This article gives some examples of how American tactics towards certain types of threats have changed and points out the significance of the change.
Saudi Arabia has been viewed as a critical ally for several decades.
Annual Average Domestic Crude Oil Prices
1964 $3.00 per barrel
1970 $3.39 per barrel
1972 $3.60 per barrel
[In 1973 Saudi Arabia placed an embargo on oil sales to the U.S..]
1975 $12.21 per barrel
1980 $37.42 per barrel
1986 $14.44 per barrel
1998 $11.91 per barrel
2001 $23.00 per barrel
2008 $91.48 per barrel
America has used its sharpest, and bluntest, resources to protect the stability of its relationship with Saudi Arabia. Now the fruits of this history of efficient actions may be coming home to roost. Researching almost any historical event within Saudi borders in the last several decades is difficult, even on the internet, because so many events are aggressively airbrushed by political special interests. Still, there is a consistency to the intrigue, a pattern of the same types of people being near the same types of events.
[This article is waiting for a specific event to be found. When that event is found it will be completed. It's a news item from some years back that is hard to locate.]