World: Why the Saudis Want the F-15

To Saudi Arabia, the sale of the F-15, the most sophisticated jet fighter in the U.S. arsenal, is a test−not merely of Washington's intent to be evenhanded in the Middle East but, specifically, of whether America is prepared to be a reliable friend. As Crown Prince Fahd explains it, the Saudis' relationship with the U.S. involves a basic tradeoff: oil for security. They are prepared to hold down oil prices, expand their productive capacity and help protect the dollar−all of which are vital to the U.S. and its Western allies. In return, they...

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