Last week, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel held the first consultative meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) Defense Ministerial in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Defense officials from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Oman attended the meeting. In attendance were Kuwait’s Premier and Minister of Defense Lt. General Sheikh Khalid Al-Jarrah Al-Sabah; Bahrain's Minister of State for Defense Affairs, Lt. General Doctor, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Khalifa; Sultanate of Oman's Minister Responsible for Defense Affairs, Badr bin Saud bin Hareb Al-Busaidi; Qatar's Minister of State for Defense Affairs, Maj. Gen. Hamad bin Ali Al-Attiyah; UAE's Undersecretary of the Ministry of Defense, Mohammed bin Ahmed Al-Bawardi. Immediately after the conference, there was a sweep of the Saudi MOD that saw the whole-sale replacement of senior Saudi military leaders from key branches. Both events appear to be linked together revealing the current nature of the Kingdom’s defense strategy and the relationship with the United States. Let’s review some interesting patterns from that fateful day just shy of a week ago.
Key Saudi military leaders
The appointment of the new Saudi military commanders reflects a tribal affiliation and knowledge of key strategic directions of defenseDr. Theodore Karasik