Four American military officers who have worked on training programs with the Saudi military described their frustration with Saudi counterparts. The Saudi military, they said, does not have the same kind of enlisted personnel corps that forms the backbone of the American military, and many officers rise because of patronage and connections to the Saudi royal family. The American officers spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to be identified criticizing an allied military.These officers did note a particular strength of the Saudi military. The Saudi system lends itself to developing Special Operations forces, which are especially good at gathering intelligence inside the country. That same system is less capable at developing a large, professional armed force with a rigid code of discipline rooted in a strict chain of command.