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Blood and Oil: the Dangers and Consequences of America’s Growing Petroleum Dependency

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Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America’s Growing Petroleum Dependency - Micheal T. Klare
“Only by tracing the evolution of U.S. oil policy and weighing its consequences for the future can we acquire the knowledge to do what it takes to sever the links between blood and oil. It is to that end that I have written this book.” I. The Dependency Dilemma: Imported Oil and National Security * Our existing policies seem to rest on the delusion that an uninterrupted supply of abundant and cheap energy will be ours forever, despite all the evidence stating otherwise * There are four key trends that will dominate the future of American energy behavior: * An increasing need for imported oil * A shift towards unstable and unfriendly suppliers in dangerous parts of the world * A greater risk of anti-American violence * Rising competition for a diminishing supply pool * “Without a decisive change in policy the U.S. will sink deeper and deeper into its dependence on foreign oil, with all the costs—including those measured in human blood” II. Lethal Embrace: The American Alliance with Saudi Arabia * The Roosevelt administration was concerned about the security implication of declining U.S. oil reserves; this prompted them to believe that the nation should conserve its domestic reserves and use more oil from foreign sources * Government officials decided to pursue a “more aggressive foreign oil policy aimed at assuring access to petroleum overseas” * The U.S. formed an alliance with Saudi Arabia as a means of hidden exploitation and use of their oil supplies * In return for providing the U.S. with so much of its oil, the Saudi government relies on the U.S. for defense against its adversaries, both foreign and domestic * The U.S. has maintained a large military presence in Saudi Arabia in order to maintain their promise of protection; this lingering foreign presence however, has stirred up powerful anti-American sentiments that serve as fuel for terrorist groups * The Truman, Eisenhower, and Nixon Doctrines furthered our entanglement with the Middle East * Truman Doctrine pledged American assistance to any nation threatened with Communist subjugation * Eisenhower Doctrine authorized the president to use American combat forces to defend friendly Middle Eastern countries against Soviet-backed aggressors and to provide additional arms and military assistance to pro-American regimes * Nixon Doctrine stated that the U.S. shall furnish military and economic assistance when requested but that they would look to the nation directly threatened to assume the primary responsibility of providing the manpower for its defense * Struggling for a new strategy, the Carter Doctrine announced that access to Persian Gulf oil was a vital national interest and to protect that interest, the U.S. was prepared to use “any means necessary, including military force”

III. Choosing Dependency: The Energy Strategy of the Bush Administration

IV. Trapped in the Gulf: The Irresistible Lure of Bountiful Petroleum

V. No Safe Haven: Oil and Conflict Beyond the Persian Gulf

VI. Geopolitics Reborn: The U.S.- Russian- Chinese Struggle in the Persian Gulf and Caspian Basin

VII. Escaping the Dilemma: A Strategy for Energy Autonomy and Integrity

Conclusion:

Questions (for the class):
If Klare were to revisit this book and release an updated edition, what do you think he would say about his previous thoughts on the Blood and Oil dilemma?

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