Abstract: This paper examines the effect of the Six-Day War on the U.S.-Saudi relationship, an alliance that has long contributed to the political, economic, and military shape of the Middle East. It also considers why these ties did not suffer more dramatically following a bitter conflict in which Washington and Riyadh backed opposite sides. From an American standpoint, why did the alliance remain largely intact despite Riyadh’s considerable opposition to U.S. policy and participation in the 1967 oil embargo? For the Saudis, why did the intense indignation—at both public and elite levels—at U.S. support for Israel not prompt a break in relations? The answers to these questions are not only of historical interest. Understanding the basic dynamics that drive international alignment is as important today as it was during the height of the Cold War.
Unsurprisingly, the Six-Day War brought a great deal of strain upon the Saudi-U.S. alliance. As conflict approached in early June, anti-American sentiment rose to dangerous levels in the Kingdom. On June 2, three bombs exploded near the U.S. Embassy and the U.S. Military Training Mission in Riyadh. The influential Saudi Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Ahmad Zaki Yamani, also warned officials of the Arabian-American Oil Company (ARAMCO) that American support for Israel could have grave consequences for U.S. oil business in Saudi Arabia. When the war began, public resentment of the United States continued to grow. Anti-Israeli and anti-American demonstrations took place in Ras Tannura and Dhahran, while demonstrators in Dhahran attacked the U.S. consulate and ransacked facilities at ARAMCO.
The Saudi government kept dissent in close check. Several hundred people were arrested, and there were rumors that some were killed in custody. Hundreds of Palestinians were also expelled from the country, reflecting the Saudi government’s fear that the war could bring unwanted political and economic shocks at home. However, the kingdom’s reaction to the protests and sluggish support for Egypt led radical Arabs to denounce the House of Saud as an American puppet. In part to avert attacks on his regime, on June 6, when the war began, King Faisal called Saudis to jihad, proclaiming, “We consider any state or country supporting or aiding Zionist-Israeli aggression against the Arabs in any way as aggression against us.” With Egyptian forces in retreat toward the Suez Canal, and Jerusalem near capture, the call to arms must be interpreted primarily as a political and rhetorical gesture. Only a single brigade of Saudi soldiers supported the Egyptian-led effort by traveling to Jordan. They did not arrive until after the war had ended. Like Faisal’s public pronouncements, the Saudi military contribution can best be interpreted as a means to defuse potential domestic and Arab criticism, without unduly jeopardizing the Saudi economy and Riyadh’s security ties to the United States.
Fears of a Break
Nevertheless, it is important to stress that the strains in Saudi-U.S. relations were more than simple rhetorical posturing; they reflected genuine and serious disagreements over the nature of the conflict and the proper diplomatic resolution of the impasse between Israel and its neighbors. Faisal, like other Arab leaders, clearly perceived Israel as the aggressor in the Six-Day War and resented the American reluctance to criticize Tel Aviv more forcefully in the United Nations. According to Walt Rostow, special assistant to President Lyndon Johnson:
At the root of Faisal’s reaction are 20 years of frustration beginning with the UN resolution creating Israel, which he believes came about only as a result of U.S. pressure. He was at the UN himself in 1948 and speaks from deep personal conviction. Ever since, with the exception of 1956-57, he believes we have leaned toward Israel. He just doesn’t believe—no matter how many times we say it—that we can’t influence Israel.
During and immediately following the war, there existed real concern—particularly in Washington—that the conflict could lead to a rupture in Saudi-U.S. relations. On June 8, President Johnson sent a personal message to King Faisal expressing his “firm determination that events in the present crisis not be permitted to affect the long-standing interest of the United States Government in the closest possible relations with Saudi Arabia.” Secretary of State Dean Rusk informed the embassy that “we are making a major effort through as many channels as possible to convince King Faisal of U.S. hope [to] maintain good relations with him and to prevent possible break in relations between us.” Several days later, the U.S. ambassador in Jeddah, Hermann Frederick Eilts, reiterated the concerns and wrote to the State Department:
Thus far [the Saudi government] has stood up admirably to Arab pressures [to] sever relations with [the] US. We have had private (but official level) assurances that the King does not intend to do so. But we should not take [the] Saudi position for granted… In Saudi Arabia and elsewhere, our prestige and influence have suffered as a result of recent hostilities and [the] belief is widespread that [the] stunning Israeli victory [is] somehow attributable to [the] US.
Politically, both sides were under pressure to reduce the alignment or to sever relations altogether. The Saudi regime faced vilification from radical Arabs at home and abroad for its pro-American alignment, while Israel and pro-Israeli groups in the United States were also lobbying to prevent the buildup of Arab armies after the war.
A Step Back in Bilateral Relations
Saudi-U.S. relations did ultimately suffer. On June 5, the oil ministers of Arab countries convened in Baghdad and issued a communiqué pursuant to which they would, “stop all shipments of oil to any nation assisting Israel in its aggression against Arab countries.” That day, Nasser publicly declared—without factual basis or confirmation from Russian intelligence—that U.S. aircraft from the Mediterranean Sixth Fleet and British fighters from Cyprus had participated in the attacks on Egyptian airfields. Although some of the oil ministers present wished to confirm the report, Arabs widely believed that U.S. and British planes had at least given air cover to the IDF. On June 7, King Faisal announced that Saudi Arabia and its Arab neighbors would cut off oil supplies to “anyone who aided Israel,” including the United States and United Kingdom. Oil Minister Yamani informed ARAMCO that shipments to those countries would be prohibited.
The United States also took action, suspending arms transfers to Saudi Arabia and other regional actors between June and October. This ended a period of relative Anglo-American exclusivity in supplying weaponry to the kingdom, forcing Riyadh to diversify its sources of military supplies and turn to France for much of its armor. Saudi confidence in the reliability of future U.S. arms supplies waned slightly, as both sides faced pressure to scale back defense ties. According to an October State Department memorandum:
[Saudi Deputy Foreign Minister Sayyid Omar Saqqaf] noted that each time there is a serious problem in the Near East, there seems to be an attempt to influence policy through arms procurement matters. The Saudis were coming to feel that there was nothing on which they could depend.
Moreover, the arms embargo “had caused deep feeling among the officers of the Saudi Army.” However, given the political pressures on both sides to break relations—and in the particular the widespread Arab outrage toward Riyadh for not doing more—the changes in the Saudi-U.S. security relationship were quite minor. Riyadh did not take serious moves toward non-alignment, and Washington did not threaten a severe reduction in military support.
Privately, both governments discussed their differences in the context of repeated assurances of long-term cooperation. Their communication after the war reflected their closeness. A few weeks after the cease-fire, Faisal told Eilts that the U.S. failure to condemn Israel made it difficult for him to support Washington. He said that American policy planners did not understand the “mob psychology” of the Arab world. “You are dealing with irrational people,” he said, referring repeatedly to the Arab public as “crazy people.” “Those of us who are trying to stand up for you are being let down,” he added, “Your actions at the UN are intensifying pressures on me and other moderate Arab leaders.” The American leadership clearly understood Faisal’s dilemma. As early as June 13, Eilts wrote to the State Department that the US should:
Avoid placing King Faisal in position these next few days or weeks where he [is] required to show excessive public identification with [the] US. However, where possible, look for ways of showing that his past policy of friendship toward [the] US pays off, not only for Saudi Arabia but for other Arabs. It is distinctly in our interest at the present time to push Faisal and other Arab moderates’ causes in [the] Arab community.
