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Conflicts In The Middle East Essay

2947 words - 12 pages

Discussion

Conflicts have been arising between the Middle East and the West for centauries, and as eras change, the reasons for those conflicts change along according to surrounding world events. Historically, the decline of the Ottoman Empire in the nineteenth centaury paved a path for European colonialism, which was ignited by the desire for extra territories and a gate to Asia. Consequently, World War I started, and the conflicts were then mainly about religion. However after the war, when all countries broke out of the European imperialism, England handed the Jewish people a piece of land that originally belonged to the Palestinians in their 1917 Belfour Declaration; Arabs and Middle Easterners in general took a stand against the Jews who were later allied by many of the Westerners. This was the fire that caused the smoke. In more recent times, after the discovery of the fortunes buried under parts of the Middle Eastern region, the energy resources interested the Westerners. Fossil fuels and oil depletion are the main reasons behind the Western conflict with the Middle East; starting from the war on Iraq in 2003 till the Syrian intervention that has been recently planned in late August, and several more focal events in between, gaining power and control over these resources have been the motives behind many relatively recent political encounters.

Uses of Oil:

In order to fully understand the Wests urge of control over Middle Eastern oil, one must recognize the forms that those energy resources come in; given the importance of oil in almost everything produced, controlling the basic component would significantly affect the market. Petroleum products, in all of their forms, are used in four major sectors: transportation, industry, residency and commercialism. Oil used in transportation makes up almost 70% of the annual US consumption, and is used for vehicle gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. 25% of their annual consumption is used for industrial products, which include agricultural, manufacture, mining, and construction products. Residential oil, used mostly for heating oils, and electricity and light generation in buildings, and makes up around 3% of the annual US consumption. The commercial products include cosmetics, fabrics, medicine, waxes, plastics, and solvents, and make up around 2% of the United States’ consumption of oil. According to the United States’ department of energy website, The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), approximately 10.6 million barrels of petroleum were imported daily in 2012, and 3.2 million barrels were exported, which results in net import of 7.4 million barrels imported daily. “Net imports accounted for 40% of the petroleum consumed in the United States, the lowest annual average since 1991…. The top five source countries of the U.S. petroleum imports in 2012 were Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and Russia…. Net imports from OPEC countries accounted for 55% of U.S. net imports” (EIA). The...

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