Oil and Saudi Arabia

4092 Words17 Pages
Exposing the Saudi Arabian Royal Family, U.S. foreign policy, and the poverty currently occurring within Saudi Arabia


The current world dependence on oil leaves much to be said about the impact of Saudi Arabia and the Middle East on foreign policy and international politics. Presently the world's largest consumer of oil, the U.S. depends on Saudi Arabia and much of the Middle East for the energy to run its businesses, its homes, and most importantly, its automobiles. In the past few months U.S. consumers have felt the pressures of increasing gasoline prices as they struggle to commute and live their daily lives. This leaves the U.S. with important decisions to be made on behalf of its citizens and its position in the international realm.

Saudi Arabia, the leader of OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Companies), maintains a powerful position in negotiations with the U.S. and other countries. Its vast supply of oil directly effects per barrel pricing and is a unique bargaining tool in international politics. But Saudi Arabia is no ordinary country in today's world. Its borders are governed by a royal family of nearly 30,000 individuals, all of which share most of the wealth and almost all of the power. Its people, with foreign exceptions, are wholly Islamic and many practice the faith with a frightening sense of devotion. And despite the immense revenue generated by its oil reserves, part of its population still lives in absolute poverty. Although recently it has seen immense change, it is still a country fair behind the progressive world.

This report draws from many publications written over the last twenty years exposing the unique situation in Saudi Arabia, while also utilizing recent headl...

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... September 2003 <http://meria.idc.ac.il/journal/2003/issue3/jv7n3a2.html> (31 May 2004).

?Oil jumps back near $42,? <http://money.cnn.com/2004/05/24/markets/oil.reut/index.htm?cnn=yes> (31 May 2004).

?Plots and bombs,? The Economist, May 1 2004: 47.

?Still at its mercy,? The Economist, May 22 2004: 10

?The limits of reform,? The Economist, Mar 27 2004: 47.

?US Challenges and Choices Saudi Arabia: A View from the Inside,? The Atlantic Council of the United States, The Middle East Institute, The Middle East Policy Council, and The Stanley Foundation, <http://reports.stanleyfdn.org/EFCgulfh02.pdf> (May 31, 2004).

?What if?? The Economist, May 29 2004: 69.

William Powell, Saudi Arabia and its Royal Family, (New Jersey: Lyle Stuart Inc., 1982).

World Bank Report 2003, ?Saudi Arabia,? <www.worldbank.org/data/countrydata/aag/sau_aag.pdf>
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