THE OIL EMBARGO
Of course, the most pronounced expression of Saudi disapproval of American support for Israel was its participation in the Arab oil embargo against the United States and the United Kingdom. This section describes the nature of the Saudi participation in the embargo to illustrate that, even in the context of its most defiant act against Washington, Riyadh continued to place a high degree of priority on the alignment. Likewise, the United States did not attempt to exact “punishment” for the embargo, sending the implicit message that it understood the House of Saud’s predicament and shared Riyadh’s evident desire to smooth over the turbulent fall-out from the Six-Day War to solidify a long-term alliance.
The Onset of the Embargo
While the stated reason for the embargo was to punish supporters of Israel and deter them from future assistance to the Jewish state, other motives were apparent as well. As the British Cabinet concluded, Saudi oil production had “been stopped through action by the mobs.” The Arab oil producers, including Saudi Arabia, faced widespread domestic criticism for their alleged dependence on the United States and its Western allies. Egypt also applied public pressure on the conservative monarchies. The embargo was largely a means to show solidarity with the Arab cause and thereby channel some of the public anger and frustration away from the conservative Arab regimes. It would also reduce the likelihood of Arab nationalist sabotage of oil installations. Finally, the move relieved some of the political pressure to nationalize the oil companies, which Saudi leaders and others feared would have dangerously destabilizing effects on their economic and political regimes. Viewed in this way, Saudi participation in the oil embargo was as much a way to preserve its ties to Washington as to assert independence from the United States.
The long-term economic interests of both the Saudi regime and the United States clearly favored a quick resolution to the embargo and a resumption of a friendly—if not too overt—trade relationship. The United States also sought to preserve the relationship to protect access to the oilfields that one American official had called “the greatest single prize in all history.” Although the United States was not then dependent on large imports of Saudi oil, consumption and production trends showed that the kingdom would occupy an ever-greater place in the U.S. economy. This was particularly important to the United States in the context of the mounting demands of the war effort in Vietnam. Large revenues through corporations like ARAMCO and associated development projects also represented considerable economic benefits of the trade.
Saudi Arabia’s government and economy relied even more on its relationship with the American oil industry. By 1967, the kingdom received roughly 80 percent of its total national income from the oil industry and was largely dependent on American and European technicians for the management of public utilities and development projects. When the embargo began, Saudi leaders feared both the short-term effects of lost revenue and the potential sacrifice of long-term markets if Saudi supplies came to be viewed as unreliable. The increased sales by rival oil exporters, including Iran and Venezuela, during the summer of 1967 added to the Saudi concern of being squeezed out of future contracts. Given Saudi Arabia’s vast reserves, the kingdom has always tended to promote economic policies that will guarantee long-term access to lucrative markets, even at the expense of possible short-term price hikes.
Bringing and End to the Embargo
Faisal attempted to scale back the embargo as soon as political circumstances permitted. On June 18, Riyadh helped to block a proposal by Egypt, Iraq, Syria, and Algeria for total stoppage of production. On July 29, Yamani publicly questioned the impact of the embargo and the “serious impact” it would have on Arab economies, and on July 6, Faisal declared on Radio Jeddah that the Arabs should use oil to build up their economic strength. He warned that the embargo was having the opposite effect and that Saudis “should not be misled by ideas that communist friendship has imbued in some people’s minds.” The following day, the Saudi government called for an end to the embargo, “now that it has been established that there was no evidence of British and American aircraft helping Israel in last month’s war.”
Vehement Arab opposition to the statement compelled Riyadh to step back from that position for nearly two months, but the Saudi government continued to push for the resumption of oil supplies diplomatically, and gradually secured other states’ support at the Khartoum Conference in August. Meanwhile, the United States and its allies suffered little from the embargo, as at that time domestic production and imports from other regions could comfortably compensate for the loss of Arab oil. As Saudi officials had warned since late June, the embargo was a relative failure in punishing the West. On September 2, Saudi Arabia became the first Arab country to put a complete end to its embargo, and others soon followed. Throughout the embargo, Saudi behavior conveyed the same essential message with respect to the United States. The kingdom would make a show of disapproval strong enough to satisfy local and Arab audiences, but not strong enough to jeopardize its long-term U.S. alignment.
Survival of the Alliance
The relationship bent, but it certainly did not break. What documents in the British and American archives suggest is that both the Saudi and American leadership took modest steps back during the summer of 1967 in an effort to preserve long-term relations in the face of public pressure, above all from the Saudi population and radical Arab states. The overriding Saudi interest in regime security, the American focus on Cold War containment, and shared economic incentives served to sustain the alignment with minimal damage.
EXPLAINING THE RELATIVE CONTINUITY OF THE ALLIANCE
How can one best explain why the 1967 War did not bring about a more pronounced rift in Saudi-U.S. relations? As the preceding discussion of the oil embargo suggests, one answer is clearly economic. The bilateral relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States has often been characterized as a “marriage of convenience” based largely on the two countries’ common economic interest in oil production. Indeed, the revenue generated through Saudi rental of oilfields to the ARAMCO provided an important pillar in the relationship during its formative years, providing much-needed fiscal revenue and foreign exchange to the House of Saud as it consolidated its political position and built a modern state apparatus. Throughout the relationship, American trade and military support helped the House of Saud to construct what many analysts describe as a “rentier state,” benefiting and protecting the governing elite through the creation of patronage networks and a loyal military and civil service.
Comparable to oil, an important pillar of the relationship was the common Saudi and American fear of communism and radical Arab nationalism. That concern drove Washington and Riyadh to develop close security ties, and by the late 1950s, the United States was the dominant source of Saudi arms, military training, and external strategic support. For the Saudi regime, the merits of alignment were largely regional and related to intra-Arab rivalry. For the United States, Saudi Arabia was a linchpin in the effort to prevent the Soviet Union from securing massive additional oil reserves and, just as importantly, a major warm-water strategic foothold in or near the Persian Gulf. Rostow made American strategic priorities clear in the run-up to the war, relaying the results of a discussion within the National Security Council (NSC):
The main issue in the Middle East today is whether Nasser, the radical states and their Soviet backers are going to dominate the area. A related issue is whether the United States is going to stand up for its friends, the moderates, or back down as a major power in the Middle East.
The Six-Day War represented a major local victory for Israel and helped Saudi Arabia establish a stronger role in Arab affairs, but the overall balance of power in the Middle East between radical and conservative (or pro-Soviet and pro-American) forces did not change radically. More accurately, the overall “correlation of forces” between conservative and radical forces did not shift tremendously after the war, despite Nasser’s humiliating defeat. If anything, both the United States and House of Saud faced a more challenging matrix of regional security threats after the war. Consequently, the same basic economic and security interests that had helped the two nations construct their bilateral relationship for several decades continued to hold the alignment together after June 1967.
