Saudi Armed Forces Command and Staff College Defense Resource Management Course

From 5–6 March 2024, the Near East South Asia (NESA) Center for Strategic Studies team, led by Program Manager Matthew Holbert, delivered an intense two-day course on Defense Resource Management (DRM) to a War Course at the Saudi Armed Forces Command and Staff College (SAFCSC) in Saudi Arabia.

In the foreground from left to right: Thomas Wagstaff (NESA Center); Col Christopher Michele, USAF (Eisenhower School); Khaled Al-Abasi (Translator); Maj Dale White (USMTM); and Justin Boston (NESA Center). Students of the War Course in the background.


NESA Center Academic Advisors Justin Boston and Thomas Wagstaff supported the course with guest speakers Col Christopher Michele, USAF, a visiting faculty member from the Dwight D. Eisenhower School for National Security and Resource Strategy at National Defense University in Washington, D.C., and Maj Dale White, Chief Foreign Military Sales (FMS), United States Military Training Mission (USMTM). The DRM course was delivered through simultaneous translation and consisted of lectures followed by engaging Q&A sessions. The current challenge for the Saudi Ministry of Defense is to establish its own DRM processes. It is anticipated that by understanding DRM best practices, the college will adapt and design a system will not just replicate existing systems, but that will be fit for purpose. The established in-country relationship the NESA Center has with USMTM demonstrates a unified effort in support of the Saudis. The curriculum was based on the U.S. Army War College model. The course had fifty-seven attendees, drawn from officers of the Armed Forces and representatives of other National Security Ministries (such as the Ministry of Interior and the Presidency State Security).

MG Al-Ruwaili (President, SAFCSC) stands on the left, and Col Christopher Michele, USAF, on the right.


The NESA Center’s overall role in support of SAFCSC was to advise and assist in the preparation for a transformation to an NDU, which has a timeline spanning a period of five to six years. In the meantime, the NESA Center continues to assist with providing a variety of activities, including Professional Military Education (PME), advisory visits to PME institutions in the U.S., and coordinating educational workshops.

After the lecture, Maj Dale White (Chief FMS, USMTM), on the left, is in discussion with a student on the right.


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