Michael Klare's Blood And Oil Essay

2721 words - 11 pages

Michael Klare's Blood and Oil Michael Klare has written an interesting and very relevant book, dealing as it does with the politics of oil, US foreign policy, the Middle East, and the causes of terrorism. He writes with a clear purpose and that is to argue that America's "securitization" of oil and its willingness to use military force in order to secure its supplies of oil have been a major mistake. His main argument is that ever since the meeting on the Suez Canal in February 1945 between Ibn Saud, King of Saudi Arabia, and President Roosevelt, that America has supported despotic regimes in the Middle East in exchange for guarantees of oil supply, and that this is a deal, which undermines American commitment to and support for democracy and freedom. Furthermore, Klare believes that unless American policies change dramatically, there is likely to be an increase in conflict over oil, as countries such as China, which is dependent on imported oil (like the U.S.), attempt to secure their own oil supplies. Oil is a finite resource, which will be in increasingly short supply over the next few years, and production may now be near its "peak." In short, he believes that America must act now to move to a post-oil economy, taking exceptional measures to reduce the use of petroleum by motor vehicles and to introduce alternative fuels.
Since September 11th and the commencement of the "war on terror," the world's attention has been focused on the relationship between U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and the oceans of crude oil that lie beneath the region's soil. Klare traces oil's impact on international affairs since World War II, revealing its influence on the Truman, Eisenhower, Nixon, and Carter doctrines. He shows how America's own wells are drying up as our demand increases; by 2010, the United States will need to import sixty percent of its oil. Since most of this supply will have to come from violently anti-American zones, our dependency is bound to lead to recurrent military involvement. "Ultimately, the cost of oil will be measured in blood: the blood of American soldiers who die in combat, the blood of the many other casualties of oil-related violence, including the victims of terrorism."
Klare believes that if America does not reduce its dependency on imported oil it will have to increase its military presence in the Middle East, stationing permanent garrisons in countries like Iraq and facing the need to...

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