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Thread: Arab armies in 'Small Wars' and the 'Arab Spring' (merged thread)

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    San Diego, CA

    Default Arab armies in 'Small Wars' and the 'Arab Spring' (merged thread)

    My experiences come from selected populations, so not necessarily representative of the whole.

    -In general, in most of the Gulf militaries, officers are drawn from a select population of influential nationals. Within the militaries, there is a definite hierarchy of officer positions, often with pilot positions going to the best connected/most powerful. Some, like UAE, officer pay is astronomical compared to what even a U.S. officer makes, with great benefits. In countries, particularly Saudi, the military is more of a morning job which leaves the rest of the day to work on the real money-maker which is a personal or family business. In many Gulf militaries, the enlisted ranks are drawn from much less priveledged nationals or even foreigners such as Baluchis or other south Asians. This of course makes the officer-enlisted relationship very asymmetric, especially given the position foreign labor has in these countries.

    In Saudi, I worked with their Marine Corps. The officers were generally not drawn from the upper crust of Saudi society and the enlisted were nationals. There did not seem to be a great rift between the officer and enlisted corps. Most of the officers were not very tactically proficient, but some, particularly those who had trained or studied in the U.S. or England were very sharp. Their officers did not seem to me to have the air of arrogance that I noticed in some other militaries. The situation could be quite different in the SANG or the Air Force, which have a quite different social structure.

    In Oman, which I think has a more egalitarian society than other Gulf states, the NCO corps seemed to have a lot of strong nationals with good bearing. Their officers were generally proud of their military and relatively proficient as well. I think there is a much higher representation of nationals in the enlisted ranks than in UAE and Qatar, which makes officer-enlisted relations more equal.

    In Jordan, I had the opportunity to interact with some SOF officers. They were the most impressive I encountered in the region. They were very professional, motivated, and patriotic. I did not get to experience their officer-NCO interaction very much though.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-22-2013 at 09:19 AM. Reason: Found and copied here, due to age comes 1st, when thread started with Post 2.

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