World: Attacks Expose Flaws in Saudi Arabia’s Expensive Military - PressFrom - US
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World Attacks Expose Flaws in Saudi Arabia’s Expensive Military

01:00  20 september  2019
01:00  20 september  2019 Source:   nytimes.com

Iran says U.S. bases and aircraft carriers within range of its missiles - Tasnim

Iran says U.S. bases and aircraft carriers within range of its missiles - Tasnim An Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander said on Sunday that U.S. bases and aircraft carriers in the region were within range of Iranian missiles after the U.S. accused Iran of leading attacks on Saudi oil plants, raising tensions in the Middle East. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Yemen's Iran-aligned Houthi group said it attacked two Saudi Aramco oil plants on Saturday at the heart of Saudi Arabia's oil industry, knocking out more than half the Kingdom's output. U.S.

Saudi Arabia ' s defence ministry has shown off what it says is wreckage of drones and cruise missiles that proves Iranian involvement in weekend attacks on two The US has stood by its accusation that Iran was behind the attacks . Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said after arriving in Saudi Arabia on

Highly disruptive drone attacks on Aramco oil facilities in eastern Saudi Arabia are arguably the most significant military operation yet against the US-allied kingdom' s critical infrastructure. Saturday' s attacks on petroleum and gas processing plants in Khurais and Abqaiq, which Yemen' s Iran-allied

WASHINGTON — For the past half-century, the United States has trained and supplied the Saudi military, selling the wealthy kingdom more than $150 billion in dazzling high-technology weapons, including fighter jets and air defense systems.

a group of military men cutting into a cake: Saudi special police during a military parade in Mecca in 2014. © Mohammed Al-Shaikh/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images Saudi special police during a military parade in Mecca in 2014.

And yet, the kingdom could not protect a prized national asset — its oil installations — from a recent attack by low-flying cruise missiles and drones that caused the largest rise in crude oil prices in a single day. The advanced weapons the United States sold to the Saudis includes the Patriot air-defense system, but it is deployed near important military installations, and not oil infrastructure.

Trump authorizes release of U.S. oil reserves if needed because of Saudi attacks

Trump authorizes release of U.S. oil reserves if needed because of Saudi attacks Trump authorizes release of U.S. oil reserves if needed because of Saudi attacks

The Trump administration intensified its focus on Iran Sunday as the likely culprit behind attacks on important Saudi Arabian oil facilities over the weekend, with officials citing intelligence assessments to support the accusation and President Trump warning that he was prepared to take military action.

A Saudi Aramco plant in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia , was attacked early Saturday, one of two sites hit.CreditCreditHamad I Mohammed/Reuters. The attacks not only exposed a Saudi vulnerability in the war against the Houthis, but also demonstrated how relatively cheap it has become to stage such

Nor has the country’s military managed to defeat Iranian-backed Houthi insurgents in Yemen, despite a four-year, Saudi-led bombing campaign that has left more than 8,500 civilians dead and more than 9,600 injured, according to international monitors.

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Even with American intelligence providing the latest in surveillance, the Saudi military has often been unable to act effectively, reinforcing a view among national security officials and humanitarian activists that — despite all the sparkling, expensive hardware — Saudi Arabia remains uninterested or incapable of defending its entire territory or competently and humanely prosecuting a war abroad.

a group of people sitting at a table: The Saudi military displays what it says were cruise missiles and drones used in a recent attack in Abqaiq and Khurais. © Amr Nabil/Associated Press The Saudi military displays what it says were cruise missiles and drones used in a recent attack in Abqaiq and Khurais.

During one episode three years ago, American intelligence officials gave their Saudi counterparts the location of 30 Houthi insurgents who had crossed the border and entered the kingdom. But the Saudis were unable to muster anyone to go after them, according to a former senior Defense Department official. The insurgents stayed in Saudi territory for eight hours — a period that included an extended rest break — all the while tracked by American intelligence before returning to Yemen, officials said.

