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The Control of Oil

Uploaded by SchoolStinks! on Jul 07, 2004

States stands at the helm of the Middle East. Her control of the Persian Gulf oil is masterful and firm. The world's sole superpower's control of this area is a factor in the exercise of her world leadership.

Oil is of strategic significance. It is almost unique in this respect. Its significance lies in its permeating nearly every aspect of the economic life of present-day nations. It consumes governments and precipitates wars. The world's developed economies are heavily dependent on oil, and no reasonable substitute for it is anticipated in the foreseeable future.

The bulk of the earth's known oil reserves, more than 70 percent, is concentrated in the Persian Gulf area. And although alternative energy sources have been vigorously pursued, the United States continues, since 1970, to import from the Persian Gulf 24 percent of needed oil for her own consumption. Japan and Europe, of course, are in varying degrees totally dependent on oil imported from this area. The region, therefore, will continue to be the scene of a control challenge amongst the powers of the world. For the control of this area and its individual states presses the oil-consuming countries into accommodation to the directives of the controller.

With such magnitude of dependence on oil from the Gulf area, and with the 1973 oil shock vivid in the minds of the US security planners, the Iranian uprising of 1979 and its repercussions alerted President Jimmy Carter in January 1980 to reassert the United States policy in the Gulf in what came to be known as the Carter Doctrine:

Let our position be absolutely clear. An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force. (Emphasis added.)

The vital interests of the United States cannot, therefore, be left to the complexities of Arab politics and Arab-Israeli conflicts. Consequently, the United States, a military and economic might, has embarked upon a path of finding opportunities in crises in the Middle East to strengthen her influence and affirm her presence there. Piece-by-piece she has worked out ways to formulate policies aimed at insulating oil from Middle East politics - and world politics for that matter.

Since this study was completed thirty years ago there have been several...

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Uploaded by:   SchoolStinks!

Date:   07/07/2004

Category:   Contemporary

Length:   8 pages (1,726 words)

Views:   5923

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