The Risks of Oil Independence
“The Security Costs of Energy Independence” by Gregory D. Miller, in The Washington Quarterly, April 2010.
America must wean itself from foreign oil—that’s the common wisdom on both sides of the political aisle. Entanglement with Middle Eastern oil kingdoms is a “source of strategic vulnerability,” and policymakers have spent “lives and treasure” defending America’s access to foreign reserves. But here’s a thought experiment: If the United States and the rest of the developed world no longer needed foreign oil, what would become of oil-exporting countries? Gregory D. Miller, a political scientist at the University of Oklahoma, says it would not be a pretty picture, nor would the ramifications for the United States be pleasant. Many of the oil powers are unstable, and may spiral into crisis if revenues from oil disappear.
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