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.

Additional Materials:


Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800

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.

Matter for Congressional Consideration

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Matter: In reviewing future Saudi Arabian requests for additional aircraft, the Congress should request the Secretary of Defense to provide information on Saudi Arabia's progress toward self-sufficiency in operating and maintaining its present aircraft. The Congress should be aware that it could control, at the time the basic agreement is proposed, the sale of munitions needed by fighter aircraft and tanks to Saudi Arabia. The Secretary of State should furnish the Congress information on agreements and implications related to future sales of munitions. To effectively assess the Saudis' overall defense needs and capabilities, the Secretary of Defense should have the U.S. military services include the national guard forces in future surveys of defense needs. The Secretary of Defense should notify the Congress of the estimated number of U.S. military personnel needed to carry out the proposed sale in the foreign country and the impact on the military preparedness of the United States of assigning such personnel.


Explore the full database of GAO's Open Recommendations »

Mar 16, 2018

Mar 8, 2018

Mar 6, 2018

Feb 27, 2018

Feb 14, 2018

Feb 6, 2018

Jan 29, 2018

Dec 14, 2017

Nov 21, 2017

Nov 13, 2017

Looking for more? Browse all our products here