"Each country has to define where it stands; "either you are with us or you are with the terrorists," President Bush affirmed shortly after the 9-11 attack. Debate is.
heavy in regards to a strong relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia. The U.S. cites the relationship as struggling and not being able to see eye-to-eye. The Saudis, on the other hand, view strong Arab opposition to Israel as the reason (Johnson 1). Is the Saudi/U.S. relationship one that we should choose to smile or to frown upon? Before getting into the ups and downs, some background information is needed; general information on the country as well as its leadership.
Saudi Arabia is considered to be a middle-eastern country near hotspots such as Iraq and Israel. The country's size is about one-fourth the size of the continental United States. The terrain is mainly desert with rugged mountains making up the southwest. There are a total of six cities that have population exceeding one million people: Dammam, Khobar, Dhahran, Makkah, Jeddah, and capital city Riyadh. The nationality is almost ninety percent Arab and while nearly ten percent is considered to be Afro- Asian. The infant mortality rate is nineteen out of every one-thousand, and the life expectancy for males is sixty-six and females are seventy years. As of 2001, Saudi Arabia is worth an estimated one hundred seventy and a half billion dollars and growing at an annual rate of one percent (Background Note: Saudi Arabia).
Now that a bit of general information on the country has been discussed, a short explanation of the leadership will follow.
The establishment of the modern Saudi kingdom was made back in 1932. The country is a monarchy ruled by the Saudi dynasty. The executive of the country is King Fahd, who in 1992 established several councils which sparked a trend for a more open rule of Saudi Arabia. In January of 2003, Crown Prince Abdullah proposed an "Arab Charter" advocating economic and international growth.