Houthi rebels threaten more attacks on Saudi facilities

Houthi rebels threaten more attacks on Saudi facilities Yemen's Houthi rebels are threatening additional attacks on Saudi oil facilities after claiming responsibility for drone strikes that disrupted Saudi Arabia's crude oil output, the group's al-Masirah TV reported Monday.Companies and foreigners should avoid oil facilities because they may be targeted at any moment, Houthi military spokesperson Yahya Saree said via the outlet. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

The bombings in Saudi Arabia have shaken American complacency over the Saudi government' s ability and willingness to combat terrorism . Why was the Saudi military not "locked and loaded" ahead of the attacks , which are being described as the kingdom' s Pearl Harbor moment?

Saudi Arabia oil attack : Fire erupted at an Aramco factory in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia following drone strikesCredit: Reuters. A military spokesperson for these Yemeni rebels, who are locked into a bloody civil war, claimed responsibility for the strike on Saudi Arabia ' s state-owned oil giant Aramco.

To be sure, Saudi Arabia is an important American ally in the Arab world and a key bulwark against Iran. President Trump has praised the relationship while defending the kingdom’s leadership after the murder last year of Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist.

Saudi Arabia, Mr. Trump noted, is an important trading partner of the United States. “They spend $400 to $450 billion over a period of time, all money, all jobs, buying equipment,” the president said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” in June. “I’m not like a fool that says, ‘We don’t want to do business with them.’ ”

“Who doesn’t love a fancy jet?” asked Becca Wasser, a senior policy analyst at the RAND Corporation, a policy research institution. “For the Saudi military, it’s been about having prestige items, having a glitter force, without having the skill of being an effective military force.”

The attacks on the Abqaiq oil processing plant and the Khurais oil field brought that dichotomy into stark relief. While military officials say it is impossible to completely protect fixed targets, such as oil fields, from all aerial attacks over a large area, the fact that Saudi Arabia has multiple and often competing entities responsible for air defense meant there was little or no coordination within the Saudi defense complex. That helped stymie any effort to mount an adequate defense, Pentagon officials and military analysts said.

Pompeo to travel to Saudi Arabia after attack on oil facilities

Pompeo to travel to Saudi Arabia after attack on oil facilities Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday after an attack on two of the kingdom's oil facilities. © Getty Images Pompeo to travel to Saudi Arabia after attack on oil facilities Pompeo will arrive in Jeddah on Wednesday to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss the attack and coordinate efforts to combat "Iranian aggression in the region," the State Department said Tuesday. The secretary will then travel to Abu Dhabi to meet Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the crown prince of the United Arab Emirates, to discuss regional and bilateral issues.

Offering to place our military assets under the command of a foreign country— Saudi Arabia —is a disgrace and betrayal of my patriotic brothers and sisters in You are not our pimp. The clip echoed an earlier tweet in which she reminded Trump that “having our country act as Saudi Arabia ’ s b**** is not

Saudi Arabia alleged Wednesday an attack by drones and cruise missiles on the heart of the kingdom' s oil industry was. The Saudi military displays what they say are an Iranian cruise missile and drones used in recent attack on its oil industry at Saudi Aramco' s facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais

a house covered in snow: A man standing in the rubble of a factory damaged last year during clashes  between Saudi-backed Yemeni forces and Houthi rebels. © Agence France-Presse — Getty Images A man standing in the rubble of a factory damaged last year during clashes  between Saudi-backed Yemeni forces and Houthi rebels.

It is unclear whether any of the six battalions of American-made Patriot surface-to-air missiles that Saudi Arabia has purchased from Raytheon in recent years were deployed to stop the incoming attacks. Weapons experts say it is difficult, in any event, to stop low-flying cruise missiles.

“It would be inappropriate for me to talk about another country’s air defense systems,” Col. Patrick S. Ryder, a spokesman for Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told reporters at a news conference on Thursday. He said that Central Command, which oversees American military forces in the region, is working with the Saudi military to see what went wrong and how to fix it.

Questions sent to the Saudi Embassy in Washington regarding the professionalism and effectiveness of the kingdom’s military were relayed on Thursday to Riyadh, an embassy official said.

UAE joins US-led coalition to protect Mideast waterways

UAE joins US-led coalition to protect Mideast waterways DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The United Arab Emirates says it has joined a U.S.-led coalition to protect waterways across the Mideast after an attack on Saudi oil installations. © Provided by The Associated Press U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, meets with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on Wednesday, Sept 18, 2019. (Mandel Ngan/Pool Photo via AP) The state-run WAM news agency announced the UAE's decision in a statement Thursday.

