hands of Houthi rebels, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has failed to tip the civil war in favor of Saudi allies in Yemen.
Now, an advanced air defense system was found to be unable to stop the alleged swarm of cruise missiles and UAVs.
“If it was a mixed attack, if you have small UAVs plus cruise missiles coordinated, coming in at low level- that is a wicked problem to deal with, even for a capable Western military,” Douglas Barrie, senior fellow for military aerospace at the International Institute for Strategic Studies told Stars and Stripes. “The best place to stop this stuff is before it gets in the air.”
While Saudi Arabia possesses superb military technology, their troops have often been found lacking in motivation and training; particularly when it comes to readiness and unit cohesion which is a stark contrast to top-tier western militaries.
While it is unknown why the air defense batteries failed to detect and destroy the swarm attack, defense analysts still believe that Iran may be playing a hand in the attacks.
“It’s very simple: The Iranians have tried several times to raise the price of oil,” said Ram Yavne, a retired brigadier general and former head of strategic planning in the Israel Defense Forces, who is now with the Jewish Institute for National Security of America. “They want to show the world that the price for the U.S. blocking their ability to produce oil is very high.”
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