500 Ex-Military and 15 Retired US Generals Work for Saudi Arabia


Former Director of the US National Security Agency (NSA) Keith Alexander once worked for Saudi Arabia. Photo/REUTERS

WASHINGTON – A total of 15 retired generals and admirals of the United States (US) have received exorbitant salaries from the Saudi Ministry of Defense since 2016.

The news was revealed in a Washington Post report published on Tuesday (18/10/2022).

“More than 500 former service members have advised foreign governments in deals that are sometimes paid significantly more than a four-star general’s top annual salary of US$203,698 (Rp3 billion),” the newspaper report said.

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US federal law requires retired military personnel to obtain government authorization to receive any kind of funding or gift from a foreign government or state-owned company.

“However, most of the formalities and approvals are almost automatic, with 95% of requests granted,” the Post report said.

Former NSA Director Keith Alexander was paid heavily to help build and run the first university training program for cyberwarfare in Saudi Arabia in 2018.

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Alexander worked with Saud al-Qahtani, an influential figure who oversaw critics of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), including slain former Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi.

Qahtani was sanctioned by the US Treasury in 2018 for allegedly participating in the operation that led to Khashoggi’s death. Nevertheless, Alexander was allowed to work for him.