Saudi Arabia Stability

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Saudi Arabia, the Key to Middle East Stability The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s role as the key to Middle East stability is becoming more important in the current world climate, more specifically the United States Central Command Area of Operations. General regional instability of the Middle East, religious conflicts, and Iranian hegemonic intentions add to obstacles for Saudi Arabia to overcome. These issues also undermine United States’ interests to bring peace to the region. Saudi Arabia’s primary religion is Muslim. This is further broken down into Sunni and Shia, with Sunni taking the majority of 85-95% of the population and Shia encompassing another 10-15%. As stated on the CIA World Factbook:
Despite having a large expatriate
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In 2012, the Saudi government spent 55 Billion in US Dollars on its military. This amount is almost 8% of the GDP of Saudi Arabia. This also ranks the country number 4 in the world on GDP spent. The Royal Saudi Land Forces, Royal Saudi Naval Forces, Royal Saudi Air Force, and the Royal Saudi Air Defense forces are the four main branches of the Saudi military. The total end strength of the Saudi military is around 250,000 personnel. The land forces posses over a thousand battle tanks, hundreds of reconnaissance vehicles, hundreds of Bradley Fighting Vehicles, and a few thousand HMMWVs. The Saudi Air Force has around 300 combat aircraft that includes almost 100 F-15 fighter planes. The navy has many vessels including 11 warships, 65 patrol craft, and dozens of other naval ships. The military priority is the Saudi Air Defense …show more content…
Due to Iran’s looming tactical ballistic missile threat, Saudi Arabia has pushed modernization of its missile defense systems. According to Raytheon’s website “Recently, Raytheon received a $1.7 billion contract to upgrade Saudi Arabia’s Patriot Air and Missile Defense System to the latest Configuration-3. The award includes ground-system hardware, a full training package and support equipment upgrades” (Raytheon). This purchase solidifies the United States relationship with Saudi Arabia. With Patriot, Saudi Arabia holds a strategic asset of deterrence against Iranian aggressions. The Iranian problem is real. Iran’s hegemonic intentions are not covert. It is easy to decipher that Iranian backs several proxy wars within the Middle East region and is asserting its influence. Iranian allies in the region include Hezbollah, Hamas, the Iraqi Shiite militias, the Syrian army, and the Houthis. Iran and its allies share revolutionary concepts rooted in Shia thinking. The Houthis are now engaged in a civilian war in Yemen, which borders Saudi Arabia to the

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