Effects of the War on the Regional Balance of Power
To understand why the Saudi-U.S. alliance survived the June war, it is important to consider the continuing uncertainties in the regional balance of power after the conflict. While the Six-Day War was a seismic event in the politics of the Middle East, diminishing the power and prestige of Egyptian and Syrian forces, the overall change in the balance of power was much more nuanced than a simple victory for the United States and its allies. The war had implications in a number of areas. It affected not only the Arab-Israeli conflict, but also the “Arab Cold War” that had been waged throughout the decade between Arab nationalist forces and conservative monarchical regimes. It also had an impact on the level of Soviet and American involvement in the region. The changing character of the distribution of power in the Middle East would be vital to sustaining the Saudi-U.S. alignment.
The “Arab Cold War”
Between 1962 and early 1967, the dominant theme of Arab politics had been the struggle for ascendancy between republican nationalists, led by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, and conservative monarchies, increasingly led by King Faisal. That dispute played itself out partly through a complex series of republican Ba’thist coups in Syria and Iraq, but primarily through the fierce civil war in Yemen. With a smaller landmass but considerably larger population than Saudi Arabia at the time, Yemen became the source of the overriding security concerns of the Saudi regime throughout the years preceding the Six-Day War. Since late 1962, Cairo and Riyadh had been providing financial and military support to the warring factions in a civil war, and by early 1963, Egypt had stationed approximately 15,000 troops there. The Soviet Union also supported the republican forces with economic aid, roughly 1,000 technical advisors, and indirect military aid through Cairo. In February 1963, the war nearly spilled into Saudi Arabia when Egyptian planes bombed the Saudi border town of Najran while trying to hit royalist forces. Only U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s intervention prevented escalation, as Washington pledged to use its air power to protect the kingdom.
In 1965, with the war near its peak, Nasser and Faisal signed the Jeddah Agreement, which included a disengagement plan and a plebiscite for the Yemenis by November 1966. However, the agreement remained a dead letter as protracted negotiations with and between Yemeni republicans and royalists failed to make progress and the war continued unabated. The “Arab Cold War” intensified as members of the Nasserist Union of Peoples of the Arabia Peninsula infiltrated into Saudi Arabia and conducted a series of bombings in Riyadh and Dammam in late 1996 and early 1967. In early 1967, Saudi officials also captured a number of pro-Egyptian Yemeni infiltrators who had entered the kingdom during the hajj and were planning assassination attempts against Faisal and Prince Fahd. During the same period, Nasser supported the deposed Saudi king, Sa’ud, who flew to Sana’a and donated US$1 million to the YAR. Sallal named Sa’ud the “legal King of Saudi Arabia,” and he remained an aggravating thorn in Faisal’s side. The struggle for primacy on the southern Arabian Peninsula remained deadlocked.
The Six-Day War and the Khartoum Conference
Only with the Six-Day War did the balance of power on the Arabian Peninsula shift decisively in Riyadh’s favor. In less than a week, the IDF brought about what years of Saudi and royalist resistance to Yemeni republicans had failed to achieve. Egypt’s crushing defeat in early June led to the effective reactivation of the 1965 Jeddah Agreement as financial and military weakness forced Nasser to withdraw Egyptian forces from the Yemen. Even before the war began, Nasser had started to pull some of his troops out of the YAR to reinforce defenses in Sinai and, by June 12, Egypt began a larger withdrawal of its forces, pulling 15,000 combatants, 150 tanks, and all of its heavy artillery out of Yemen. This represented the beginning of the end of the role that Egypt had played on the Arabian Peninsula since the 1962 coup against Imam al-Badr.
Less than three months later, on August 31, 1967, Nasser and Faisal signed an agreement in Khartoum on a peaceful resolution of the Yemen conflict. The agreement provided for a complete withdrawal of Egyptian forces by late November and the cessation of Nasser’s support for former Saudi King Sa’ud, in exchange for Riyadh’s agreement to cease support for Yemeni royalists. At the Khartoum conference, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Libya also agreed to provide Egypt and Jordan with 135 million British pounds of annual aid, of which Egypt would get 95 million. Saudi Arabia would give 50 million of this amount but said it would only pay out to Egypt once troops were out of Yemen.
The Khartoum settlement reflected two very important facts about the immediate post-war political environment in the Arab world. First, in an atmosphere of intense anti-Israeli sentiment, Riyadh and other royalist states had to show solidarity with Egypt or risk losing international prestige and domestic stability. Secondly, the agreement reflected the decided advantage of Riyadh over Cairo as the latter came, cap in hand, in need of financial support and willing in turn to effectively renounce its claims on the Arabian Peninsula. By October 10, Nasser declared that almost all of its troops were out of Sana’a and that the last contingent would leave from Hodeida in early December. Although a republican regime remained in power in Yemen, the balance of power in the southern Arabian Peninsula had clearly tilted away from Cairo and toward Riyadh.
Stronger Ties between Moscow and the Arab Republics
On a broader strategic level, the Six-Day War represented an apparent triumph for the United States and Great Britain in their struggle for regional influence against the Soviet Union. Two of America’s closest regional allies—Israel and Saudi Arabia—had gained considerable influence, while two Soviet allies—Egypt and Syria—had suffered catastrophic military and territorial losses. In addition, as Bernard Lewis observed shortly after the conflict, “Soviet prestige—the reputation of Soviet arms and guidance, the credibility of Soviet warnings—had received a damaging blow.” The departure of Egyptian forces from Yemen also limited Moscow’s strategic options on the Arabian Peninsula. Furthermore, the closure of the Suez Canal dramatically curtailed Soviet capacity to project naval influence into the Red Sea, Persian Gulf, and Western Indian Ocean. This lack of naval access posed a significant obstacle to Soviet political and military influence in the area. Some observers went as far as to characterize the Middle East as “Russia’s Vietnam,” sucking Moscow into a losing conflict involving high risk, tremendous costs and dubious promise for strategic gain.
Although the Israeli victory brought clear immediate gains to the United States and its allies and suggested a Western triumph, the changing character of the regional balance of power was more complex. While the war had arguably shown the superiority of American weaponry, defeat also drove Cairo and Damascus closer to Moscow in need of military and economic support. Moscow soon launched a massive supply effort to restore the battered militaries of both states and to provide military training and technical advice. Both Cairo and Damascus opened their port facilities to the USSR, raising its ability to challenge the U.S. Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean. Thus, as Lewis notes:
During the months that followed the Arab-Israeli War of June 1967, the view gradually gained ground in the West that the Arab defeat represented a considerable Russian victory. Some more imaginative observers argued that the Russians had deliberately engineered both the war and the defeat in order to achieve this result; others, without going as far as to ascribe conscious purpose, nevertheless agreed that, by increasing the hostility of the Arabs to the West and their dependence on the Soviet Union, the crisis, the war and their aftermath had greatly strengthened the Soviet political and strategic position in the Middle East and correspondingly weakened that of the Middle East.
The truth was more complex, as Lewis argues. It was clear that the USSR had gained influence through the larger dependency of radical Arab regimes in Cairo and Damascus. This increased its naval access and power in the Eastern Mediterranean and its ability to threaten Turkey and Iran from the south as well as the north. However, these gains were accompanied by serious strategic losses in the southern half of the region due to the closure of the Suez Canal and diminished Soviet influence in the Red Sea and Indian Ocean. Conservative regimes in the Gulf rallied, while the USSR lost the confidence of Somali leaders and the help of Egyptian forces in Yemen. Finally, as the British departed from southern Arabia, “The ripe plum of Aden fell to the ground and was not picked.” Overall, the balance of power between East and West did not change dramatically in the region after the Six-Day War. However, around the Arabian Peninsula, the West and its allies made measured but significant gains.
