Saudi North Thunder military drill was meant as a message for Iran
Recently Saudi Arabia, along with 20 other Sunni nations, conducted a massive military drill called North Thunder involving 350,000 troops, 20,000 tanks, 2,500 warplanes and 450 helicopters. Beyond the impressive scale of this drill, interest was generated as to what was its purpose. After all you just don’t assemble such a force in the deserts of northern Saudi Arabia for fun.
Thanks to the Foreign Minister of Bahrain, Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, we now have an official explanation of why the drill was conducted. During an TV interview, the Foreign Minister (who incidentally reminded me of Jabba the Hut while slouched in his chair) said that “Exercise North Thunder is a message to anyone who thinks he could harm the region.” When the interviewer asked whether that included Iran, Khalifa responded, “Yes, naturally, because our biggest problem at this point in time is with Iran.”
I know Obama and Kerry are attempting to sell the Nuclear deal with Iran as some type of stabilizing force in the Middle East, but such assertions are hogwash. If anything the tensions between the Saudis and Iranians are at all time highs and the Nuclear done has done nothing to ameliorate this situation. Otherwise, why would military drills like North Thunder be occurring and why would the Foreign Minister of Bahrain be making such statements?