Saudi Arabia Defence and Security Report Q1 2015
Within an extremely complex region, Saudi Arabia’s security and defence situation faces a number of challenges both on the internal and external front. The new report thinks that Saudi Arabia’s defence and security policy-making is been affected by internal political rivalry within the Kingdom. Our view is that it is unlikely to become involved in an interstate conflict, and that its traditional leverage in Yemen, where it has previously intervened has been weakened. We think that its decision to join the coalition against the Islamic State is illustrative of a continuing counter-terrorism policy in view of its fears of attacks inside the Kingdom.
On the interstate front, Saudi Arabia seems to be continuing attempts to improve its relations with Iran to iron out some of the regional instability. On Saudi Arabia’s northern border in Q414, we saw Iran shift its position in favour of Maliki to whom King Abdullah was strongly opposed. On Saudi Arabia’s southern border, we saw the two states seemingly cooperate in bringing about the Houthi advance in Yemen and both sides seem willing to strengthen the Lebanese army.
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