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Saudi Arabia and the U.S. are strategic allies, and since President Obama took office in 2009, the U.S. has sold $110 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia. The National Security Agency (NSA) in 2013 began cooperating with the Saudi Ministry of Interior in an effort to help ensure "regime continuity". An April 2013 top secret memo shows the agency's program of providing "direct analytic and technical support" to the Saudis on "internal security" matters. The CIA had already been gathering intelligence for the regime long before.
Saudi Arabia–United States relations refers to the bilateral relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States of America. It is a Special Relationship, which began in 1933 when full diplomatic relations were established. Despite the differences between the two countries—an ultraconservative Islamic absolute monarchy, and a secular, constitutional republic—the two countries have been allies. Former Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama have close and strong relations with senior members of the Saudi Royal Family. Ever since the modern US–Saudi relationship began in 1945, the United States has been willing to overlook many of the kingdom's more controversial aspects as long as it maintained oil production and supported U.S. national security policies. Since World War II, the two countries have been allied in opposition to Communism, in support of stable oil prices, stability in the oil fields and oil shipping of the Persian Gulf, and stability in the economies of Western countries where Saudis have invested. In particular the two countries were allies against the Soviets in Afghanistan and in the expulsion of Iraq from Kuwait in 1991. The two countries have been in disagreement with regard to the State of Israel, as well as the embargo of the U.S. and its allies by Saudi Arabia and other Middle East oil exporters during the 1973 oil crisis (which raised oil prices considerably), the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq (which Saudi Arabia opposed), aspects of the "War on Terror", and what many in the U.S. see as the pernicious influence of Saudi Arabia after the September 11 attacks. In recent years, particularly the Barack Obama administration, the relationship between the two countries became strained and witnessed major decline. However, the relationship was strengthened by President Donald Trump's trip to Saudi Arabia in May 2017, which was his first overseas trip since becoming President of the United States.