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Militaries look for greater efficiency with budgets under pressure

Defence spending around the Gulf fell by 5% last year, according to the recently published Military Balance 2019 report from the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS). This was despite the war in Yemen, rising tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran and the geopolitical feud that ruptured the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC). According to IISS estimates, last year there were cuts to the military budgets of Iran (down 6.5% to $19.6bn), Iraq (down 10.4% to $17.3bn) and Saudi Arabia (down 7% to $82.9bn).

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