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Latest defence news

Tunisia shooting

Tunisia declares state of emergency Subscription

5 July 2015 | By

More attacks targeting strategic sectors possible

Nominal defence spending is estimated to have risen by close to 40 per cent since 2010 in the region

Saudi Arabia and UAE buck decline in global defence spend Subscription

23 June 2015 | By

Global aerospace and defence revenue decline by $8.2bn in 2014

Airbus Caracal helicopter deal

Kuwait set on $1.1bn arms deal Subscription

14 June 2015 | By

Kuwait is planning to buy helicopters from French company

Iraq oil

Iraq mobilising force to protect oil assets Subscription

9 June 2015 | By

Oil minister says 27,000-strong army will secure all oil and electricity facilities

The UK's Watchkeeper ISTAR unmanned aerial system

French firm in talks for regional drones deal Subscription

3 June 2015 | By

Thales secured first order for Watchkeeper system from British army

Qatar buys Rafale fighter jets

GCC powers set to continue high defence spending Subscription

2 June 2015 | By

Drop in oil prices has not weakened appetite of Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar for military expansion

Tunisia's President Beji Caid Essebsi

US commits to Tunisia’s security Subscription

21 May 2015 | By

Tunisian leader on state visit to Washington

Libya migrant smuggling

EU approves naval mission in Libya Subscription

19 May 2015 | By

Operation will target migrant-smuggling gangs

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Defence trends

The main casualty in Saudi Arabia will be large-scale downstream projects such as petrochemicals facilities and new oil refineries

Saudi defence spending rises while oil income drops Subscription

17 June 2015 | By

Even though low oil prices mean Riyadh will earn less hydrocarbons revenue, the authorities are still focused on increasing defence investment and maintaining social spending

Largest defence budgets 2014

Joint Arab force gains traction Subscription

14 April 2015 | By

Critics warn that a pan-Arab military force runs the risk of becoming a Sunni-led regional superpower unless properly governed

Saudi Arabia army

Running the risk of war Subscription

14 April 2015 | By

A joint Arab military force is a positive move, but could still lead to war

Offshore oil security

Aramco prioritises security Subscription

20 November 2014 | By

Oil major plans raft of new measures for offshore assets


Defence: Middle East steps up military spending Subscription

5 November 2014

Military spending among the Gulf states has been climbing steadily over the past decade or so in response to changing geopolitical threats

Mena military spending aand personnel 2013

Gulf nations step up defence spending Subscription

2 November 2014 | By Dominic Dudley

The continuing conflict in Syria and the ever-present threat of domestic unrest mean the region’s governments will continue to ramp up military investment


Pushing back against Isis Subscription

2 November 2014 | By Dominic Dudley

While the US’ allies in the region have joined the coalition against Isis, each has a differing agenda on Syria. Meanwhile, Iran, the one country that could really help, is being ignored

Riyadh reluctantly joins Isis air strikes

Riyadh reluctantly joins Isis air strikes Subscription

2 October 2014 | By James Gavin

Kingdom’s discomfort is clearly evident

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