Perspectives on Military Sales to Saudi Arabia (Unclassified Digest of a Classified Report)

ID-77-19: Published: Oct 11, 1977. Publicly Released: Oct 11, 1977.

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From fiscal year 1950 through September 30, 1976, military sales agreements with Saudi Arabia totaled over $12.1 billion. Sales began increasing in fiscal year 1972, and from 1972 through September 1976 they amounted to about $8.3 billion.

The economic and political interests of the United States are directly related to Saudi Arabia's oil. The United States has assisted Saudi Arabia in defining its defense needs, which are to protect its borders and oil fields, and is helping the Saudis to develop their armed forces to meet these needs through the sale of construction equipment and expertise and through training and management. The lack of Saudi personnel has impeded the progress of some modernization programs. This increases the probability that U.S. personnel will be involved in Saudi Arabia longer than originally planned.

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