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia alleged Wednesday an attack by drones and cruise missiles on the heart of the kingdom’ s oil industry was “unquestionably sponsored by Iran However, not retaliating to the strikes also carries the risk of leaving Saudi Arabia exposed to continued attacks .

Saudi Arabia on Wednesday said the weekend attacks on the kingdoms critical oil infrastructure were Saudi Arabia boasts an arsenal of sophisticated and expensive air defense equipment. In the Saudi military ' s defense, oil infrastructure in the kingdom falls under the Ministry of Interior (MOI)

Four American military officers who have worked on training programs with the Saudi military described their frustration with Saudi counterparts. The Saudi military, they said, does not have the same kind of enlisted personnel corps that forms the backbone of the American military, and many officers rise because of patronage and connections to the Saudi royal family. The American officers spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to be identified criticizing an allied military.

These officers did note a particular strength of the Saudi military. The Saudi system lends itself to developing Special Operations forces, which are especially good at gathering intelligence inside the country. That same system is less capable at developing a large, professional armed force with a rigid code of discipline rooted in a strict chain of command.

For example, American officials said, the Saudi Air Force does not require the kind of sustained training, with mandatory monthly flying hours, that is required of United States Air Force and Navy pilots. During the early months of the Yemeni bombing campaign, that meant that many Saudi pilots were unable to fly low, and ended up dropping bombs from higher altitudes, causing more civilian casualties, according to one American Air Force pilot who has worked with the Saudi force.

Yemen's Houthi rebels announce halt in attacks on Saudi Arabia

  Yemen's Houthi rebels announce halt in attacks on Saudi Arabia Yemen's Houthi rebels said Friday they are halting all drone and ballistic missile attacks on Saudi Arabia, six days after claiming responsibility for a strike that crippled a key oil facility in the kingdom. A damaged installation in Saudi Arabia's Abqaiq oil processing plant is pictured on September 20, 2019. - Saudi Arabia said on September 17 its oil output will return to normal by the end of September, seeking to soothe rattled energy markets after attacks on two instillations that slashed its production by half.

Saudi Arabia said it was ready to respond to drone attacks claimed by Iran-aligned Yemeni rebels on two major oil facilities, which severely disrupted production. The strikes sparked fires at the state-owned Aramco oil plants.

Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked . There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and “It is unacceptable that we are the world’ s third or fourth biggest country in military spending but our That problem has been mercilessly exposed on the battlefields of Yemen, where Saudi forces

One United States Air Force officer, who worked with the Saudis during Operation Southern Watch over Iraq in the 1990s, said that American personnel had to do all of the planning for Saudi pilots assigned to strike Iraqi targets in their American-made F-16s. And when those missions took flight, American warplanes led the way to the targets in southern Iraq, the officer said, in an escort service for Saudis that he likened to training wheels.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030 plan calls for reducing the country’s reliance on oil and transforming its defense industry, but it remains unclear whether the Saudi military itself is in line for a similar shift. Several national security experts said that for all of the crown prince’s lofty public statements about the need to modernize, he has not applied those goals to his present-day conflicts, including a decision to shore up defense systems at home.

a close up of smoke: Since 1953, the United States has trained and supplied the Saudi military, selling the wealthy kingdom more than $150 billion in weapons. © Mohammed Al-Shaikh/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images Since 1953, the United States has trained and supplied the Saudi military, selling the wealthy kingdom more than $150 billion in weapons.

“You get used to being able to punch people with immunity, and then technology progresses and they find a way to punch back,” Todd Harrison, the director of defense budget analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said. “It makes you question their weapons acquisitions.”

Saudi Arabia trying to entice Western tourists, including women .
Forget the culture clash, tourists are ready to rock the casbah. After decades of limited access, Saudi Arabia is finally welcoming vacationers to the oil-rich nation. In a bid to coax visitors to the Middle East country, where women traditionally have been treated as inferior to men, the Saudi tourism board will place no restrictions on unaccompanied females, according to Reuters. Recently, Saudi Arabia has curtailed some of its more stringent social policies, such as segregating the sexes and mandatory wearing of abayas — body-covering robes — for women.

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