Military Spending Dominates Saudi Arabia's Budget
Saudi Arabia spends 10 percent of its GDP on arms and Riyadh seems intent on ordering more U.S. weaponry than its military can operate. The strategy seems to be more about buying influence in the U.S. with the added intention of turning Saudi Arabia into the Middle East's dominant military power. Some observers have questioned whether that level of expenditure is sustainable, particularly as the Saudis attempt to steet their economy away from its dependence on oil.
The following infographic shows just how much the Saudis are spending on their military. According to the finance ministry, the government will spend $210 Saudi riyals on the military this year ($56 billion) and that's higher than the amount set aside for education (192 billion riyals) or health and social development (147 billion riyals). Given Trump's determination to protect American jobs, the flow of U.S. weapons is likely to continue for the foreseeable future, despite the disturbing events in Turkey and Yemen.
This chart shows the funding allocation of the 2017 and 2018 Saudi budgets (billion Saudi riyals).