Authored by Marine Corps University, Norman Cigar
This book deals with Saudi Arabia’s Strategic Rocket Force-the “silent force” because it receives far less publicity than the country’s other armed services. The study addressed the decision for the original acquisition of the surface-to-surface missiles (SSM), the doctrine and employment parameters developed, and the current status of the missile force, and forecasts future potential developments and prospect. In particular, the study examines Saudi Arabia’s experience with deterrence doctrine, command and control practices, force structure, and considerations of domestic, regional, and international factors with respect to the SSM, which can also provide significant insights into Saudi thinking that could also be applied to understanding that country’s behavior in relation to a potential nuclear option at some time in the future. The Strategic Rocket Force has continued to develop over the years, including a reported upgrading of the missile systems in the Saudi arsenal. Any study of SSM in Saudi Arabia must include addressing the issue from Saudi Arabia’s own perspective if one is to understand the dynamics which have shaped policy and are likely to indicate future behavior and the study relies heavily on Saudi sources for information. Among the study’s conclusions are that Saudi Arabia will continue to view its SSM as a key component of its force structure, with a primary emphasis on deterrence; the apparent recent upgrade in the SSM force, if confirmed, is an additional indication that Saudi Arabia is likely to consider following suit if Iran succeeds in developing a nuclear capability-almost assuredly by direct acquisition of a ready-made capability from abroad, and very likely from Pakistan-especially given the Saudi view of SSM and nuclear weapons as an interrelated package; and that although Saudi Arabia intends its SSMs to have a stabilizing effect in the region by deterring potential aggression and adventurism, such upgraded arsenals also open the way for further arms races and increased regional tensions.
Mar 08 2015
1508766754 / 9781508766759
US Trade Paper
8.5″ x 11″
Black and White
Political Science / Political Freedom & Security / International Secur