7 Reasons Why Saudi Arabia's New "Terror Fighting" Coalition Is Doomed

Published January 17th, 2016 - 07:47 GMT

Rate Article:

 
PRINT Send Mail
comment (1)

In mid-December, Saudi Arabia announced the formation of a broad coalition of Muslim countries dedicated to “fighting terrorism” across the Muslim world. The coalition, said the Kingdom’s inexperienced defense minister, Mohammad Bin Salman, would include 34 Muslim countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, and would be headquartered in Riyadh. The goal would be to combat Daesh and other extremist groups which Bin Salman did not name.  

While the notion of Muslim countries taking a greater role in fighting Daesh and other fanatic Islamic groups is to be applauded, Saudi Arabia’s new coalition is fraught with problems. Here are 7 reasons why.   Continue reading below »

View as list
The Saudi Arabian government has for years financed Wahhabi clerics and Wahhabi madrassas around the world which spread the exact kind of fanatic Islamic dogma that forms the heart of Daesh’s ideology.
Reduce

Image 1 of 10:  1 / 10The Saudi Arabian government has for years financed Wahhabi clerics and Wahhabi madrassas around the world which spread the exact kind of fanatic Islamic dogma that forms the heart of Daesh’s ideology.

Enlarge
Saudi Arabia says its new coalition will fight “terrorism” in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, but none of those countries are included in the coalition.
Reduce

Image 2 of 10:  2 / 10Saudi Arabia says its new coalition will fight “terrorism” in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, but none of those countries are included in the coalition.

Enlarge
On the other hand, the coalition includes countries like Benin, Gabon, Guinea, Togo and the Maldives, which have little military experience. Some of these countries are third-world nations that can scarcely feed their own citizens and do not have the cash or the equipment to be waging costly wars overseas.
Reduce

Image 3 of 10:  3 / 10On the other hand, the coalition includes countries like Benin, Gabon, Guinea, Togo and the Maldives, which have little military experience. Some of these countries are third-world nations that can scarcely feed their own citizens and do not have the cash or the equipment to be waging costly wars overseas.

Enlarge
What’s more, some of the more powerful nations in the coalition have profound disagreements about what constitutes “terrorism.” Turkey, Sudan & Qatar, for example, are Muslim Brotherhood supporters, while Egypt & the UAE consider the Brotherhood a terror group, according to a smart column in Huffington Post by Daniel Wagner & Giorgio Cafiero.
Reduce

Image 4 of 10:  4 / 10What’s more, some of the more powerful nations in the coalition have profound disagreements about what constitutes “terrorism.” Turkey, Sudan & Qatar, for example, are Muslim Brotherhood supporters, while Egypt & the UAE consider the Brotherhood a terror group, according to a smart column in Huffington Post by Daniel Wagner & Giorgio Cafiero.

Enlarge
“The constituent members of the new coalition...are themselves deeply divided on a number of key policy areas,” one Gulf affairs specialist told The Wall Street Journal. “The probability that it can become an effective international security alliance is therefore almost zero.”
Reduce

Image 5 of 10:  5 / 10“The constituent members of the new coalition...are themselves deeply divided on a number of key policy areas,” one Gulf affairs specialist told The Wall Street Journal. “The probability that it can become an effective international security alliance is therefore almost zero.”

Enlarge
Other countries that Saudi Arabia claimed were part of the coalition--including Pakistan, Lebanon and Malaysia--said they hadn’t been consulted about joining. Pakistan said it only learned of its supposed involvement from the media.
Reduce

Image 6 of 10:  6 / 10Other countries that Saudi Arabia claimed were part of the coalition--including Pakistan, Lebanon and Malaysia--said they hadn’t been consulted about joining. Pakistan said it only learned of its supposed involvement from the media.

Enlarge
Perhaps most disturbingly, though, the 34-country coalition mostly falls on the Sunni side of the Sunni-Shia divide: the coalition only includes one country with significant Shia influence--Lebanon--and even that’s problematic: Lebanon said the coalition “tamper[ed] with [its] status” in the fight against Daesh. (image: NYTimes)
Reduce

Image 7 of 10:  7 / 10Perhaps most disturbingly, though, the 34-country coalition mostly falls on the Sunni side of the Sunni-Shia divide: the coalition only includes one country with significant Shia influence--Lebanon--and even that’s problematic: Lebanon said the coalition “tamper[ed] with [its] status” in the fight against Daesh. (image: NYTimes)

Enlarge
The coalition also leaves out Iran, which is leading the campaign to eradicate Daesh in Iraq.
Reduce

Image 8 of 10:  8 / 10The coalition also leaves out Iran, which is leading the campaign to eradicate Daesh in Iraq.

Enlarge
Analysts have said Saudi Arabia’s announcement is likely more an attempt to increase its own status in the region than it is a sincere effort to combat extremism. “This event is...a Saudi effort...to be the leader of the Islamic world,” one expert told CNN.
Reduce

Image 9 of 10:  9 / 10Analysts have said Saudi Arabia’s announcement is likely more an attempt to increase its own status in the region than it is a sincere effort to combat extremism. “This event is...a Saudi effort...to be the leader of the Islamic world,” one expert told CNN.

