American-Saudi Relations

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Edna Siljdedich

Mr. Sethre

International Relations

November 22, 2013

American-Saudi Arabian Foreign Relations

The United States is a nation that prides itself on democracy, independence, and justice. It is reasonable to assume that the United States would expect no less of its allies, which makes Saudi Arabia, one of America's few allies in the Middle East, an unlikely partner. Diplomatic relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia began in 1933 with the establishment of the Arabian American Oil Company, ARAMCO. Since then, Saudi Arabian and American relations have been stressed with countless conflicts and criticism. These two countries don't agree on much, but they do agree that their economies are extremely codependent. The fragile relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia is important both politically and economically for America. The political relationship greatly affects the economy of the U.S. in that it ensures a reliable source of oil and it's strategic location allows for more American trade within the Middle East.

In the last two decades this unlikely friendship has been strained as a result of the two nations' opposing views and ideologies; the most prevalent of these issues include America's counterterrorism movement, conflicts in Syria and Iran, and the ever-present Israeli-Palestinian struggle.

The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 will forever be ingrained in the minds of Americans as one of the most traumatic events of our time, but almost more traumatizing is the fact that fifteen of the nineteen hijackers' country of origin was our Middle Eastern ally, Saudi Arabia. This fact made the United States government question the bilateral relationship they had worked so hard to maintain. In the years following the attacks, the United States' invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq proved the lengths they were willing to go to in order to spread democracy...