The Ongoing Struggle in Yemen & South Arabia
The modest Western gains, particularly in the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and Persian Gulf, did not end the strategic challenge from the Soviet Union and its allies, however. Despite the Egyptian withdrawal from Yemen, the power struggle between republican and royalist forces in that country continued. It was in this theater that the clearest external threat to Saudi security remained. In the fall of 1967, both Nasser and Faisal largely adhered to their agreement at Khartoum, but other external powers stepped into the breach. Faisal allowed the shah of Iran to airlift weaponry to royalist forces through Najran, including some heavy artillery that Riyadh had previously withheld from its Yemeni allies. In the north of the country, near the Saudi border, the conflict initially appeared to proceed in favor of Riyadh. However, divisions within the royalist movement led to an awkward royalist-republican coalition government when Yemeni President abd Allah al-Sallal was overthrown in Sana’a during a trip to Moscow in early November.
A new “third force” took power in Sana’a under republican leader Qadi Abdul Rahman Iryani, whose government included both traditional tribal and religious leaders and ardent Arab nationalists. In the first week of December, as the last wave of Egyptian troops departed, royalist forces attacked Sana’a, but the USSR airlifted arms and supplies to the capital and provided pilots for YAR aircraft to save the republican-led regime. That application of force, though modest by Soviet standards, played a decisive role at a key point in the Yemeni conflict. This represented the first time that Moscow had become publicly involved in combat. It also underscored the Soviets’ conviction to ensure that the YAR and its armed forces remained in republican hands.
At the same time, the long-standing British strategic presence in southern Arabia was drawing to a close. Despite protests from the Federal Government of South Arabia in the spring of 1967, which asserted that it was unprepared to assume responsibility for the security of Aden until September 1968, the British accelerated their withdrawal plans to January. In June, shortly after the war, British forces began their withdrawal, even though the security situation continued to deteriorate. The U.K. Defense Secretary acknowledged that security in south Arabia had become much more difficult, particularly due to “allegations of collusion by ourselves and the United States with Israel.” By September, the South Arabian Federal Supreme Council had “virtually disintegrated,” and London announced its intention to negotiate with the nationalist forces. Cabinet minutes reveal that Faisal was “not unexpectedly…upset” at the U.K. decision. Egypt continued to use the closure of the Suez Canal to push Britain toward a settlement, and by late October the United Kingdom announced that it would speed its withdrawal further, despite fury from Faisal, “who feared that [early U.K. withdrawal] might have repercussions for the rulers of the Persian Gulf states.”
The withdrawal was complete in late November. As U.K. troops pulled out from the South Arabian Federation, the Marxist National Liberation Front (NLF) behind Secretary-General Abdul Fattah Ismail quickly took power, defeating the Egyptian-backed Front for the Liberation of Occupied South Yemen. The NLF established the People’s Republic of South Yemen and proclaimed its intention to overthrow the House of Saud and other traditional regimes on the peninsula. Faisal considered the U.K. withdrawal a foolish or deliberately wicked gift from the British Labor government to Communism. He decried it as an “abandonment of friends” and “prejudice of his interests.” Riyadh was now confronted with a radical Marxist Arab state along much of its southern border, an uncertain republican-leaning regime beside it, and the risk of war between North and South Yemen, both of which depended to varying degrees on the USSR.
Other Regional Uncertainties
The state-based balance of power changes above were accompanied by less measurable, but equally important, changes in what the Soviets more accurately described as the overall correlation of forces in the region. One effect of the 1967 War was to radicalize many Palestinians and catalyze the transformation of the Palestinian movement into the more militant and politically assertive Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO). The significant growth of PLO operations in Jordan following the Six-Day War created uncertainty about the stability of the Hashemite regime under King Hussein in Amman. A possibility existed that Jordan would be swept into a struggle between radical and traditional forces. In addition, the PLO’s expansion radicalized large numbers of Palestinians in the Gulf. By late 1967, radical uprisings in the Dhofar region of Oman also appeared imminent, and in the Horn of Africa the Somali government and radical Eritrean Liberation Front turned to the Soviet Union for military support in their struggles against Addis Ababa.
The effect of the Six-Day War was thus much more complex than a simple gain in the power of the West and its allies at the expense of the USSR and associated Arab republican regimes. The war did bring a relative victory to Riyadh and the Gulf States in their Arab Cold War conflict with Egypt. The Israeli victory also affected the short-term distribution of territory and military power between the competing U.S. and Soviet-led alliance networks. Conversely, however, the vulnerability of Egypt, Syria, and the Yemeni republicans after Nasser’s defeat made them much more willing to embrace stronger strategic ties with the Soviet Union. The demise of Egyptian power also prompted Moscow, for the first time, to commit itself publicly with military activity in Yemen, where local republican and Marxist forces held the upper hand. Moreover, the Six-Day War radicalized the Palestinian movement and other Arab nationalist groups and created an increased risk of regime instability in the traditional Arab states. Finally, the pullback of British forces in the context of Soviet support to Yemen, Somalia, Egypt, and the Eritrean resistance created added uncertainty about the overall balance of power in the region.
Saudi and American Security Concerns after the War
The ambiguous changes in the regional correlation of forces helps to explain why the Israeli victory did not diminish the shared sense in Washington and Riyadh that Arab radicals and the Soviet Union remained serious threats to conservative interests in the Gulf. Overlapping local and strategic threats continued to drive the United States and Saudi Arabia together. In the Saudi case, elite beliefs in a grand Communist-Zionist conspiracy added to the perception that Israel’s victory would only serve to benefit the USSR.
American Strategic Considerations
From an American standpoint, much of the logic of the alliance with Saudi Arabia followed the standard “rational” or “realist” line. The U.S. interest in preserving one of its emerging “twin pillars” in the Gulf was clear, as the USSR continued to extend its reach into the region. With American forces increasingly bogged down in Vietnam, and with the Soviet Union gaining relative strength and political assertiveness, the fear of Soviet advances into the Middle East was acute. The region’s oil resources, warm-water ports, and access to key trade routes were all prizes that the Johnson Administration very much sought to keep out of Soviet hands. The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff summarized U.S. concerns in May, asserting that “the long-term Soviet goal in this area is to supplant Western influence with Soviet influence, leading in time to a Moscow-oriented communist political, economic, and social system.” Moreover, U.S. influence in the Arab world region was limited to a few key conservative states, as Libya, Egypt, Syria, and increasingly Iraq tilted toward the USSR.
The gradual British departure from Arabia and the Gulf exacerbated those fears, as withdrawal from Aden would expose southern Arabia to the UAR and Moscow, and “British withdrawal from the Persian Gulf would provide the USSR with some opportunities to expand its influence there.” An NSC memorandum in November expressed that concern, noting that “the British Cabinet decided last week that, come what may, British forces will pull out of South Arabia sometime [between] November 22-30. No one—least of all the Brits—pretends to know what will follow.” As one State Department paper had argued to the NSC several months before:
The current contest for South Arabia has meaning far beyond its size or importance. For 20 years the US has managed to maintain in the Near East its major interests of access to oil, freedom of air and sea transit and prevention of the dominance of the area by any one power. However, our significant political influence in the Arab Near East is now confined to the Arabian Peninsula and Jordan.
