Hundreds of retired US military officers, including former generals and admirals, are being employed with lavish deals working for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, according to investigations by the Washington Post.
In a 10-page report issued last Sunday, the Washington Post revealed that well over half a thousand retired US military personnel, mostly including scores of generals and admirals, have inked lucrative job deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates since 2015 to work as military advisors.
In Saudi Arabia, for example, the report notes that 15 retired American generals and admirals have worked as paid consultants for the Kingdom’s Defense Ministry since 2016. The ministry is led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, whom US intelligence agencies say approved the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a Post contributing columnist, as part of a brutal crackdown on dissent.
The report also reveals the names and other personal information of the US working military personnel in Saudi Arabia, some of the most well-known of whom include retired Marine Gen. James L. Jones, a national security adviser to President Barack Obama, and retired Army Gen. Keith Alexander, who led the National Security Agency under Obama and George W. Bush.
Most of the retired U.S. personnel have worked as civilian contractors for Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other Persian Gulf monarchies, playing a critical, though largely invisible, role in upgrading their militaries since 2015.
US accomplice in human rights violations
The US military assistance to Saudi Arabia and the UAE is happening exactly at the same time as the two countries’ security forces have continued to commit human rights abuses both at home and beyond their borders. With shared intelligence, aerial refueling and other support from the part of Washington, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have raged a destructive war in Yemen, creating a global humanitarian crisis and killing thousands of civilians.
Supported by a popular uprising eight years ago, Houthi troops overran Sanaa, the country’s capital, and the administration withdrew. The events led an alliance led by Saudi Arabia to kick off a military intervention a year later to support the regime. The war has so far resulted in the death of
The UN has estimated that the war in Yemen had killed 377,000 people by the end of 2021, through direct and indirect causes. Over 150,000 of these deaths were the direct result of the armed conflict, while far more have died due to hunger and disease as a result of the humanitarian crisis caused by the war. Nearly 15,000 civilians have been killed by direct military action, most of them in air strikes by the Saudi-led Coalition.
Extremely lavish contracts for extremely old veterans!
The Washington Post report also revealed the value of some of the deals contracted between US old military personnel and the two Gulf countries. According to the report, Saudi Arabia hired a former Navy SEAL to work as a special operations adviser for $258,000 a year. The UAE gave annual compensation packages worth more than $200,000 to helicopter pilots and $120,000 to aircraft mechanics.
Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE are highly reliant on American military experts to teach them how to use US-made military equipment and arsenal, including F-16 fighter jets, Predator drones, Patriot missile batteries and THAAD missile interceptors.