Even more important, american reserves have increased significantly, oil prices plunged from more than $100/barrel in june 2014 to less than $45/barrel the following winter, and the cost of us oil production has fallen. Oil that is what the modern middle eastern geopolitics have usually been about given the vast energy resources that form the backbone of western economies, influence and involvement in the middle east has been of paramount importance for the former and current imperial and super powers, including france, britain, usa and the former soviet union. The crux of this essay, hence the discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of the realist paradigm for understanding international politics in the middle east, comes from a variety of different journals and articles. The political effects of oil have long been central to the analysis of the persian gulf and the broader middle east, with the rents that accrue from oil thought to retard the development of.
Historically, the middle east was the strategically important region in terms of the world politics and economy the middle east hold the position of the bridge between east and west but steadily the middle east had started to personify east for westerners. Petroleum politics have been an increasingly important aspect of diplomacy since the rise of the petroleum industry in the middle east in the early 20th century as competition continues for a vital resource, the strategic calculations of major and minor countries alike place prominent emphasis on the pumping, refining, transport, sale and use of petroleum products. The middle east in transition a brookings center for middle east policy —u nited states central command conference 2 a letter from tamara cofman wittes e ach year, the center for middle east.
During the wwii it was the oil of the middle east and caucasus that played the real strategic role it was already the object of political issues before the outbreak of the war. Andrew scott cooper, the oil kings: how the us, iran, and saudi arabia changed the balance of power in the middle east (new york, 2011) 9 on the efforts of american policy makers to convince leaders to reinvest revenues from oil sales to the west, see cooper, oil kings. Moreover, the clustering of the reserves in the middle east also means that at some point in the not too distant future, a greater share of the oil supply will inescapably be coming from that region.
Despite the physical distance between the united states and the middle east, us influence has been felt in every country within the region throughout the 20th century, strategic interests. The rich supply of oil in the middle east has made it a region of interest for many non-arab countries to support in order to ensure a steady flow of oil as the importance for oil increased through the industrialization of the world, the need for it became magnified. A third goal was the importance of middle east oil, which made up a great portion of the world's reserves the us recognized its importance especially after seeing the economic implications of wwii.
2 prof e roger owen is the aj meyer professor of middle east history at harvard university the opinions and findings expressed in this essay are those of the author exclusively, and. Professor miller proceeds to make a sensible argument about oil becoming less important and the middle east losing its comparative advantage at producing oil, concluding: in two decades or so, the global oil market and the middle east's geopolitical influence will be dramatically different from what they are today. This geographic retrenchment of russia certainly marked an important limitation for economic, political, and military relations in the middle east the islamic revolution in iran, the iran-iraq war, and russia's geographical change all contribute significantly to the end of soviet threat in the middle east. Its interest in guaranteeing stability in the middle east might wane accordingly this, in turn, might exacerbate the geopolitical rivalries between saudi arabia and iran and other players in the region. A few years ago, before the oil crisis of 1973-74, walter levy wrote in these pages about oil power1 the oil-producing countries of the mediterranean and the middle east, following the initiative of libya, had demonstrated that they could dictate terms to the great international oil companies, for years the symbols of the power of western.
The first time a western power got soaked in the politics of oil in the middle east was toward the end of 1914, when british soldiers landed at basra, in southern iraq, to protect oil supplies from neighboring persia. The global oil market and its associated booms and busts have generated a large literature in political science one contention in this literature is that political instability is a near-certain, long-term outcome of oil wealth. Because the middle east has the world's largest deposits of oil (55 percent of the world's reserves) in an easily extracted form, middle eastern oil continues to be necessary to the united states.
Oil and gas are, after all, the world's most important and valuable commodities and constitute a major source of income for the governments and corporations that control their production and. Introduction oil plays an important role in shaping the political economy of the middle east either domestically or on the international stage. Introduction the middle east has become a focal point in the last fifty years because of concerns regarding the regions role in economics, international security and politics. In truth, this nationalistic political trend clashed with american interests in the middle east, which were, as middle east scholar louise fawcett argues, about the soviet union, access to oil and the project for a jewish state in palestine.
The prize (1990) by daniel yergin remains a useful primer for anything to do with the politics of middle east oil for a critique of how western governments and associated adventurers cynically courted venal arab rulers see said aburish, a brutal friendship: the west and the arab elite (1997. Oil, trade routes, geography and terrain, faith and ideology, all contribute to the strategic importance of the middle east the middle east oil fields, stretching in a great arc from iran and iraq around the persian gulf, comprise collectively the largest known petroleum deposits, approximating about two-thirds of the oil reserve of the free world. Oil is not the main reason for the lack of development and democracy in resource-rich states in the middle east, africa, central asia and latin america many factors-- culture and political tradition, religion, geography, colonial past and others - impede development of democratic institutions.