In this context the kingdom is now emerging as the Arab world’s most powerful state, with the result that the new government in Riyadh is giving serious consideration as to how it should respond to the many new challenges that have arisen in the region.

Between February and July 1949, as a result of separate armistice agreements between Israel and each of the Arab states, a temporary frontier was fixed between Israel and its neighbours.

Tensions mounted again with the rise to power of Suez Canal, a vital waterway connecting Europe and Asia that was largely owned by French and British concerns.

With so many new threats emerging in the Arab world, from the takeover of large areas of Syria and Iraq by Islamic State (Isil) to Iran’s attempt to establish a client state in Yemen, it has been vital that Saudi Arabia establish a new defence policy, one that secures the Kingdom’s borders while providing the nation’s Armed Forces with the ability to prosecute two military campaigns at the same time.

In this context, Operation Decisive Storm is an illustration of the powerful firepower the Saudis now have at their disposal to defend their interests.

The prospects of an Iranian-backed and allied Shia militia taking over Yemen at the tip of the Arabian peninsula was a clear red line for the Kingdom.

With army brigades loyal to former Yemeni Ali Abdullah Saleh joining the Houthis in removing the legitimately elected President Abed Rabbo Hadi from power, and attempting to seize major Sunni urban centres such as Aden and Taiz, the Saudi leadership had no alternative other than to act, and act decisively.

But in his efforts to bolster his own Shia-led government, al-Abadi has stoked broader tensions in the Arab and Muslim worlds between the overwhelming majority Sunnis and minority Shias, especially the ones affiliated with Iran.

And the new Saudi leadership cannot and will not sit idly by as all this unfolds.

This new assertive defence posture on the part of Saudi Arabia will need to be flexible, as well as being able to adapt to the constantly changing realities of the Middle East and the wider Muslim world.