Falling oil prices are hitting Middle Eastern defense budgets, but surplus funds accumulated in previous years should cushion the region’s biggest spenders for some time.
Four of the 12 Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) — Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar — are expected to keep their defense budgets intact due to excess revenue from the oil price boom since 2005.
“All GCC countries have reserve funds developed from the excess when oil prices were peaking and developed rainy day funds. Russia also splits it between rainy day funds, for when the oil prices drop, and national wealth funds,” said Nicholas Redman, senior fellow for geopolitical risk and economic security at the International Institute for Strategic Studies. […]