A Saudi Arabian Defense Doctrine: Nawaf Obaid

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Mapping the expanded force structure the Kingdom needs to lead the Arab world, stabilize the region, and meet its global responsibilities. A briefing accompanying the paper, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

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A Saudi Arabian Defense Doctrine: Nawaf Obaid

  1. 1. A Saudi Arabian Defense Doctrine Mapping the expanded force structure the Kingdom needs to lead the Arab world, stabilize the region, and meet its global responsibilities Nawaf Obaid Visiting Fellow Belfer Center for Science & International Affairs Harvard Kennedy School May 28th, 2014 Washington, D.C.
  2. 2. Saudi Geopolitical Realities • Custodianship of Makkah and Madinah, Islam's two holiest sites. • The leading country in the Arab world (Arabs comprise a vast majority of the inhabitants of the MENA region). • G-20 member as the economic engine and most important financial power in the MENA region. • OPEC’s de facto leader as the world’s largest petroleum producer & exporter and holder of largest reserves and spare capacity. • Sunni state in a world where Muslims are predominantly of this denomination. 1
  3. 3. Saudi Defense Doctrine’s Seven Goals • Defend the homeland • Succeed in counterterrorism efforts • Bolster the defense of partner states • Prevail in power projection missions • Deter the spread of weapons of mass destruction • Establish two separate commands for cyberspace & space • Strengthen inter-agency partnerships 2
  4. 4. Saudi Land & Sea Borders 3
  5. 5. RSLF (Army) Minimum Capabilities Required 4
  6. 6. SANG (National Guard) Minimum Capabilities Required 5
  7. 7. RSADF (Air Defense) & SMF (Strategic Missile Forces) Minimum Capabilities Required 6
  8. 8. RSNF (Navy) Minimum Capabilities Required 7
  9. 9. “FAHD LINE” Main KSA Onshore & Offshore Oil Fields 8
  10. 10. RSAF (Air Force) Minimum Capabilities Required 9
  11. 11. Marines (Part of RSNF) Minimum Capabilities Required 10
  12. 12. World’s Largest Oil-Exporting Powers (2012-2013) Source: OPEC, JODI, EIA & Internal Estimates. 11
  13. 13. 12 Projected Largest MENA Economies (2014) Source: IMF World Economic Database (April 2014)
  14. 14. 13 World’s Sunnis and Shias 85%-90% Sunni

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