Crude Awakenings

Crude Awakenings: Global Oil Security and American Foreign Policy

STEVE A. YETIV
Copyright Date: 2004
Edition: 1
Published by: Cornell University Press
Pages: 248
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7591/j.ctt7zgth
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  • Book Info
    Crude Awakenings
    Book Description:

    "The real story of global oil over the past twenty-five years is not about the spillover effects of Palestinians fighting Israelis, or terrorist attacks on U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, or Iraq's stormy relationship with Kuwait. It is not even about periodic small- and large-scale U.S. attacks on Iraq. Rather, the real story is about longer-term developments that have changed the international relations of the Middle East, politics at the global level, and world oil markets. These developments have increased oil stability."-from the Introduction

    Thirty years after OAPEC shattered world markets for oil, the Western world remains profoundly dependent on foreign, particularly Middle Eastern, sources of petroleum. U.S. political rhetoric is suffused with claims about the vulnerability caused by this dependence. Hence, many political analysts assume that a search for stability of petroleum supplies is an important element of contemporary American foreign policy.

    Steve A. Yetiv argues that common assumptions about oil markets are wrong. Although prices remain volatile, Yetiv's account portrays a world market in petroleum products far more benign and predictable than the one to which we are accustomed. In Crude Awakenings, he identifies and analyzes real and potential threats to the global energy supply, including wars, revolutions, coups, dangerous alliances, oil embargoes, Islamic radicalism, and transnational terrorism. However, he also shows how some of these threats have been mitigated and how global oil security has been reinforced.

    eISBN: 978-0-8014-5942-9
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. List of Figures and Tables
    (pp. vi-vi)
  4. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
    (pp. vii-vii)
    S.A.Y.
  5. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. viii-viii)
  6. Chapter 1 INTRODUCTION
    (pp. 1-19)

    Oil is one of the most controversial and widely used commodities in history. It provokes many familiar rallying cries: No Blood for Oil; Oil Corrupts; Oil and the Environment Don’t Mix; Oil Funds Terrorism; A Dangerous Appetite for Oil; End the Oil Addiction; The Axis of Oil.

    As we can see, oil is linked to quite a noxious mixture of subjects. Indeed, a visitor from a faraway universe would be forgiven for concluding that oil was a disease, a scourge that needed to be eradicated and forsaken as soon as possible. Of course, our alien would be in for quite...

  7. Chapter 2 THREATS TO SAUDI STABILITY
    (pp. 20-40)

    In the broad scope of time, world interest in the fate of Saudi Arabia is certainly a sign of change. The modern state of Saudi Arabia was founded in 1932 by Abd Al-Aziz Al-Saud (also referred to as Ibn Saud). Massive oil resources have allowed the country to create a developed infrastructure, economy, and military, although its wealth has come with a price.¹

    Whatever one thinks of the House of Saud, Saudi Arabia is important to the story of the evolution of oil stability.² It is the only state with the proven oil reserves—one-quarter of the world’s total—the...

  8. Chapter 3 POWER SHIFTS
    (pp. 41-58)

    The balance of power is clearly important in understanding the dynamics of world affairs, just as it is in exploring changes within economic markets. Over time, we want to know which firms in a broader market have done well or poorly in terms of sales, market share, and innovation, and how these changes in the position of individual firms have altered the balance of power within a given market. The fate of firms can hinge on how well they understand their position in the market and the dynamics of market power. Similarly, in international relations, the balance of power indicates...

  9. Chapter 4 THE CHIEF GUARANTOR OF OIL STABILITY
    (pp. 59-76)

    The struggle for power, security, and welfare in the Persian Gulf region has not occurred in isolation from the broader global setting. Regional events have had an enormous effect on outside states, and these states have altered the trajectory of regions and of actors within them. On that score, no outside state has done more to affect regional and oil stability over the past two decades than the United States.

    The United States has evolved from a period in the 1940s when its ability and will to affect regional politics was minor, to a period in the twenty-first century during...

  10. Chapter 5 THE UNITED STATES IN THE MIDDLE EAST BEFORE AND AFTER SEPTEMBER 11
    (pp. 77-96)

    American foreign policy in the Middle East has been very controversial. Promoters of democracy have bemoaned the autocratic nature of regimes in the Persian Gulf, which some view as being propped up by a power-hungry United States. Others have assailed the oil connection between Washington and Gulf states, and resent what they have perceived as neocolonial U.S. encroachment in the domestic and international affairs of the region. Meanwhile, Islamic extremists and their sympathizers have seen close Arab military relations with foreigners as an affront to their version of Islam.

