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During the Cold War, what role did oil play in driving western intervention to the Middle East?

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  1. Introduction.
  2. The Cold War.
    1. Oil becoming a major stake for USA.
  3. Western intervention in the Middle East.
    1. Conflicts in the Middle East and political instability.
    2. The US intervention.
    3. The western desire to dominate the Middle East.
  4. Oil crisis at the beginning of the 1970s.
    1. Nationalization of the canal.
    2. Oil as a weapon for the Middle East.
    3. The Kippur war.
  5. Gulf war and Saddam Hussein.
  6. Conclusion.
  7. References.

After the Second World War in 1945, a new world order came up: Western Europe had to recover from the damages the war caused, and the US and the Soviet Union were competing against each other for power in a Cold War period. During this era, lasting up to the collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991, the Middle East began to become a very unstable region due to the creation of the Israeli state in 1948. A traditional definition of the ?Middle East area' would include sixteen countries from Iran to Egypt. This core region has been the biggest world oil holder for decades. In this context, it is not surprising to see that the Middle East became, during the Cold War, the theater of western interventions concerning oil. Indeed, the oil issue became a key and strategic argument, related to the new framework of the international relations.

[...] Wheeler and A. J. Bellamy chapter on Humanitarian Intervention in John Baylis and Steve Smith, The Globalization of World Politics: An introduction to International relations, 2nd Ed., Oxford University Press p 273 Source : Joe Stork, Middle East Oil and the Energy Crisis, New York and London, Monthly Review Press Source : Simon Bromley, American Hegemony and World Oil, Cambridge, Polity Press ; and BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2004, London, BP Source : Charles Issawi, The Economic History [...]


[...] During the Cold War, the Middle East's oil became a major stake for Western countries, especially for the USA. Many reasons can explain why they decided to intervene: the dependence on oil energy, the need to stabilize the area to prevent the spread of communist influence, and at last the US's willingness to dominate the rest of the world by controlling the oil resources. First, during the Cold War, oil was obviously a necessary resource for the European countries and the US. [...]


[...] All these interactions did not help to ensure stability in the Middle East. Worst, the nationalization wave was followed by the oil crisis at the beginning of the 1970s. This period denoted a turning point in the cooperation between western countries and the Middle East, concerning the management of oil. Indeed, many crises opposing the West's and the Middle East's interests took place during the Cold War. First, in 1956, the Suez Crisis gave birth to great tensions between the French-British-Israeli coalition and Egypt. [...]

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