Saudi Arabia announced the formation of an anti-terrorism coalition of Arab and Muslim states yesterday, but the group is unlikely to be a coherent entity, much less achieve its stated goal of confronting jihadism. The Saudi-led Islamic Military Alliance is comprised of 34 states, however, these countries are unlikely to be willing to operate under Riyadh’s leadership, as they see the kingdom as one source of the jihadist problem.
Providing little detail of this new multinational force, Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman said that the joint command headquarters would be based in the Saudi capital. Separately, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told journalists that the new entity would share intelligence and train, equip and provide forces if necessary for the fight against the Islamic State.
The bulk of the countries named in the alliance are Arab and African states, most of them small countries with limited military capability, with the exception