Faisal played on U.S. concerns, asserting after the war that Jordan and Saudi Arabia were the sole barriers remaining in the Middle East to communism and “should receive every support from Britain and the United States.”
Moreover, as the British Foreign Secretary noted, the 1967 War increased the American need to promote constructive relations with moderate regimes in the Arab world. U.S. support for Israel had the clear effect of undermining America’s image in the Arab world generally and fueling anti-American rhetoric from the region’s radical regimes and movements. Finally, U.S. demand for Gulf oil continued to rise, particularly to fuel the massive war effort in Vietnam.
Saudi External Security
On the Saudi side, some of Faisal’s motives for continued alignment focused on strategic threats from outside the kingdom. After the Khartoum Conference, Faisal and the Saudi foreign policymaking elite faced a considerably diminished threat from Egypt and the Arab nationalist movement in general, but this did not create a risk-free environment for Riyadh. Faisal remained deeply suspicious of Nasser and believed that the Egyptian leader “was trying to spin things out until [the UK] had withdrawn from South Arabia.” In August, he exclaimed to Morgan Man, the U.K. Resident in Saudi Arabia, “If Nasser can get 299,999 soldiers out of Sinai in 24 hours there is no reason why he cannot get 25,999 troops out of Yemen in a week.”
Moreover, the relative diffusion of threats of the House of Saud after August 1967, made it more difficult to assess and counter them. After the Six-Day War, Nasser was no longer a threat to Saudi Arabia, but Faisal remained deeply concerned about the increase in Soviet advisers and weapons in Egypt. The increased Soviet presence in Yemen and the Horn of Africa also concerned Riyadh, as did the continuing conflict in the YAR, the budding rebellion in Oman, and the rising tide of PLO activity in Jordan. Oman was a special area of concern. Faisal did not hide his disdain for the Sultan of Oman, whom he called:
A backward, miserly autocrat who does hardly anything for his people, sits ogre-like and fearful in Salalah, is scared to go even to Muscat…and enjoys so little popularity that even his own bodyguard is not afraid to take a pot-shot at him.
He was deeply concerned that Oman would become communist or Nasserist, especially after the Six-Day War, and even went so far as to support radicals in Oman to keep them out of Nasser’s hands.
In the medium-term, Faisal feared the evident British intention to reduce its strategic presence around the Arabian Peninsula, a process that began with the withdrawal from Aden. In December, the Saudi Ambassador to Britain privately “admitted that the Saudis had a lurking fear of the British not having a plan but being liable, as they did in Aden, suddenly to depart from the Gulf.” According to Man, by October, “Faisal’s mind [was] turning more and more to the shape of things to come in the Gulf,” and he was not optimistic about British support:
Faisal is deeply pessimistic about the future of South Arabia as a result of our withdrawal and the chaotic situation which, to his mind, threatens to result. Faisal at present feels that we have let him—and ourselves—down badly over South Arabia in the context of the stability and security of the Arabian Peninsula. Quite frankly, he does not trust us and suspects that we may one day help to overthrow the established rulers and regimes of the Gulf—as we did in South Arabia—and replace them by those with whom we had much more sympathy, namely the socialist-revolutionaries.
With the envisioned British withdrawal or “turning of coat,” Faisal foresaw the possibility of a power vacuum in the Persian Gulf and Eastern Indian Ocean that the shah of Iran could seek to fill. Although relations between Riyadh and Tehran were good, the prospect of a much larger Iran asserting itself in the Gulf, around most of the key Arabian oil installations and vital sea-lanes, raised concerns. Finally, political instability in Sudan—coupled with the conflicts in the Horn of Africa—added threats to Saudi Arabia’s long littoral region beside the Red Sea. All of these uncertainties in the regional balance of power provided incentives for Saudi leaders to keep the United States and its armed forces deeply engaged in the area.
Saudi Domestic Concerns
The Saudi regime also had to consider the domestic repercussions of its alignment with the United States. Saudi security policy has never been based simply on “realist” considerations of managing external threats to the kingdom’s territorial integrity and independence. Internal stability and regime protection have been consistent factors as well. The relative newness of the state apparatus and its questionable legitimacy in the eyes of Saudi citizens, and much of international society, make the House of Saud vulnerable to internal revolt. This fact always plays a part in major foreign policy decisions. In particular, Saudi leaders have borne a constant concern about the local political effects of the state’s external relations and the regime’s perceived legitimacy at home. This factor, more than any other—and certainly more than a fear of American or Israeli attack on Saudi interests—drove Riyadh’s decision to moderate the alignment slightly and diversify its sources of weaponry.
Ironically, the same domestic threats also constituted a continuing basis for substantive ties with Washington. A number of Saudi opposition groups had been active since the 1950s. Some were reformist, like the Liberal Party and Reform party, calling for a constitutional monarchy and neutralist foreign policy. Others were more radical, such as the Saudi Arabian National Liberation front (SANLF) which by 1962 was calling for overthrow of the monarchy. The SANLF joined other radical groups in 1964 to form the Federation of Democratic Forces of the Arabian Peninsula, and although the USSR was careful not to claim credit for their activities, Moscow’s shadow was never far behind. American military support, technical assistance, and economic exchange were major sources of the power that the House of Saud could bring to bear on these domestic threats to his rule.
The Perceived Communist-Zionist Connection
Added to this mix of “rational” Saudi threat assessment from inside and outside of the kingdom was an intriguing conspiracy theory that added to Riyadh’s willingness to align with Washington after the 1967 War. Faisal believed that Zionism and communism were inextricably linked as part of an international Jewish conspiracy. The proof, he argued, lay in the Jewish backgrounds of Karl Marx, Trotsky, and other leaders of the Communist revolution. During his reign, prominent Saudi hotels distributed bedside copies of the forged Protocols of the Elders of Zion and other works linking Judaism to Communism. Faisal typically began meetings with foreign ambassadors by speaking at length about the link between Judaism and Communism. In one provocative media interview, he asserted that, “Zionism is the mother of Communism. It helped to spread Communism around the world.” Faisal argued that no contradiction existed between his perception of Zionist-Communist collusion and the apparent fact that Israel and the USSR were fighting on opposite sides of the Cold War, with the United States supplying arms to Israel and the Soviets assisting Egypt and Syria. He argued:
It is all part of a great plot, a great conspiracy. Communism…is a Zionist creation designed to fulfill the aims of Zionism. They are only pretending to work against each other.…The Zionists are deceiving the United States…the Communists are cheating the Arabs, making them believe they are on our side. But actually they are in league with the Zionists.
Faisal reasoned that the creation of the State of Israel had radicalized the Arab world, which in turn drove radical regimes into the arms of the Soviet Union, causing them to become unduly dependent on Moscow and atheistic Communism. Faisal invoked this conspiracy theory on many occasions during his rule. Whether entirely sincere or partly instrumental, the theory conveniently linked the principal perceived enemy of Faisal’s people (Israel) to the principal perceived enemy to his rule (Arab nationalists).
