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Subject: How hard to invade Saudi?
DDX    5/22/2003 6:27:51 AM
I know they have a lot of high tech US and British Tanks and Warplanes but how good are the pilots and troops. From what I've read not as good as most western AFs. It is possible the Iraq war could lead to big problem for the Saudis maybe even a take over by extremists, filthy Al Queda types. That would probably trigger an invasion especially considing the saudi MR ballistic missles with nuke warheads(I think).
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Phoenix Rising    RE:How hard to invade Saudi?   5/22/2003 7:29:21 AM
Saudi Arabia has a lot of good American equipment bought directly from the manufacturers in America with export licenses, but as you said, they're not as well trained as our forces are and they would get no replacements or spare parts if hostilities with America ever did erupt. Our equipment there is more a status symbol, and it looks imposing, allowing them to project the image of power (particularly within the region itself), but any serious Western power could call their bluff at any time, as could Israel (though that would get really ugly). In addition, it would be entirely possible for a well-funded intelligence network to topple Saudi Arabia without ever involving military forces; the House of Saud is a hotbed of intrigue and backstabbing opportunities waiting to happen. It probably wouldn't be too hard to spark a civil war and then enter the fray once the two sides had weakened each other a bit, citing national security (preventing SA from becoming a fundamentalist regimes) and international economic security (re-stabilizing the world energy market) interests as justification for intervention. The forces we have in Iraq right now (3rd ID, 4th ID, 2nd(?) Marine, and 101st Airborne) could overrun most of Saudi Arabia as easily as they did Iraq, with the exception that SA is much larger so we'd probably have to leave large desert regions as essentially no-man's-land. --Phoenix Rising
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ex-expat    RE:How hard to invade Saudi?   5/22/2003 11:19:52 AM
Go to the "Paper Tiger" post on this very forum. Besides, we only have to take the sparcely populated Eastern Province to control the oil. The Wahabbis and Sauds can divide up the Najd region around Riyadh, the Empty Quarter, and the Western Areas - including Mecca and Medina. It would only take a couple aircraft - even one aircraft carrier off the coast may be overkill. And a small contingent of special ops to recruit all the third world laborers. Most of the Saudi military would "head-for-the-hills" as they did just before coalition forces started to build up before Gulf War I. And any that has any "true" allegiance to the royal family would be even more inept than Iraq'a Republican guard. What still remains would be the Al Queda types - but at least now they would not have the Royal House of Saud providing top-cover. All-in-all, the Eastern Province of saudi Arabia would be far easier to hold and manage than Iraq (as the coming days and weeks will show) - in any case, we can just let the Exxon's and Texacos do most of the day-to-day managing. The profits will be much, much, greater. More jobs for the American economy. And a true foot hold to root out Al Queda at it's source - or at least to pay them off like the House of Saud.
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giblets    RE:How hard to invade Saudi?   5/22/2003 12:07:49 PM
I concur, the saudi military would fold like a paper tiger,t he only problem you would get with Saudi is all the other islamic countries, being the home Islam they would rally to defend it, but if you made it clear that you had not intentions not to go anywhere near Mekkah or medina that might be different.
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greytraveller    RE:How hard to invade Saudi?   5/22/2003 2:23:53 PM
My understanding of the Saudi military (from a report back in the 1990's) is that the Saudi airforce is excellant but their army is Very small. Apparently the Saudis consider their airforce as a source of prestige and pride. So they spend the money on first class warplanes, equipment and training. (Note that the Saudi airforce scored several air-to-air kills against Iraqi fighters during Desert Storm without losing any or just one or two planes themselves. However the Saudi monarchy is distrustful of a large professional army so they do Not have one. Instead the Saudi army is quite small. The best Saudi army units are either National Guard (led by loyal tribesmen and relatives) or are foreign units. (There was an outstanding Pakistani brigade there but am not sure if it is still in Saudi Arabia.)
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ex-expat    RE:How hard to invade Saudi?   5/22/2003 4:13:33 PM
Regarding the RSAF, again read previous post about it being a "paer tiger". Without maintenance, no air force (especially any modern fighters) can ever be more than a "flying club" - which is all the RSAF is. Are US/Brit contract maintenance personnel gonna fight and die for the House of Saud? Hell, not even all their pilots will. No armed fighter aircraft is ever given enough fuel to reach wherever King Fahd/Prince Abdullah is residing - and for good reason. As far as any air-to-air kills, you may wish to add that those Iraqi aircraft were "herded" into a kill zone set up by the USAF for the Saudi's. With stand-off AIM's, it was like shooting fish in a barrel. The RSAF has no maintenance of its own (all contracted out), and none of its pilots were willing to fly the very first missions in Desert Shield (only after a clear cut air superiority was already established by the USAF/RAF).
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ex-expat    RE:How hard to invade Saudi?   5/22/2003 4:20:26 PM
Oh, just to add a couple tidbits more: Only 2 Iraqi aircraft downed by RSAF in that "barrel shoot" - "several" would be an overstatement. As far as the rest of the military the National Guard (of Prince Abdullah) was always mainly the counter weight to Prince Sultan's MODA (RSAF, Navy. Land Forces, Air Defense Forces). Regarding the Pakistani brigade - well if you recall a number of years ago some terrorists took over the Mosque in Mecca holding the Kaaba - it was a Pakistani force that rooted them out. Just goes to show.....
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Tommy Atkins    RE:How hard to invade Saudi?   5/23/2003 2:36:08 AM
We are takling hypothetically! As I understand, the M1 tanks the US gave saudi were special export versions.Poor armour and inferior fire control. Perhaps even a little self destruct device remote operated :) Gen Swartzkopft in 1990 noted that Saudi commanders were complaining that America had sold them defective tanks.The M60. On investigating it apperared that the Saudis had not bothered to change sand filters since buying them and ...surprise! They broke down! Saudi has little in the way of engineer units and rely on civilian contracters to fix their kit. ( I wonder if they get paid a bonus for doing this during a firefight!) If the Saudis were like this 10 years ago and havnt fought a war to change their minds then, even with their shiny new stuff, they are not a viable fighting force. BTW. Invading saudi arabia would be the most politically disastorous step the US could make. Just as many "blood for oil" hysterics are calming down as thhey see Iraq move towards independence, taking over the worlds biggest oil producer kind of trashes the Moral high ground
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giblets    RE:How hard to invade Saudi?   5/23/2003 4:11:18 AM
In terms of political problems, as far as Saudi goes, the towo holy osques are the political minefields ( OSama keeps using the fact of the two holy mosques to demand withdrawl of US troops). As far as the RSAF is going, I understood that a couple of RSAF units took part in JP233 runs, some of the most dangerous missions of the war.
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Rosecruix    RE:How hard to invade Saudi?   5/27/2003 11:58:04 AM
Well to bring Iraq back to pre 1991 oil production is estimated to cost 40 billion dollars. That will take a while, and until then the price for attacking sa would be much higher than afterwards. It would also seem erratic, and if they belive their own prediction (that ive seen here though and not from the horses mouth) that saudi will fall in 5 to 10 striking then would be a better option. A coalition of US and Free Democracy of Iraq led peace keepingforce will be first on the scene and "realize that the oldfashioned monarchy led saudi arabia down a spiral of self destruction and now its time to try something new" or some such and pull an iraq on them. Well it would be sound economy and it's as good a guess as any other. /Rosecruix.
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ChrisWI    RE:How hard to invade Saudi?   5/27/2003 1:49:05 PM
The Saudis have good weapons but the people using them have no clue how to use them. Look at the 1991 war (Gulf War I) where US troops had the teach the Saudis how to use everything.
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