Procurement: December 17, 2002

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A major reason the Persian Gulf countries have not been particularly afraid of Iraq since the Gulf War is because Iraq has not been able to rebuild or expand its armed forces since 1991. Except for items smuggled past the embargo (worth, at most, a few hundred million dollars), Iraq has not gotten much new stuff. But the other Gulf states have purchased massive quantities of new weapons and expanded their armed forces. Since 1991 Saudi Arabia bought over $66 billion worth of new military equipment. UAE (United Arab Emirates) bought $7.9 billion worth, Kuwait $7.6 billion worth, Iran $4.3 billion, Qatar $1.7 billion, Oman $1.4 billion, Bahrain and $700 million. The major supplier was the United States, with many of the trainers coming from the United States, including Special Forces. Despite all these purchases, these nations have not been able to raise a lot of troops, or train and lead them effectively. Saudi armed forces are 200,000 (divided into separate army and tribe oriented National Guard), and Kuwait's only 11,000. Equipment is badly maintained (foreigners are hired to take care of the high tech stuff, like warplanes) and training is poor. Basically, the Gulf Arabs believe they can buy their way out of any problem and don't have to take combat readiness seriously.

 


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