1933…..Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, the King of the very first Saudi State of Arabia, and U.S President Franklin D. Roosevelt began talks regarding the newly minted relationship between the two. inherently, diametrically opposed nations. The United States, a Democratic and secular country, and Saudi Arabia a fully implemented monarchy with an ultra-conservative base, but they had one thing in common….a desire to protect their selective interests by using one another to benefit those interests. As the height of the World War II began, King Ibn Saud knew he had to protect the Kingdom from Italian and German forces, and knew there would be only one country that could possibly protect them from invasion…the United States.
In return, the Kingdom allowed oil contractors to scourge the land for prospective oil drilling and extract the countries vast amounts of untapped oil reserves. In the years to come, the two nations would benefit enormously under the new deal. By the 1950’s California Arabian Standard Oil Company (ARAMCO) would become the predominant corporation in the Saudi nation, but King Ibn Saud pressured the company to share the profits 50/50 by threatening to transition the private assets to public, thus the deal was made between the two to equally share the profits of its oil production.
ARAMCO expanded into Emirate of Abu Dhabi, now the UAE), and the Saudi Kingdom continued to benefit quite quickly. The Arab coalition of the Gulf suddenly became a power player for political decision making in the region. Under the King Faisal Abdulaziz Al Saud, he transformed the country from a religious institution into a burgeoning business magnate. Commerce and trade expanded into China, Netherlands and even Iran, plus the oil reserves doubled under his tenure ship…meanwhile he pressured to have an Arab relationship inside American politics. In 1972 the National Association of Arab Americans (NAAA) had formed. An advocacy group which lobbied inside the U.S. government for better relations with Arabs internally and externally. It also concentrated on the Israeli-Arab relationship which was volatile. With approximately 250,000 members it became the very first Arab organization to register as a Lobby.
By the late 1980’s other countries began to assimilate into the Arab Lobby (Saudi Lobby), Libya and Egypt. Arab Nationalism has slowed been replaced with the orthodox Islamic sects, turmoil in the region commenced but not without external help of course. By the late 1990’s-200’s the Saudi Lobby began to take precedent over many of the individual Arab Lobby’s…as it garnered the most attention due to its broad expansionism and its oil reserves which many high profile and affluent U.S politicians had an interest in. Thus the Saudi Lobby, mainly composed of Lawyers and Corporate CEO’s had taken the forefront of American politics.
This relationship was primarily cemented under the Reagan administration by Prince Bandar bin Sultan, the Saudi-U.S Ambassador. The Saudi Kingdom saw its place in politics however when George H.W. Bush came to power, and with Prince Bandar growing a close-knit relationship with him, the Kingdom began to see itself as the second most powerful Lobby in the United States. After the attacks of September 11th 2001, the Kingdom came under fire by the suspicious public, secret dealings within the State Dept and under King Fahd began removing suspicious individuals in the days after the attacks. Intelligence data began to leak over the years, which included financial transactions between Prince Bandar’s wife (Haifa) and to Saudi nationals inside the U.S which then went into the hands of the 9/11 hijackers. But it did not deter nor dispel the relationship between the two, which still continue to this day under the tenure of Crown Price Mohammed Bin Salman. The power of the Saudi Lob by continue to influence American politics on both sides of the political spectrum (Republican, Democratic) and has long been a detriment to the region itself.