During his reign as king, Faisal dominated the foreign policymaking process in Saudi Arabia. Consequently, his personal perceptions and attitudes cannot be ignored as highly important influences on the country’s external relations. In any case, he was not alone in these perceptions. Saudi leaders generally saw the war as evidence that the Soviets were trying to increase their power over the Arabs rather than leading them to a favorable solution with Israel. Faisal noted that despite Moscow’s public support of the Arabs, Soviet military assistance to the Jews had allowed Israel to survive in 1948. Moreover, Faisal blamed the USSR for the Arab defeat in June 1967, accusing Moscow of deliberately misleading Nasser to believe that Israel would not attack. To Faisal and other Saudi leaders, the United States therefore served paradoxically as the world’s greatest material defender of Zionism and its greatest protector from communism. The Saudi king resented American support for Israel but continued to rely upon Washington to face the “other evil.” Leading one of the few countries in the developing world that had never been colonized by a Western power, Faisal also possessed somewhat less fear of American intrusion than did many other U.S. allies. He also respected America’s Christian heritage and saw religion as a basis for mutual trust between the two nations.
Conclusion: Balances of Power and Alignment Dynamics
Theorists and practitioners of international relations have long perceived that a relationship exists between alignments and “balances of power.” According to the mainstream “realist” theoretical tradition, alignments are best viewed as a state’s effort to counter powerful or menacing external actors. So-called “neorealist” theory posits that the nature of the anarchic international order compels states to align against the most powerful actor in the system. “Classical” and “neoclassical” realists tend to treat alignments, instead, as responses to a state’s primary perceived threat, as identified by its power, proximity, and perceived intentions. This balance-of-threat theory encompasses the view taken by American leaders at the time. The Joint Chiefs of Staff predicted, for example, that “Saudi Arabia…would view additional UAR or USSR military influence in South Arabia as an increased threat [and] probably would request increased U.S. or other Western military aid or security commitments.” The relations between Saudi Arabia and the United States after the Six-Day War broadly support this threat-balancing logic, as the continuing perception of common communist and Arab nationalist adversaries was sufficient to minimize the fallout from the two countries’ opposing political and military stances during the war.
These realist models by no means provide a complete picture of Saudi-U.S. alignment dynamics during the period, however. Domestic politics in both countries were important in forcing certain limitations on the alignment, even when external factors and broad strategic and economic considerations demanded otherwise. Overall, this study therefore supports the theoretical work of a number of scholars in the post-Cold War period who have emphasized the importance of focusing on regime security, not merely state security, in explaining and understanding the alignment politics of the developing world. The Saudi government’s behavior simply cannot be properly understood without focusing on Riyadh’s longstanding concerns about internal political stability and regime legitimacy.
This study also supports theorists who have emphasized the roles of economic interests and ideational factors in shaping alignment decisions. In the Saudi case, the centrality of the oil industry in the management of Riyadh’s “rentier state” has clearly disposed the House of Saud to carefully avoid unduly antagonizing its most critical long-term trading partner and technical service provider. On an ideational level, Faisal’s fascination with an alleged Communist-Zionist conspiracy appears to have contributed to his willingness to downplay Washington’s own ties to Israel. In conclusion, therefore, this study helps to reinforce the fact that the evolution of an alignment invariably results from a complex web of historical facts that are always at least somewhat peculiar to the parties and the time period in question. General theoretical models can be helpful in structuring or clarifying the analysis of an alignment, but there is no substitute for detailed historical inquiry.
*John D. Ciorciari (Harvard A.B., J.D.; Oxford M.Phil.) is a doctoral candidate in International Relations at St. Antony’s College, Oxford, where he was the Wai Seng Senior Research Scholar from 2002-2004. He has taught Cold War history, Middle East politics, international relations, and U.S. foreign policy at Oxford and has researched the dynamics of alliances as a Visiting Research Fellow at the Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies in Singapore. He currently serves as a Senior Advisor for International Affairs at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
An earlier version of this article was presented at the U.S. Department of State’s conference “The United States, the Middle East, and the 1967 Arab-Israeli War,” held on January 12 and 13, 2004.
 An “alliance” or “alignment” is defined here as significant politico-security cooperation between two or more states. For similar definitions, see Stephen M. Walt, The Origins of Alliances (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1987), p. 1; Glenn H. Snyder, “Alliances, Balance, and Stability,” International Organization 45:1 (winter 1991), pp. 123-24.
 Josh Pollack, “Saudi Arabia and the United States, 1931-2002,” Middle East Review of International Affairs 6:3 (2002), p. 77.
 Alexei Vassiliev, The History of Saudi Arabia (London: Saqi Books, 1998), p. 370 (citing Middle East Record, vol. 5, p. 456).
 David Holden and Richard Johns, The House of Saud (London & Sydney, Pan Books, 1981), p. 252 (citing BBC Monitoring Report ME/2485/A/7, 1967).
 Anthony H. Cordesman, The Gulf and the Search for Strategic Stability (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1984), p. 133.
 For a similar conclusion on Saudi policy in the wake of the war, see Fuad Jabber, “The Arab Regimes and the Palestinian Revolution, 1967-71,” Journal of Palestine Studies 2:2 (1973), p. 81.
 See, e.g., “Memorandum from the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson,” 13 June 1967, in FRUS, 1964-1968, vol. XXI, p. 562.
 “Memorandum from the President’s Special Assistant to President Johnson,” 10 Oct. 1967, in FRUS 1964-68, vol. XXI, pp. 582-83.
 “Telegram from the Department of State to the Embassy in Saudi Arabia, 8 June 1967,” in FRUS, 1964-1968, vol. XXI, p. 557.
 “Telegram from the Department of State to the Embassy in Saudi Arabia, 9 June 1967,” in FRUS, 1964-1968, vol. XXI, p. 560.
 “Telegram from the Embassy in Saudi Arabia to the Department of State, 13 June 1967,” in FRUS, 1964-1968, vol. XXI, pp. 562-63.
 Pressure on Riyadh lasted for some time. See “Telegram from the Embassy in Saudi Arabia to the Department of State,” 27 Aug. 1967, in FRUS, 1964-1968, vol. XXI, pp. 574-78.
 See Arab Ministers’ Oil Communiqué, June 5, 1967. The oil ministers of Iraq, Libya, Kuwait, Algeria, Bahrain, Qatar, and Abu Dhabi also signed the communiqué, along with representatives from Lebanon, Egypt, and Syria.
 Robert W. Stookey, America and the Arab States: An Uneasy Encounter (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1975), pp. 208-09. It is worth noting that Faisal was one of the only Arab not to pay lip service to these reports, again underscoring the limits to his willingness to jeopardize American ties.
 M.S. Daoudi and M.S. Dajani, “The 1967 Oil Embargo Revisited,” Journal of Palestine Studies 13:2 (1984), p. 69.
 See Cave Brown, Oil, God, and Gold: The Story of Aramco and the Saudi Kings (Boston & New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1999), pp. 268-80.
 Anthony H. Cordesman, Western Strategic Interests in Saudi Arabia (London: Croom Helm, 1987), p. 26.
 Cordesman, supra note 72, pp. 135-36.
 “Memorandum of Conversation,” 4 Oct. 1967, in FRUS, 1964-1968, vol. XXI, pp. 581-82.
 “Telegram From the Embassy in Saudi Arabia to the Department of State,” 23 June 1967, in FRUS, 1964-1968, vol. XXI, pp. 567-68.
