Leadership: April 25, 2005

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The Saudi Arabian government has shut down, perhaps only temporarily, the French staffed naval training school at Jiddah. This may be continuing fallout from the grounding of the frigate Makka back in December, while she was under the command of a chuckleheaded Royal. Apparently the French instructors have been trying to instill some rigor into the training process, while the Saudis would prefer a more easygoing approach. The Saudis have always had problems with the men of the royal family in the armed forces. Many of the 5,000 or so male descendents of the founder of Saudi Arabia (who had over 40 sons by many wives), expect special treatment. This has often been a problem, because the government usually hired Western instructors to train the Saudi troops, and expects the trainees to be held to high standards. This often  works with the commoners, but the princes have always been a problem. Most foreign trainers get with the program and adjust standards, while some just quit. However, a few try to perform a little attitude adjustment on the princes. This sometimes works, but usually it does not. Many of the princes live in a fantasy world, which does not include paying close attention to infidel instructors. This has led to a lot of wrecked military equipment, and some questionable leadership in units commanded by princes. The government prefers to tolerate this situation, rather than risk bad feelings in the family. 

 


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