Understanding the Saudi Arabia-United States Alliance Essay

3059 Words 13 Pages
The American Saudi-Alliance: Delaying the Inevitable?

The informal alliance between the United States of America and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will inevitably collapse. Since initial cooperation in 1943, when American President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared the defence of Saudi Arabia as critical to American interests, the alliance has continued to deteriorate. By developing its capabilities, America is acquiring the means to gather sufficient supplies of oil without having to depend on Saudi oil production. Saudi Arabia is becoming increasingly nervous that the existing agreement can no longer guarantee its national security, as the provision of genuine assistance to Saudi appears increasingly inconsistent with American interests. To
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According to scholars, the decline of the Soviet threat was the turning point for the American-Saudi alliance. Their respective national interests have continued to diverge, and despite the First Gulf War and post-September 11 periods, no external threat has motivated cooperation similar to that experienced during the Cold War period (Long, 1997; Al-Rasheed, 2002; Lippman, 2004). Scholars recognise a variety of issues affecting sustained American-Saudi relations, frequently citing America’s ongoing support of Israel and current pursuit for oil independence. However, in light of the recent thawing of American-Iran relations, and turmoil in Syria and Egypt, a review of the American-Saudi alliance is necessary.

The first section will endeavor to determine how strong the American-Saudi alliance is within the context of contemporary international relations, and will show that the alliance has become weak and fragile. It will explore the history of the alliance, with an explicit focus on its two fundamental pillars: American dependence on Saudi oil production, and Saudi dependence on American military support. Successive sections will then generate a deeper understanding of what might further weaken the American-Saudi alliance, and why. Three issues will be discussed individually: American oil independence, the American-Iran détente, and the American-Saudi response to the recent turmoil in Egypt and Syria. This venture will provide new insight into the current

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