 “Telegram From the Embassy in Saudi Arabia to the Department of State,” 13 June 1967, in FRUS, 1964-1968, vol. XXI, p. 564.
 “UK Cabinet Conclusions, 13 June 1967,” CAB 128/42 (Part 1), CC 38(67), min. 1.
 The British Cabinet concluded: “although Arab governments might themselves wish to resume oil supplies to us, or to connive at our receiving them, popular pressure stimulated by the United Arab Republic might make it difficult to do this. “UK Cabinet Conclusions, 15 June 1967’ CAB 128/42 (Part 1), CC 39(67), min. 3.
 Daoudi & Dajani, supra note 15, pp. 67-68. Daoudi and Dajani further argue that “It was obvious that the Saudis engaged in the embargo solely to avoid alienating themselves from the Arab world, with all the implications that such a move would have had for the stability of the Saudi regime.” Ibid. p. 81.
 Daniel Yergin, The Prize (New York & London: Touchstone, 1993), p. 393, quoting an American official on a 1944 delegation.
 Tom Dammann, “Saudi Arabia’s Dilemma: An Interview with King Faisal,” Interplay, Sept. 1970, pp. 16-19. It is also worth noting that 87 percent of Saudi government revenues came from the industry.
 Daoudi & Dajani, supra note 15, p. 70 (noting Riyadh’s awareness that Iran had lost key contracts after its cessation of production during the nationalization dispute in 1951).
 Leonard Mosley, Power Play: Oil in the Middle East (Baltimore: Penguin Books, 19740, p. 345.
 “Saudi Minister Urges Arabs to Reconsider Oil Boycott,” Financial Times, July 1, 1967.
 Holden & Johns, supra note 4, p. 253.
 “Saudi Call to Resume Oil Supplies,” The Times, July 8, 1967.
 Thomas Barger, Arab States of the Persian Gulf (Newark, DE: Center for the Study of Marine Policy, 1975), p. 40.
 This is a conclusion widely shared by analysts of the episode. See, e.g., Walter Lacquer, The Struggle for the Middle East (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1969), p. 127; Hanss Maull, “Oil and Influence: The Oil Weapon Examined,” Adelphi Paper 118 (London: IISS, 1975), p. 2; and James A. Boorman III, “Economic Coercion in International Law: The Arab Oil Weapon and the Ensuing Juridical Issues,” Journal of Law & Economics (1974), pp. 207-08.
 For a more complete account of the process of negotiation leading to the end of the oil embargo, see Daoudi & Dajani, supra note 15, pp. 72-80.
 Pollack, supra note 2, p. 81.
 For a detailed discussion of the early years of the Saudi-US relationship, see Parker T. Hart, Saudi Arabia and the United States, Birth of a Security Partnership (Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1998).
 Saudi Arabia has often been described as the epitome of a “rentier” state, deriving power and a sort of legitimacy through control and dispersal or externally received funds. See Giacomo Luciani, “Allocation vs. Productive States: A Theoretical Framework,” in Hazen Beblawi and Giacomo Luciani, eds., The Arab State (London: Routledge, 1990), pp. 65-84.
 See Adeed Dawisha, “Saudi Arabia’s Search for Security,” Adelphi Paper 158 (London: IISS, 1980).
 For a good account of the evolution of Saudi-US security relations in the 1950s and 1960s, with a particular focus on military cooperation, see Cordesman, supra note 5, pp. 98-132.
 “Memorandum from the President’s Special Assistant to President Johnson,” 23 May 1967, in FRUS, 1964-1968, vol. XXI, pp. 210-11.
 The term “balance of power” is notoriously vague in international relations and historical scholarship. In this paper, the “balance of power” refers to the distribution of economic, military, and political power among major state actors in the Middle East, including the United States and the Soviet Union. For a classic discussion of alternative definitions of the “balance of power,” see Martin Wight, Power Politics (Harmondsworth: Pelican, 1979), chapter 16.
 The term “correlation of forces” was used by Marxist-Leninists to describe the total state and non-state forces supporting each side of the ideological struggle between the capitalist and communist sides of the Cold War. In some cases, it is a more useful concept than the state-centric notion of a “balance of power,” because it contemplates the distribution of forces within countries as well as among them.
 Reinhard Schulze, A Modern History of the Islamic World (New York: New York University Press, 2002), p. 181.
 For a detailed narrative of the conflict, see Saeed M. Badeeb, The Saudi-Egyptian Conflict over North Yemen, 1962-1970.
 Aryeh Y. Yodfat, The Soviet Union and the Arabian Peninsula (London & Canberra: Croom Helm, 1983), pp. 2-3.
 For a brief discussion of the episode, see Hermann Frederick Eilts, “Book Review: Saudi Arabia and the United States, Birth of a Security Partnership,” Middle East Policy Council Journal 6:4 (June 1999).
 A.R. Kelidar, “The Arabian Peninsula in Arab and Power Politics,” in Derek Hopwood, ed., The Arabian Peninsula (London: George Allen & Unwin, 1972), p. 158.
 Mark N. Katz, Russia & Arabia: Soviet Foreign Policy toward the Arabian Peninsula (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), p. 141; Holden & Johns, supra note 4, p. 250.
 Holden & Johns, supra note 4, pp. 250-51.
 Vassiliev, supra note 3, p. 22271.
 Kelidar, supra note 48, p. 158.
 See Resolutions of the Khartoum Conference, Sept. 1, 1967, reprinted in T.G. Fraser, the Middle East 1914-1979 (London: Edward Arnold, 1980), pp. 115-16.
 Vassiliev, supra note 3, p. 377 (citing Keesing Contemporary Archives, p. 22547).
 The British Foreign Office initially took this view, asserting that “the post-war position of Nasser in the Arab World is weaker instead of stronger. The same may prove to be true of the Russian position.” See “Arab Attitudes and British Economic Interests in the Middle East: Memorandum by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, 7 June 1967,” CAB 129 (132), C(67)123, ¶ 5(b).
 Bernard Lewis, “The Consequences of Defeat,” Foreign Affairs 46:2 (1968), p. 325.
 Kelidar, supra note 48, p. 159.
 Bernard Lewis, “The Great Powers, the Arabs and the Israelis,” Foreign Affairs 27:4 (1969), p. 644.
 Glenn E. Perry, The Middle East: Fourteen Islamic Centuries (3rd edn., New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1997), p. 265.
 Lewis, “The Great Powers,” p. 642. Interestingly, the British Cabinet discussed the likelihood of this development in a meeting on May 30, shortly before the outbreak of war. See “UK Cabinet Conclusions, 30 May 1967” CAB 128/42 (Part 1), CC 33(67), min. 1.
 Ibid. p. 645.
 Holden & Johns, supra note 4, pp. 272-73.
 Katz, supra note 49, p. 135.
 Walter Lacqueur, “Russia Enters the Middle East,” Foreign Affairs 47:2 (1969), p. 303.
 Yodfat, supra note 46, p. 3. Syria and Algeria also began to provide money, arms, and technical support for the new pro-Moscow YAR leadership. Nadav Safran, Saudi Arabia: The Ceaseless Quest for Security (Ithaca, NY & London: Cornell University Press, 1988), p. 123.
