Thesis Title

Saudi Arabia: Friend or Foe


Jacob R. Karn

Date of Graduation

Spring 2005


Master of Science in Defense and Strategic Studies


Defense and Strategic Studies

Committee Chair

C. Dale Walton


The U.S.-Saudi relationship was formed during World War II. America, fearing a decline in domestic oil production after supplying the Allied war effort, sought to secure the oil reserves of Arabia. The basic understanding between the two nations was that America would provide security while the Saudis continued to sell cheap oil to the Western industrialized nations. The relationship continued prosperously for decades. However, the Saudi relationship with Wahhabism, a militant form of Islam, has hindered and threatened the U.S.-Saudi relationship and the oil access that America depends upon. The radical religious educational system, anti-American hate propaganda, and thousands of young zealous recruits threaten the U.S.-Saudi relationship. The refusal of the Saudis to seriously crack down and eliminate these Islamic militants and their ideology threatens American economic and national security. The Saudis have sewn the seeds of fundamentalism. The Saudis very stability as a government is threatened. Sooner or later, the situation in the Middle East and the Kingdom will come to a head. The United States’ allies and interests are threatened due to America’s ignorance of Saudi policies and connection with terrorism. The precious oil reserves of the West would be severely threatened should the royal family collapse or the outbreak of civil war, which could lead to the rise of an unfriendly government. Therefore, tougher policies, and actions must be taken now to prevent further acts of terrorism, funding, recruitment, and anti-American hate propaganda in the Kingdom.


Saudi Arabia, Wahhabism, terrorism, oil, energy security

Subject Categories

Defense and Security Studies


© Jacob R. Karn