From the author of Resource Wars, a landmark assessment of the critical role of petroleum in America's actions abroad
In his pathbreaking Resource Wars, world security expert Michael T. Klare alerted us to the role of resources in conflicts in the post-Cold War world. Now, in Blood and Oil, he concentrates on a single precious commodity, petroleum, while issuing a warning to the United States-its most powerful, and most dependent, global consumer.
Since September 11th and the commencement of the "war on terror," the world's attention has been focused on the relationship between U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and the oceans of crude oil that lie beneath the region's soil. Klare traces oil's impact on international affairs since World War II, revealing its influence on the Truman, Eisenhower, Nixon, and Carter doctrines. He shows how America's own wells are drying up as our demand increases; by 2010, the United States will need to import 60 percent of its oil. And since most of this supply will have to come from chronically unstable, often violently anti-American zones-the Persian Gulf, the Caspian Sea, Latin America, and Africa-our dependency is bound to lead to recurrent military involvement.
With clarity and urgency, Blood and Oil delineates the United States' predicament and cautions that it is time to change our energy policies, before we spend the next decades paying for oil with blood.
The world's rapidly growing economy is dependent on oil, the supply is running out and the U.S. and other great powers are engaged in an escalating game of brinkmanship to secure its continued free flow. Such is the premise of Klare's powerful and brilliant new book (following Resource Wars). The U.S. with less than 5% of the world's total population consumes about 25% of the world's total supply of oil, he argues. With no meaningful conservation being attempted, Klare sees the nation's energy behavior dominated by four key trends: "an increasing need for imported oil; a pronounced shift toward unstable and unfriendly suppliers in dangerous parts of the world; a greater risk of anti-American or civil violence; and increased competition for what will likely be a diminishing supply pool." In clear, lucid prose, Klare lays out a disheartening and damning indictment of U.S. foreign policy. From the waning days of WWII, when Franklin Roosevelt gave legitimacy to the autocratic Saudi royalty, to the current conflict in Iraq, Klare painstakingly describes a nation controlled by its unquenchable thirst for oil. Rather than setting out a strategy for energy independence, he finds a roadmap for further U.S. dependence on imported oil, more exposure for the U.S. military overseas and, as a result, less safety for Americans at home and abroad. While Klare offers some positive suggestions for solving the problem, in tone and detail this work sounds a dire warning about the future of the world. Illus.