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Blog number 77 : Saudi Arabia’s Pearl Harbor should be a wake-up call!
Mark Kingston Levin -- Science Fiction Author Mark Kingston Levin -- Science Fiction Author
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: San Diego , CA
Friday, October 11, 2019


Blog number 77 by Mark Kingston Levin: Saudi Arabia’s Pearl Harbor should be a wake-up call!

Blog number 77 by Mark Kingston Levin: Saudi Arabia’s Pearl Harbor should be a wake-up call!

Will it make a difference? Will they go back to sleep?

After years of training and billions of dollars invested in the best military hardware, Saudi Arabia has a top military on paper.  How did Iran get through their defenses so easily? Was this a failure of leadership like Pearl Harbor or cooperation from Saudi military leaders?  Study of the problem and then a plan action is needed.

Saudi Arabia has the highest military expenditure in the world on a per capita basis.

 Countries Who Spend the Most on Military Per Capita

Rank  Country         Per Capita Military Spending (USD)

1          Saudi Arabia           6,909

2          Singapore                2,385

3          Israel                      1,882

4          United States           1,859

There are many places to read about military issues. They do not always agree exactly. Some are listed below:

  1. Small Wars Journal. The long-standing aggregator of all military counterinsurgency issues.
  2. Modern War Institute at West Point. A site dedicated to “studying recent and on-going conflicts to prepare.”
  3. Foreign Intrigue. Aggregator of foreign policy and defense articles
  4. Phil Walter, Military Intelligence, Interagency. Mr. Walter brings the light into the darkness on national security issues.
  5. The Strategy Bridge. Posting board for quality articles on issues affecting our military, including strategy, doctrine, and leadership.
  6. Task and Purpose. About many important defense topics.
  7. General Leadership. Veterans, including senior leaders, writing on leadership.
  8. Command Performance Leadership. Good writing on various leadership topics. Hosted by a navy veteran.
  9. Be Mission Capable. Quality personal development posts by an army major.
  10. Michael Hyatt. Podcasts, blog, and products on personal development, platform building, and productivity.
  11. Harvard Business Review Blog. One of several Top available resources on leadership topics.
  12. Carrying the Gun. Witty and personal musings about the nature of military service, killing, and the war experience.

There are also many other defense sources in the UK and Europe.

I have yet to see a good article on how Iran pulled this off without the Saudi’s shouting down most of the weapons.  I am sure Mohammed Bin Salman, the crown prince, may be asking similar questions now.

The Saudi Arabian leadership has been so embarrassed that they have been silenced.  However, the Saudi leadership needs to figure out how to fix the defense, which means understanding the details.

Americans are trying to find out what happened, but they know little.  At least the public knows very little.

I have not heard that this was an inside job to wake up the royal family, but I will throw that possibility out there because we want to consider all options.

Iran may have bribed or blackmailed key leaders and people with response positions. Other possibilities are luck and that the Saudi leadership failed to lead, train and respond properly. But they prepared big budgets.

Saudi Arabia spends the highest amount in the world per capita on their military operations. They even beat Israel and the United States, which are known to engage in many military actions around the globe. Saudi Arabia’s military forces are 251,500 in total, including 227,000 on active duty and 24,500 that offer paramilitary services. One of the reasons why Saudi Arabia spends a lot of cash on military is because it has invested in high technology military arsenals that it imports from France, the United States, and Britain. The equipment includes combat aircraft and helicopters, tanker aircraft, armored vehicles and much more including a missile defense system.


The Singapore Armed Forces is the military arm of the defense forces in Singapore. The total number of military forces is 504,100, inclusive of 72,500 on active duty, 312,500 reserve forces, and 119,100 paramilitary forces. Singapore uses 2,385 USD per capita in financing its military forces’ activities; an amount which is the highest in the whole of the Asia-Pacific region. Most of its budget is spent on sophisticated and massive weaponry, research, development and experimentation, and sophisticated military systems.


The total expenditure of Israel on the military, which is 649,500 in total, is 1, 882 USD per capita. The number is based on 176,500 active militants, 465,000 reserve forces, and 8,000 paramilitary forces. Israel’s budget for the defense forces has been fluctuating over the years. However, the highest spending was witnessed in the 1980s when the country spent 24% of its GDP on military services. In 2010, an amount of NIS 53.2 billion was spent. Due to signing peace treaties with Jordan and Egypt and by the initiative of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel has significantly cut its budget on its defense forces.

Are Countries Likely to Spend Even More in the Future?

