Monday, February 22, 2016

"Northern Thunder" military exercise..prelude to a Saudi Arabia/GCC invasion of Syria?

via Business Insider.
On February 14, the "Northern Thunder" military exercise began, involving troops from 20 countries.
Saudi Arabia's state newsdescribes Northern Thunder as"the largest military exercise of its kind in terms of the number of participating countries and qualitative military equipment."
Then this from NewEurope.
The substance of the drill
On Sunday, troops from the Saudi Arabia, Oman, Egypt, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Jordan, Senegal, Sudan, Maldives, Morocco, Pakistan, Chad, Tunisia, the Comoro Islands, Djibouti, Malaysia, Egypt, Mauritania, and Mauritius gathered for a military drill to last until March 10.
The drill involves 20 countries, amongst whom, Egypt and Pakistan, both of whom have sizable and equipped armies. Egypt has the largest army in Africa; Pakistan is a nuclear power.
Military substanceThe military substance of the drill is inter-operability, in a fighting force with a wide range of military equipment in anyting from fighter jets and tanks, to air defense systems and naval forces. Of those states engaged, only the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members – Saudi, UAE, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait – have developed interoperability in the so-called Peninsula Shield fighting force. This is an operation much greater in scale.
Strategic messaging
The political and strategic substance of the drill is the show of an army with 350,000 strong troops, 2,500 warplanes, 20,000 tanks and 450 helicopters, under Saudi leadership. The 20-member coalition makes part of a broader 35-member Arab and Muslim (Sunni) coalition put together by Saudi Arabia.
The alternate news media is going APE SHIT over this exercise.  I'd ordinarily dismiss it except we're seeing a tremendous number of men and material participating.

Two things.  First the Saudi's have taken notes and are doing their own form of coalition warfare.  Second they're attempting to reduce dependence on US military leadership/power and become the de facto leaders of the region.

Considering everything that we've seen in the Middle East, I think the alternate media has it right and wrong.  I don't think this is going to lead to WW3.  I do think its only a matter of months or at most a couple of years till we see a major regional war.

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