America's Oil Wars

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Praeger Publishers, 2004 - History - 192 pages
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Why has the United States become involved in so many wars in the Middle East, and why just now? What explains the extraordinary disconnect between pre-war statements by the Bush Administration and the post-war reality? How much of U.S. intelligence was wrong, and why? Why did the Bush Administration ignore warnings by senior military commanders about the difficulties they would confront in trying to occupy Iraq? Why was there virtually no pre-war planning for administering Iraq once the war was successfully concluded? Pelletiere argues that, in going to war twice against Iraq and once against Afghanistan, the United States was seeking to put a lock on its future energy supplies. In neglecting diplomacy for so long in dealing with the Gulf States, Washington was practically compelled to use force to get what it wanted.

Pelletiere explores the context of events that produced the attacks of September 11, 2001, the pretext for the United States' military move into the region. He debunks the Bush Administration's claim that the United States was beset by Islamic terrorists bent on destroying western civilization and set the stage for an examination of other possible motives. Next, he details the history of U.S. involvement in the region, beginning with the discovery of oil and the pioneering efforts of American and British companies to open the region to exploration. After the OPEC Revolution, he argues, the United States would allow itself to be drawn into an arms-supplying relationship with the Shah of Iran and the military-industrial complex would become hooked on subsidies from the Gulf monarchs. Finally, after discussing the First Gulf War and recent events in Afghanistan, Pelletiere contends that these conflicts and the current war in Iraq are really part of a greater struggle between North and South, a struggle that will have significant consequences for the future of the United States.

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Comes at it from a slightly different angle. Illuminating. Read full review

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About the author (2004)

Stephen Pelleti re was the Central Intelligence Agency's senior political analyst on Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War. From 1988 to 2000 he was Senior Professor of National Security Affairs and the U.S. Army's expert on the Persian Gulf at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He received his PhD in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley. He studied Arabic at the American University in Cairo. He is author of three books on Iraq and the Persian Gulf.

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