Saudi Arabia has been making significant moves within her military over the last several years. In another move from the Saudis, the Defense Minister of the tiny Caucasian nation of Azerbaijan has met with the Saudi Armed Forces Chief of Staff while on a visit to Saudi Arabia according to a report:
The First Deputy Minister of Defense of the Republic of Azerbaijan – Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces Colonel General Najmeddin Sadikov, who is on an official visit to Saudi Arabia, has met with the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of this country General Fayyad bin Hamed Al Rwaili, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said April 6, Trend reports.
During the meeting, prospects for the development of relations between the armies of the two countries, issues of cooperation in the military, military-technical and military-educational spheres were discussed, as well as the “Agreement on cooperation in the military field between the Government of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” was signed. (source, source)
This meeting has nothing to do with Azerbaijan and her military. Azerbaijan, a tiny nation with a history divided between Shiite Iran, the Ottoman Empire/Turkey and the USSR/Russia, has no real power. Her significance comes first from here geopolitical location within the Caucasus and second because she is an oil-rich nation within the Caspian Sea area. It was out of the oil sands of Baku that oil was first refined en masse, and it was her nation and the area around her that has been viciously fought over by the Russians and Germans in both world wars.
Azerbaijan has a military, but her military’s strength comes primarily from Turkey, who is her closest ally and supporter. She serves in this way as a cover for Turkey’s actions, for Turkey is a powerful country with a rich history, one of the most formidable armies in the world, and has open enemies. Azerbaijan, to the contrary, is a country that is small, far less known, and acts as an excellent cover for Turkey’s actions.
Turkey and Saudi Arabia are enemies. The house of Saud owes her sustenance to the Americans and the British, who support her in exchange for cheap oil to run their economies. Saudi Arabia gets weapons and food at a reduced rate as well as military protection. This agreement has worked well for the last century since it was instituted, but it is not guaranteed to last and Saudi Arabia knows it. However, owing to a lack of innovation, foresight, and sloth, Saudi Arabia has become dependent on the Americans so much that if the US leaves, she could be easily overrun and destroyed.
Turkey, formerly known as the Ottoman Empire (and before that, Seljuk Empire), had a dual world political and economic empire that stretched from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean. For centuries, the Mohammedan hordes under the banner of the Turk terrorized Europe and Africa. She was also since the fall of the Mamluk Empire in the 16th century the custodian of the Islamic “holy” sites of Mecca and Medina. Turkey sees herself within history as the heir to the political and spiritual power of Islam, entrusted with caring for and propagating the religion.
The Turks hate the Saudis and view them as usurpers, upstarts, and most importantly, blasphemers against Islam by their public disdain of religion save for presenting a nominal veneer of faith while living a life that otherwise is completely contrary to the tenets of Islam. Many Turks would take significant pleasure is witnessing not only the King, but the entire House of Saud skewered upon the Turkish khazouk just as a kebab is put on a skewer before being served with pita bread and falafel.
Turkey does not attack Saudi Arabia because of American influence, as the US has power within both. The Saudis owe their existence to the US, but the Turks do as well, for it was the Americans working with Germany and other NATO nations that built the Turkish military into the eighth most powerful military in the world for geopolitical purposes to serve as a “buffer” against Russia. However, were the American influence and money not there, there is a high likelihood that the Saudi goose, which has already been cooked, would have been served and consumed. The House of Saud knows this, and they are attempting to protect themselves by any means possible, including power moves within the kingdom and the mass purchase of American-made firearms. The entire Khashoggi affair was about making a short-term sacrifice to dislodge Mohammed bin Salman from power in order to preserve the long-term power of the kingdom against a rising Turkey.
The fact that Azeri and Saudi military representatives are meeting is likely not about actual cooperation between the two nations. Rather, it is a cover for a military discussion, likely an argument, between the Turks and the Saudis without drawing the attention of the world. It is also likely that the Americans are also within the discussion because of the US-Saudi alliance, and it is highly unlikely that the US would not allow the Saudis to meet with another nation without knowing the full contents of whatever discussion take place.
One can only speculate what is being discussed at this meeting. However, given the massive Saudi weapons purchases that have been taking place, the Khashoggi affair, and the push for Turkish expansionism, it comes at a time of rising political instability in the Middle East where old alliances and conflicts are rearing their faces again, having been dormant for a period of years but never actually leaving.