Three issues pertaining to Saudi security are relevant in shaping Saudi-American relations. The first concerns the American role. Intervention in the post-Cold War world is difficult to justify without an overriding threat. Public opinion in the West, including the United States, is influenced more by economics than projecting military power far from home with its potential for casualties, with the recent exception of Afghanistan. Saudi defense planners do not expect America to provide a fixed defense umbrella, but they are interested in achieving flexible cooperation via military assistance. This would include effective training programs to enable the kingdom and other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council to maintain security with minimal outside assistance. In the transition to that position, they are also interested in delineating the threats each partner may face. A second issue is diversifying military procurement. Arms transfers are mainly influenced by shifting positions of governments that come under pressure from exporting countries. Multiple suppliers offer flexibility to overcome political pressure if weapons are denied or the terms of sale become too restrictive. But diversification can also have negative effects on interoperability, spare parts, training, and the cost of individual items. The third issue involves economic and fiscal concerns. Given the decline in oil revenues, Saudi policy makers seek to reduce spending without sacrificing preparedness. Furthermore, the Gulf War had a dramatic impact on resource allocation. Saudis spent an estimated $55 billion on that conflict. Such outlays, as well as fluctuations in oil prices, have led to fiscal constraints, extended payment schedules, and revised procurement programs. Even though strategic realities justify high levels of spending, other factors call for difficult choices to limit growth in budgets. Balancing these factors is the main task affecting security policy.