 “UK Cabinet Conclusions, 11 May 1967,” CAB 128/42 (Part 1), CC 30(67), min. 3.
 “UK Cabinet Conclusions, 22 June 1967,” CAB 128/42 (Part 1), CC 41(67), min. 3. For a more detailed account of the British withdrawal from Aden, see J.B. Kelly, Arabia, the Gulf, and the West: A Critical View of the Arabs and their Oil Policy (New York: Basic Books, 1980).
 “UK Cabinet Conclusions, 7 September 1967,” CAB 128/42 (Part 1), CC 54(67), min. 2.
 Holden & Johns, supra note 4, p. 272.
 “South Arabia: Memorandum by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, 26 October 1967,” CAB 129 (133 part 2), C(67)169, ¶ 4.
 Cordesman, supra note 5, p. 135; Safran, supra note 65, p. 124.
 Cordesman, supra note 5, p. 135.
 See “Memorandum from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Secretary of Defense McNamara, 18 May 1967,” JCSM-281-67, in FRUS, 1964-1968, vol. XXI, pp. 203-06.
 See “National Intelligence Estimate, 18 May 1967,” NIE 30-1-67, in FRUS, 1964-1968, vol. XXI, pp. 206-08.
 “Memorandum from John W. Foster and Harold H. Saunders of the National security council staff to the President’s Special Assistant,” 7 Nov. 1967, in FRUS, 1964-1968, vol. XXI, pp. 235-36.
 “Future of South Arabia,” Paper prepared in the Department of State for the NSC meeting of 24 May 1967, in FRUS, 1964-1968, vol. XXI, pp. 211-15.
 Conversation between King Faisal and UK Ambassador Morgan Man, “telegram no. 566 of 28 August 1967, FCO 17/241, ¶ 3(i).
 See “Arab Attitudes and British Economic Interests in the Middle East: Memorandum by the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, 7 June 1967,” CAB 129 (132), C(67)123, c 6.
 “Jedda to Foreign Office, telegram no. 567 of 28 August 1967,” FCO 17/241.
 Safran, supra note 65, p. 122-23; Cordesman, supra note 5, p. 135.
 Katz, supra note 49, p. 135.
 “King Faisal’s Relations with the Sultan, 4 April 1967, from the British residency in Bahrain” FCO 8/585, ¶ 3.
 Ibid ¶¶ 1-3.
 “Conversation with the Saudi Ambassador, 7 December 1967,” FCO 8/45, ¶ 8.
 “Saudi Arabia and the Future of the Gulf, Ambassador Morgan Man to Frank Brenchley, Foreign Office, 25 October 1967,” FCO 8/45, ¶ 2. US officials were aware of Man’s conversations with Faisal, which Ambassador Eilts summarized in a memorandum of 28 October. See “Telegram from the Embassy in Saudi Arabia to the Department of State,”28 Oct. 1967, in FRUS, 1964-1968, vol. XXI, pp. 230-31.
 Ibid. ¶¶ 4-5.
 Kelidar, supra note 48, p. 159.
 Safran, supra note 65, p. 3; James Piscatori, “Islamic Values versus National Interest: the Foreign Policy of Saudi Arabia,” in Adeed Dawisha, ed., Islam in Foreign Policy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), pp. 51-52.
 “Legitimacy” is defined here as general public conviction that the governing regime is rightfully entitled to the control and exercise of state power. David Easton, A Systems Analysis of Political Life (New York: John Wiley, 1965), p. 278. For another seminal discussion of “legitimacy,” see Max Weber, The Theory of Social and Economic Organization (Toronto: Free Press, 1964).
 F. Gregory Gause III, “Attempts to Understand Saudi Foreign Policies from Theoretical Prospects,” in Proceedings of the Conference at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (Washington, DC: Georgetown University, Apr. 28, 1999), pp. 21-22.
 F. Gregory Gause, III, “The Foreign Policy of Saudi Arabia,” in Raymond Hinnebusch and Anoushiravan Ehteshami, eds., The Foreign Policies of Middle East States (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2002), pp. 196-99.
 Katz, supra note 49, pp. 141-42.
 Robert Lacey, The Kingdom (London: Hutchinson, 1981), p. 385; David E. Long, “Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” in David E. Long and Bernard Reich, eds., The Government and Politics of the Middle East and North Africa (Boulder, CO: Westview, 1980), p. 105; David T. Dumke, “A Snapshot of the Saudi-US Political Relationship,” Essay Series No. 4 (Saudi-American Forum, January 2003); Daniel Pipes, “The Politics of Muslim Anti-Semitism,” Commentary (August 1981), available at www.danielpipes.org.
 Newsweek, Dec. 21, 1970, p. 11.
 Lacey, supra note 93, pp. 386-87.
 See, e.g., Tunis Domestic Service in Arabic, April 12, 1974, in FBIS ME, April 12, 1974, p. C1.
 Gause, supra note 91, p. 204. Gause also notes that there is a relative scholarly consensus that Saudi foreign policymaking has been highly centralized in the hands of the most powerful members of the House of Saud throughout its modern history. See Safran, supra note 65, pp. 217-20; and William Quandt, Saudi Arabia in the 1980s (Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 1981), pp. 76-89.
 Katz, supra note 49, p. 149.
 Long, supra note 93, p. 105. The United States provided the vast majority of Israeli arms imports in the era leading up to and following the Six-Day War. See Anne Hessing Cahn, “United States Arms to the Middle East 1967-76: A Critical Examination,” in Milton Leitenberg and Gabriel Sheffer, Great Power Intervention in the Middle East (New York: Pergamon Press, 1979), pp. 101-33.
 Lacey, supra note 93, p. 390.
 Kenneth N. Waltz, Theory of International Politics (Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley, 1979), ch. 6
 See, e.g., Walt, supra note 1, ch. 1; George Liska, Nations in Alliance: The Limits of Interdependence (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1962), ch. 1; and Hans J. Morgenthau, Politics Among Nations: The Struggle for Power and Peace (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 6th edn. 1985), chapter 12.
 “Memorandum from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to Secretary of Defense McNamara, 18 May 1967,” JCSM-281-67, in FRUS, 1964-1968, vol. XXI, p. 205.
 See, e.g., Steven R. David, “Explaining Third World Alignment,” World Politics 43:1 (1991), pp. 233-56; Michael N. Barnett and Jack S. Levy, “Domestic Sources of Alliances and Alignments: the Case of Egypt,” International Organization 45:3 (summer 1991), pp. 369-95; Richard J. Harknett and Jeffrey A. Van Den Berg, “Alignment Theory and Interrelated Threats: Jordan and the Persian Gulf Crisis,” Security Studies 6;3 (spring 1997), pp. 115-128; and F. Gregory Gause, III, “Balancing What? Threat Perception and Alliance Choice in the Gulf,” unpublished manuscript, Univ. of Vermont, 1999.
 See, e.g., Laurie A. Brand, “Economics and Shifting Alliances: Jordan’s Relations with Syria and Iraq, 1975-1981,” International Journal of Middle East Studies 26 (summer 1994), pp. 393-413; Michael Barnett, “Alliances and Identity in the Middle East,” in Peter Katzenstein, ed., The Culture of National Security: Norms and Identity in World Politics (New York: Columbia University Press, 1996).