It was the Americans have called the Berber areas of the Mediterranean Sea the "Middle East" for the first time. And it if this region that became bound the United States- from its revolutionary origins to their strange relationship based on fascination, confrontations and complex collaboration.
When at the end of 1914, British soldiers were protecting Iraqi oil supplies from Persia, the United States of American had little interest in the Middle Eastern resources or any imperial designs in the region. They were focused on Latin American, the Caribbean, East Asia and the Pacific. That changed in 1928 and again in 1944 when the Americans signed the Red Line Agreement and the Anglo—American Petroleum Agreement. And after World War II the US minor involvement was strengthening its roots, starting with Truman solidifying the US presence in Iran and taking the lead away from the Soviet Union. “It was understood that Middle East oil resources are critical for world control. One leading planner pointed out that control over Middle East oil would yield substantial control over the world. France was expelled from the region, the British were gradually reduced to a junior partner, and the US emerged as the dominant force in controlling Middle East oil and, therefore, it was hoped, the world.” Finally the US understood what is really important in the Persian Gulf region: oil. But this realization not only pushed toward a pursuit for power and influence but it also led to many conflicts and unanswered questions in the Middle East.
Oil gave and gives immense wealth, but is has often proved to be a curse to the country that possesses it. This has been the case so often that economists began to discuss the curse of this natural resource- the oil curse. It is no wonder that this curse had attracted the eyes of the United States of America. On January 1991, Senator Ernest Hollings stated that George W. Bush has acted in times of crisis in Kuwait because of the need to protect American oil interests there and that he will not take action in any other regions of ‘naked aggression’ such as Lithuania because “Lithuania does not have oil”. This essay will try to elucidate and analyze if in fact it is accurate to assume that American foreign policy became shaped by its dependence on imported oil and thus not by the idea of spreading democratic ideology in the Middle East region. This essay will look into causes and assumptions of why the Iraq invasion by the US took place. It will also examine America’s shifting relationship with Saudi Arabia and growing connection with Israel that damaged the relations with Iran.
The Iraq War: simple thirst for oil?
On March 20th, 2003, eleven years ago, American planes and ground units attacked Iraq in "Operation Iraqi Freedom". Fast forward eleven years since that landmark event and it is safe to say that this operation was a strategic failure of Washington and a huge blow to its policy of democratization in the Middle East....