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A Superpower TransformedThe Remaking of American Foreign Relations in the 1970s$
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Daniel J. Sargent

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780195395471

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195395471.001.0001

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Oil Shocked

Oil Shocked

Chapter:
(p.131) 5 Oil Shocked
Source:
A Superpower Transformed
Author(s):

Daniel J. Sargent

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195395471.003.0006

US economic and geopolitical interests were entwined in the Middle East in the early 1970s. Prioritizing geopolitical objectives, the Nixon administration bolstered Iran and Saudi Arabia as regional clients and cultivated Israel as a Cold War ally. Meanwhile, the declining U.S. share of global oil production made the United States-and the larger Western world-ever-more dependent upon the oil exports of the Middle East. In the context of the Middle East crisis of late 1973, which included an Arab-Israeli war and a major oil crisis, US decision-makers struggled to comprehend and manage the consequences of energy interdependence. Recognizing the damage that surging oil prices were doing to the Western Alliance, Henry Kissinger belatedly set out to manage-and mitigate-the vulnerabilities that economic interdependence created for the West and to stabilize the Middle East through the achievement of a bilateral peace between Egypt and Israel.

Keywords:   oil shock, 1973 oil crisis, interdependence, energy crisis, Middle East, US foreign policy, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Arab-Israeli conflict, Arab-Israeli peace process

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