Oil, War And U.S. Foreign Policy

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Oil, War and U.S. Foreign Policy

Topic 1

Oil, War and U.S. Foreign Policy

Imminent financial collapse of the British Treasury a factor in declaration of WWI, which permitted the suspension of specie payments (35-37). Securing petroleum supplies "at the center of military planning" in WWI: Romania, Baku (38). Rockefeller's Standard Oil key to victory (39-40). While France fought Germany, Britain moved 1.4 million soldiers to the Middle East (40). Secret Sykes-Picot agreement (1916) divided the area between France ("Area A": Greater Syria [Syria & Lebanon], the Mosul basin) & Britain ("Area B": Jordan, most of Iraq, Kuwait, Haifa, Acre) (42-43). Agreements with Arabs betrayed (43-44). A private Lloyd George-Clemenceau understanding in December 1918 to attach Mosul to Iraq and put Palestine under British control in return for the rest of Greater Syria and half of the Mosul oil exploitation (44). Geopolitical considerations behind the Balfour declaration by British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour to Walter Lord Rothschild, a member of the English Federation of Zionists, on Nov. 2, 1917, declaring: "His Majesty's Government view with favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors for the achievement of this object . . ." (44-46). Informal Round Table policy group founded in 1910 develops the grand design to link Britain's colonial possessions: South Africa to Egypt, the Suez Canal, Mesopotamia, Kuwait, Persia, and India (46-48).

H. Kissinger has said: 'control energy and you control the nations.' W. Engdahl explains the all importance of oil in world domination, and more specifically its geopolitical, military, economic and financial impact.

Oil became for the first time an important raw material during World War I, when air, mobile tank and swifter naval warfare held the upper hand.

After WW I the British sought to secure their petroleum supplies, by creating the League of Nations, which was only a facade of international legitimacy to a naked imperial seizure of territory.

British imperial power was based on 3 pillars: control of world sea-lines, of world banking and finance and of strategic raw materials. Through its free trade policy (liberalism) it tried to preserve and to serve the interests of an exclusive private power: a tiny number of bankers and institutions of the City of London.

Its hegemony was attacked and replaced by the US after WW II, confirmed by the Bretton-Woods Agreements with the creation of the IMF and the World bank.

The new hegemon was (and is ) built on 2 pillars: military power and the dollar, but those pillars are fundamentally intertwined with one commodity: petroleum, the basis of the world economy's growth engine.

10 % of the Marshall aid to Europe after WW II served to buy US oil. The big US oil companies asked top dollars for their exports and obtained also that the aid could not be used to build refineries.

The Vietnam war constituted a massive diversion of the US industry into the production of defense goods (pillar 1).

The first oil shock of 1973 made the US banks the giants of world ...
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