Why won’t the USA leave the Persian Gulf? The story of the ultimate ‘frenemies’

Strife

By Mazhid Kat:

The US Secretary of Defense meets with the Minister of the National Guard of Saudi Arabia in Washington DC (21/11/14). Photo:  Adrian Cadiz The US Secretary of Defence meets with the Minister of the National Guard of Saudi Arabia in Washington DC (21/11/14). Photo: Adrian Cadiz

In 1945 Franklin Roosevelt was the first President to admit that the United States had become oil-dependent.[i] This occurred because the American government had introduced a ‘conservation policy’ aimed at reducing the production of domestic oil and saving reserves for future generations by substituting it with imports.[ii] As a result, Roosevelt and King Abdul Aziz Ibn Saud – of Saudi Arabia – signed the Quincy Pact, which included the promise of an American monopoly to develop oil fields in exchange for protecting Saudi Arabia from external threats.[iii]

During the Cold War period, the Persian Gulf represented an important region for US strategy against the Soviet Union.[iv] In order to contain Soviet influence in the area, the Truman Doctrine was elaborated,[v]

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