For more than six decades, Saudi Arabia has played a crucial, and often overlooked, role in the United States' global strategies. During World War II, President Roosevelt met the Saudi king aboard a US warship in the Red Sea to ensure continued oil ...
supplies for the Allies in exchange for protecting the desert kingdom against its foes. The meeting started a tradition that has been upheld by every US president since. At the same time, however, Saudi Arabia has been, and to some extent remains, the principal source of the terrorist threat to the United States. Fifteen of the 9/11 suicide attackers were Saudis, as are a majority of the inmates in Guantanamo Bay. Saudi Arabia remains the main source of financial support for radical Islamist organizations with ties to terrorism. In The Kingdom of Allah, Amir Taheri examines these tensions and asks where this society in transition is headed. From the Saudi's cold war against the Islamic Republic of Iran and the growing menace of domestic jihadis, to the looming societal conflicts between the ruling, archaic Saudi values and the aspirations of the rising, modern middle class, Taheri raises big questions for America's closest Arab ally in the heart of the turbulent Middle East.