Friday, June 11, 2010

One of the common misconceptions about the U.S-Saudi relationship is that Riyadh supplies Americans with most of their energy resources. In fact, while Saudi Arabia is the swing producer of oil, only about 20 percent of our oil comes from the Gulf; our presence there is in order to prevent any disruption that would send oil prices everywhere soaring and to secure the free flow of fossil fuels that supply most of western Europe, Japan, China, and India with their energy needs. If it seems strange that the Bahrain-based U.S. Fifth Fleet plays watchdog for the rest of the world's oil, it is worth remembering that American trade and commerce depend on the stability and prosperity of other nations and the global economy as a whole.

Lee Smith, The Strong Horse, p133.
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