Saudi Arabia and the Gulf War
Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the Gulf War portrayed its strong relationship with Western Powers along with its push to become the leading power in the Middle East. After Iraq invaded Kuwait, beginning the Gulf War, King Fahd faced difficult issues that required quick resolution. The most evident problem was the threat of Iraq’s army invading Saudi Arabia. Kuwait was taken over, and Saudi Arabia’s government knew that it Iraq would at least attempt to take over their oil fields, if not more. Saudi Arabia did not spend much of their GDP on military necessities and their number of forces was much smaller than the opposing force of Suddam Hussein. This required Saudi Arabia to request immediate protection from their largest trading partner, the United States. The United States swiftly moved 500,000 troops into Saudi Arabia and also provided air and naval protection. The United States relied greatly on Saudi Arabia to maintain oil prices as Iraq limited the oil exported from Kuwait and Iraq. Because of this, Saudi Arabia overproduced oil to benefit the Western powers.
Kuwait was important to Saudi Arabia because the two governments of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia worked well together and it gave Saudi Arabia more coastal dominance over Iraq for trading purposes. As Western powers came to Saudi Arabia’s protection, the Saudi Arabians began doubting their country’s leaders, which brings up the second pivotal issue arisen during the Gulf War.
Saudi Arabian scholars stated that the government did not efficiently use their funds properly to protect the country. The country was also divided on the issue of the increasing dependence on the United States. Many Saudi’s felt that it went against Islamic law, which has led to numerous Islamic terrorist attacks in Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia dealt with large numbers of unemployment during this time, which led to discontent within the country against the royal family. King Fahd agreed...