    U.S. relations with GCC states in particular have fluctuated over time...

  11. Chapter 6 THE COLD WAR AND GLOBAL INTERDEPENDENCE
    (pp. 97-120)

    At the same time that the Middle East was being rocked by Iraq’s invasion and occupation of Kuwait, the world was facing another seismic event: the last chapter of the Cold War and the subsequent fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Not only did this development alter the trajectory of world history and force us to rethink what seemed to have become the eternal verities of superpower confrontation, it also produced many ripple effects that altered the evolution of oil stability.

    The fall of the Soviet Union in 1991 changed Moscow’s military and political role in the Middle East....

  12. Chapter 7 THE CHINA FACTOR
    (pp. 121-138)

    Of all countries, the People’s Republic of China is perhaps the one most concerned about assuring global oil. It became a net importer of oil during 1993 for the first time since the early 1960s, and its oil demand has grown 80 percent over the last ten years.¹ By 1998, the import value of oil accounted for 61 percent of total Chinese imports.² Some projections suggest that it will be six to ten times more dependent on imported oil by 2030 than it was in 2002, and, according to the International Energy Agency, China’s oil imports from the Gulf in...

  13. Chapter 8 THE OIL WEAPON
    (pp. 139-150)

    The story of oil stability is not just about longer-term political and security developments in Middle Eastern and global affairs, although they are integral parts of that story. It is also about major disruptions in oil supply that might occur as a result of the oil policies and behavior of oil-producing nations. Such disruptions can arise for a variety of reasons, but this chapter will explore a special case: the potential for the use of oil as a political weapon.

    We would be remiss to argue that the potential for the use of the oil weapon is not a palpable...

  14. Chapter 9 MULTIPLE CUSHIONS FOR OIL SHOCKS
    (pp. 151-177)

    While it is vital to explore the potential for the use of the oil weapon, it is equally important to examine the ability to supply oil to global markets in the event of crises such as wars, revolutions, coups, labor strikes, and limited or collective embargoes. Indeed, a hallmark of oil stability is precisely the ability to deal with oil crises once they arise, be they driven by political, economic, or security events.

    Important developments have taken place over the past two decades, which, while meaningful in their own right, have also influenced the evolution of oil stability. Since the...

  15. Chapter 10 OIL MARKET DYNAMICS AND OPEC
    (pp. 178-192)

    The potential for the use of the oil weapon, as I have tried to show, has decreased while the ability to deal with interruptions in oil supply has increased. These developments are no doubt positive for oil stability, but we still need to explore the behavior of OPEC in the broader oil market. The constraints and opportunities imposed by dynamics external to OPEC not only are important in their own right but also can affect OPEC behavior that falls short of the rare drama of an embargo and that takes place in non-crisis situations.

    OPEC has become increasingly constrained by...

  16. Chapter 11 GLOBAL OIL, HIGH TECHNOLOGY, AND THE ENVIRONMENT
    (pp. 193-206)

    This book has explored how global and regional developments, market dynamics, and the oil strategies and policies of major oil producers affect oil stability. But little has been said about the role of high technology and global environmental pressures as they relate to oil stability. Threats to oil stability can be viewed partly as a function of the inability to discover, produce, deliver, and conserve oil, and to produce alternative sources of energy. While such threats are less central to what we may traditionally think of as oil stability, they are important because they affect how much stress is placed...

  17. Chapter 12 TWENTY-FIRST-CENTURY THREATS TO GLOBAL OIL STABILITY
    (pp. 207-227)

    Like any complex drama, the tale of the evolution of oil stability is hardly unvarnished, nor is it absent some of the stirrings of turmoil that could become more significant down the road. But while threats to oil stability no doubt exist, it is not as hostage as we may think to the caprice of Middle East, global, and oil market events and politics. Rather, it has multiple anchors forged on the anvil of longer-run developments, each with its own center of gravity.

    The body of this book sketched these developments, but has not done much to show what they...

  18. Appendix A LIST OF INTERVIEW SUBJECTS
    (pp. 228-229)
  19. Appendix B THE MIDDLE EAST AND GLOBAL ENERGY: A CHRONOLOGY, 1973–2003
    (pp. 230-235)
  20. INDEX
    (pp. 236-240)