Global Oil Security and American Foreign Policy
"The real story of global oil over the past twenty-five years is not about the spillover effects of Palestinians fighting Israelis, or terrorist attacks on U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, or Iraq's stormy relationship with Kuwait. It is not even about periodic small- and large-scale U.S. attacks on Iraq. Rather, the real story is about longer-term developments that have changed the international relations of the Middle East, politics at the global level, and world oil markets. These developments have increased oil stability."—from the Introduction
Thirty years after OAPEC shattered world markets for oil, the Western world remains profoundly dependent on foreign, particularly Middle Eastern, sources of petroleum. U.S. political rhetoric is suffused with claims about the vulnerability caused by this dependence. Hence, many political analysts assume that a search for stability of petroleum supplies is an important element of contemporary American foreign policy.
Steve A. Yetiv argues that common assumptions about oil markets are wrong. Although prices remain volatile, Yetiv's account portrays a world market in petroleum products far more benign and predictable than the one to which we are accustomed. In Crude Awakenings, he identifies and analyzes real and potential threats to the global energy supply, including wars, revolutions, coups, dangerous alliances, oil embargoes, Islamic radicalism, and transnational terrorism. However, he also shows how some of these threats have been mitigated and how global oil security has been reinforced.