Yes, countries will most likely spend more of their budgets on the military as we move into the future. More sophisticated equipment and technologies exist today. The future knows no limits to the advancement of military systems. Furthermore, there’s a need to train more militants due to the increased rate of security risks in the world today. One of the high-ranking risks is terrorism, which has gripped the throat of much of our world with great fear.

Another study of the top 10 countries by military expenditure per capita cites the list as: Saudi Arabia, Israel, United States, Oman, Singapore, Kuwait, Norway, Australia, Bahrain, and France.

Countries Who Spend the Most on Military Per Capita

Rank  Country         Per Capita Military Spending (USD)

1          Saudi Arabia           6,909

2          Singapore     2,385

3          Israel 1,882

4          United States           1,859

5          Kuwait           1,289

6          Norway          1,245

7          Greece            1,230

8          United Kingdom     1,066

9          France           977

10        Bahrain         912

11        Australia       893

12        Brunei           866

13        Luxembourg 809

14        Denmark       804

15        Netherlands 759

This page was last updated on September 8, 2017.

By Sharon Omondi


Omondi, Sharon. “Countries Who Spend the Most on the Military Per Capita.” WorldAtlas, Sept. 8, 2017, worldatlas.com/articles/countries-who-spend-the-most-on-military-per-capita.html.

Blog number 77 by Mark Kingston Levin: Saudi Arabia’s Pearl Harbor should be a wake-up call!

If we assume the US and its allies are correct, and Iran did the deed on Sept 14, 2019, what will happen next? It is up to Saudi Arabia.  They hold the moral ground.  They could make peace so they have time to harden facilities and build underground or in the mountains.

Sept. 14, 2019 is a date that will live on in their customers’ minds regarding possible future attacks on Saudi oil facilities. This attack shows the world how quickly the Middle East’s conflicts can threaten global energy markets, because Saudi oil production is not immune to external military and other forces. Saudi oil customers can no longer count on uninterrupted access to the country’s oil exports. Meanwhile, regional and global powers like the United States face difficult choices in responding to provocative behavior without igniting a broader conflict.

Tensions between the United States and Iran remain high as Washington continues to implement significant sanctions on Tehran, prompting the latter to retaliate by trying to increase the cost of doing so. This has brought US allies, quite literally, into the crossfire, with Saudi oil infrastructure experiencing significant attacks. Should Iran continue its escalation against the United States and its allies, more Saudi facilities could come under attack and more often.

Iran’s Arc of Influence

Why has Iran attacked Saudi Arabian oil infrastructure when it risks sparking a conflict more damaging than the sanctions it faces and undermines the goodwill necessary for a future deal? Iran is taking a big gamble to change US policy in the region.  Iran has good relations with Russia and China.

In response to unprecedented sanctions on its oil and gas sector, Iran has been escalating attacks on oil and energy assets in the Persian Gulf using a brinkmanship strategy that aims to force the United States to shift its policies.

Iranian actions include the retaliatory seizure of oil tankers following the interdiction of Iranian-flagged vessels, the harassment of maritime traffic in the Persian Gulf, the downing of a US drone in June, a drone strike against two of Saudi Arabia’s East-West pipeline pumping stations in May, and an attack that caused a fire at that country’s Shaybah oil field’s processing complex in August.

Iran is also accelerating the country’s nuclear activity following the suspension of the nuclear deal known as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, since it increases Iranian leverage for negotiations that Tehran knows are ultimately inevitable.

Tehran is calculating that these actions will ultimately yield more favorable negotiating terms, facilitating the removal of sanctions, once Iran perceives that conditions are right for talks — even though the actions risk incurring US or Saudi retaliation.

What does this mean for the United States’ strategy in its confrontation with Iran?

The United States remains committed to a sanctions-first strategy in dealing with Iran as Washington tries to force Tehran to abandon its ballistic missile and nuclear programs and its support for proxy forces such terrorist’s groups against Israel and the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The Saudi need to start immediately to harden their oil facilities, eventually putting much of its production underground.  They need to build duplicate facilities and build smaller facilities spread out over remote areas that are far apart and underground. The need to defend these facilities using weapons designed to take out drowns and cruise missiles.

The Saudis need time to do this, so they must find peace now and get ready to spend money on new facilities underground. The German war machine learned that moving facilities underground made them immune to allied bombing.  This lesson will be another technique for the Saudis to examine.  They do have mountains.  There are always issues of air intake and exhausts, but these can be hidden using modern technology.

Blog number 77 by Mark Kingston Levin: Saudi Arabia’s Pearl Harbor should be a wake-up call!

San Diego, CA
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