Thomas Wictor

Saudi war plan revealed. Pure genius, of course

Saudi war plan revealed. Pure genius, of course

Nawaf Obaid is a visiting fellow and associate instructor at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. He’s written a piece about the Saudi war plan. It explains everything.

Last week, the spokesman for the Saudi military, General Ahmed Asseri, announced that Saudi Arabia is “is ready to participate in any ground operations that the coalition (against Islamic State) may agree to carry out in Syria” and that its decision to move into the war-torn country is “irreversible.” However, given that the Saudis and their allies in the newly formed Islamic Coalition are conducting massive joint operational military exercises—codenamed Northern Thunder—in preparation for very possible military interventions in the near future, it’s clear that the Kingdom-led multinational coalition will not stop at ISIS.

Rather, its ultimate objective in Syria is to take on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Iran-created Shia militias, which are the source of as much, if not more, regional terror than ISIS and Al Qaeda.


The tactical blueprint for the coalition’s move into Syria while also remaining in Yemen is based on the Schlieffen Plan, Imperial Germany’s pre-World War I strategy for conducting war on two fronts. However, the Saudis have learned not to repeat the plan’s mistakes, in particular the misled assessments of the time it would take to defeat the enemy. In Yemen, the war is progressing soundly, with the Houthi rebels suffering major losses and the Saudi coalition armies within 20 miles of the capital of Sana.

But Yemen will need to be tended to militarily for a long time to come if that country is to be fully secured, which is why the Kingdom is taking a long-term approach and is in the process of putting together the personnel, material and joint command structure to carry out simultaneous protracted battles against multiple enemies.

There’s a lot of debate about the Schlieffen Plan. I won’t get into it, because nobody can be more unpleasant than historians of World War I. They doused me in their venom after I published three books about World War I that challenged conventional views. My work was completely ignored or denigrated in extremely personal terms. Although I swore that I’d never publish another book about the First World War, I’ve changed my mind.

I’m going to publish 24 more books about World War I. This is because I want to make information available to those who are open minded. Here’s the only known photo of the Japanese M1918 steel helmet.


Not a single historian on the planet could tell you what this helmet looked like. Until I posted that photo, I was the only person who knew that the helmet was a bizarre hybrid of French and German designs. It would be wrong for me to keep my thousands of unique photos to myself. So I’m going to publish a series of 24 large-format photo books with soft covers. Buyers will be able to choose which armed force they want to read about. Each book will be very inexpensive.

The Saudi war plan

What sank the Schlieffen Plan was that it made too many assumptions, and the man who implemented it in 1914—Helmuth Johann Ludwig von Moltke, known as Moltke the Younger—was crippled from living in the shadow of his legendary uncle, Helmuth Karl Bernhard von Moltke, or Moltke the Elder.

Moltke the Younger was a sensitive man who suffered from poor health.


The historian Barbara W. Tuchman describes him as a self-doubting introvert.

Moltke the Elder—the Great Silent One—is credited with modernizing warfare by recognizing that a successful military leader must allow subordinates to exercise individual initiative and independent judgment.


The Supreme Commander gives his generals a basic outline, and then the smaller units within the army decide for themselves how to arrive at the goal.

It’s now clear that the Arab League and its allies organized what the Israelis call “C6ISR units” or strategic special forces. These soldiers are trained for years in how to exercise individual initiative and independent judgment. They don’t have to be supervised. The problem prior to about 2010 was that special forces lacked the weapons and numbers to defeat an entire nation.

Now, the Arab League and her allies have both the weapons and the numbers to win wars. Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman is the present-day Moltke the Elder.


This isn’t wishful thinking on my part. I’ve studied the Yemen war and the Syria war daily for almost a year. I base my theories on real-life events. One of the things I noticed was that whenever the Saudi-led Coalition in Yemen lost men or vital commanders due to Houthi ballistic missile strikes, the Coalition units on the ground made lightning-fast, unexpected advances.

Only people trained in special operations would be able to take advantage of the confusion caused by their own losses. Also, this instantaneous ability to transform a setback into another victory means that the war has been decentralized. Nobody is calling Riyadh and asking, “What do we do now?”

When, for example, the Commander of Special Forces in a city is killed, the colonel in charge of another expeditionary unit in the country realizes that it would be a perfect opportunity to strike. That colonel has been told what the overall plan is, but he’s trusted to implement it as he sees fit. Being a highly trained officer, he’s not going to do anything to compromise the mission.

Saudi operators are in Syria

The Turks accuse the Syrian Kurdish Peoples’ Defense Units (YPG) of carrying out a suicide bombing in Ankara on February 17, 2016, killing 28 people. However, the US is providing air support for YPG allies in Syria.


Turkey is demanding unconditional US support for actions it takes against the YPG. Do you think President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry are competent enough to navigate what appear to be the catastrophically dire straits here? Of course not.

Arab League and allied C6ISR forces are the ones we’re supporting with air strikes in Syria. Turkey knows that. The Kurds know that. This is all a performance being put on to keep the entire region from exploding. The Kurds will get their autonomous region in Syria. But first the following groups need to be defeated: the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Quds Force, the Basij, Hezbollah, the Syrian Defense Forces, Iraqi militias, Afghan militias, Asian militias, the Islamic State, the al-Nusra Front, the Levant Front, the Islamic Front, and all the other Islamists fighting in Syria.

We used to follow the Saudi plan

I wrote about this before.

On the morning of December 7, 1941, the destroyer USS Ward was patrolling the entrance to Pearl Harbor when Lieutenant Commander William W. Outerbridge—who had been skipper of the Ward for only two days—was informed by another ship at 3:57 a.m. that a periscope had been sighted. Outerbridge immediately headed toward the area to make a search. At 6:37 a.m. he spotted the periscope and ordered his gunners to open fire, hitting the conning tower of a Japanese two-man midget submarine. To finish off the vessel, Outerbridge had a full pattern of depth charges dumped.

Only then did Outerbridge contact the Naval District watch officer with the following message.

We have attacked, fired upon, and dropped depth charges upon submarine operating in defensive sea area.

Outerbridge had standing orders. He was to exercise his own judgment. When he sank the Japanese submarine, Outerbridge had no idea that Pearl Harbor was about to be attacked. He saw something that he determined was a threat, so he destroyed it without asking his superiors for permission.

Saudi Arabia is on the verge of unleashing 150,000 Lieutenant Commander William W. Outerbridges. Their rules of engagement will be “Win the war.”

Can you guess the outcome?

In keeping with our World War I theme…


It has to be done, but there’s no evidence whatsoever that Saudi war-fighting results in massive civilian casualties. I’ve been able to debunk every single accusation of war crimes.

We’re going to finally see the end of the madness in the Middle East. Be happy.

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