Strange Bedfellows: Understanding the Motives Behind the U.S.-Saudi Relationship from 1961-2016

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2021-05

Authors

Lee, Katie C.

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Abstract

After Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, many Americans questioned why the United States, a proud democracy, continued to work alongside the repressive Saudi monarchy. This thesis addresses this question and explains how this partnership evolved between 1961 and 2016. Throughout this work, I explore the principal interests that drove and maintained the U.S.-Saudi relationship over time. Although the United States claimed to champion human rights in its foreign policy decision-making, I argue that mutual oil and security interests, rather than liberal reform, directed the two countries’ relations.

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