Mapping the Saudi State Chapter 6: The Saudi Armed Forces

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In Mapping the Saudi State, Chapter 6: The Saudi Armed Forces, ADHRB studies the major branches of the Saudi government’s military and the Ministry of Defense and Aviation (MODA), which oversees their activity. Since its origins in the 1930s, the Saudi armed forces have largely been organized and trained by foreign sources, a legacy apparent in intensive and contemporary U.S. and U.K. training and equipping missions in the country. The MODA, meanwhile, has prioritized the regular purchase of weaponry over the integrating of its disparate military forces.

Under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the new minister of defense and aviation, this highly-equipped yet internationally-dependent force has spearheaded a new, aggressive foreign policy, one which has contributed to the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen.

Chapter 6 ends with a list of recommendations for the Governments of Saudi Arabia, the United States, and the United Kingdom that would prevent further loss of civilian life in Yemen while reforming the armed forces to be more human-rights responsive and less reliant on consistent foreign support.

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