Enlarge
Bin Salman was vague about what the coalition will actually do to combat extremism, saying only that it would “coordinate and support military operations” across the Muslim world. A recent New York Times editorial ominously commented: “Just what that means is unclear, but it could be a license to find enemies everywhere.”
Reduce

Image 10 of 10:  10 / 10Bin Salman was vague about what the coalition will actually do to combat extremism, saying only that it would “coordinate and support military operations” across the Muslim world. A recent New York Times editorial ominously commented: “Just what that means is unclear, but it could be a license to find enemies everywhere.”

Enlarge

1

The Saudi Arabian government has for years financed Wahhabi clerics and Wahhabi madrassas around the world which spread the exact kind of fanatic Islamic dogma that forms the heart of Daesh’s ideology.

Image 1 of 10The Saudi Arabian government has for years financed Wahhabi clerics and Wahhabi madrassas around the world which spread the exact kind of fanatic Islamic dogma that forms the heart of Daesh’s ideology.

2

Saudi Arabia says its new coalition will fight “terrorism” in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, but none of those countries are included in the coalition.

Image 2 of 10Saudi Arabia says its new coalition will fight “terrorism” in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, but none of those countries are included in the coalition.

3

On the other hand, the coalition includes countries like Benin, Gabon, Guinea, Togo and the Maldives, which have little military experience. Some of these countries are third-world nations that can scarcely feed their own citizens and do not have the cash or the equipment to be waging costly wars overseas.

Image 3 of 10On the other hand, the coalition includes countries like Benin, Gabon, Guinea, Togo and the Maldives, which have little military experience. Some of these countries are third-world nations that can scarcely feed their own citizens and do not have the cash or the equipment to be waging costly wars overseas.

4

What’s more, some of the more powerful nations in the coalition have profound disagreements about what constitutes “terrorism.” Turkey, Sudan & Qatar, for example, are Muslim Brotherhood supporters, while Egypt & the UAE consider the Brotherhood a terror group, according to a smart column in Huffington Post by Daniel Wagner & Giorgio Cafiero.

Image 4 of 10What’s more, some of the more powerful nations in the coalition have profound disagreements about what constitutes “terrorism.” Turkey, Sudan & Qatar, for example, are Muslim Brotherhood supporters, while Egypt & the UAE consider the Brotherhood a terror group, according to a smart column in Huffington Post by Daniel Wagner & Giorgio Cafiero.

5

“The constituent members of the new coalition...are themselves deeply divided on a number of key policy areas,” one Gulf affairs specialist told The Wall Street Journal. “The probability that it can become an effective international security alliance is therefore almost zero.”

Image 5 of 10“The constituent members of the new coalition...are themselves deeply divided on a number of key policy areas,” one Gulf affairs specialist told The Wall Street Journal. “The probability that it can become an effective international security alliance is therefore almost zero.”

6

Other countries that Saudi Arabia claimed were part of the coalition--including Pakistan, Lebanon and Malaysia--said they hadn’t been consulted about joining. Pakistan said it only learned of its supposed involvement from the media.

Image 6 of 10Other countries that Saudi Arabia claimed were part of the coalition--including Pakistan, Lebanon and Malaysia--said they hadn’t been consulted about joining. Pakistan said it only learned of its supposed involvement from the media.

7

Perhaps most disturbingly, though, the 34-country coalition mostly falls on the Sunni side of the Sunni-Shia divide: the coalition only includes one country with significant Shia influence--Lebanon--and even that’s problematic: Lebanon said the coalition “tamper[ed] with [its] status” in the fight against Daesh. (image: NYTimes)

Image 7 of 10Perhaps most disturbingly, though, the 34-country coalition mostly falls on the Sunni side of the Sunni-Shia divide: the coalition only includes one country with significant Shia influence--Lebanon--and even that’s problematic: Lebanon said the coalition “tamper[ed] with [its] status” in the fight against Daesh. (image: NYTimes)

8

The coalition also leaves out Iran, which is leading the campaign to eradicate Daesh in Iraq.

Image 8 of 10The coalition also leaves out Iran, which is leading the campaign to eradicate Daesh in Iraq.

9

Analysts have said Saudi Arabia’s announcement is likely more an attempt to increase its own status in the region than it is a sincere effort to combat extremism. “This event is...a Saudi effort...to be the leader of the Islamic world,” one expert told CNN.

Image 9 of 10Analysts have said Saudi Arabia’s announcement is likely more an attempt to increase its own status in the region than it is a sincere effort to combat extremism. “This event is...a Saudi effort...to be the leader of the Islamic world,” one expert told CNN.

10

Bin Salman was vague about what the coalition will actually do to combat extremism, saying only that it would “coordinate and support military operations” across the Muslim world. A recent New York Times editorial ominously commented: “Just what that means is unclear, but it could be a license to find enemies everywhere.”

Image 10 of 10Bin Salman was vague about what the coalition will actually do to combat extremism, saying only that it would “coordinate and support military operations” across the Muslim world. A recent New York Times editorial ominously commented: “Just what that means is unclear, but it could be a license to find enemies everywhere.”

Reduce

Advertisement

Add a new comment

 avatar