Richard Nixon, Great Britain and the Anglo-American Alignment in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Peninsula: Making Allies Out of Clients (Hardback)
  • Richard Nixon, Great Britain and the Anglo-American Alignment in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Peninsula: Making Allies Out of Clients (Hardback)
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Richard Nixon, Great Britain and the Anglo-American Alignment in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Peninsula: Making Allies Out of Clients (Hardback)

(author)
£55.00
Hardback 192 Pages / Published: 22/04/2009
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When the British Labour party announced the withdrawal of British forces from the Persian Gulf in January 1968, the United States faced a potential power vacuum in the area. The incoming Nixon administration, preoccupied with the Soviet Union and China, and the war in Vietnam, had no intention of replacing the British in the Gulf. To avoid further military commitments, the US encouraged Iran and Saudi Arabia to maintain area security. A critical policy decision, overlooked by most scholars, saw Nixon and Kissinger engineer the rise in oil prices between 1969 and 1972 to enable Saudi Arabia and Iran to purchase the necessary military hardware to serve as guardians of the Gulf. For all their bluster about reversing Labour's withdrawal decision, after their surprise victory in the election of June 1970 the Conservatives adhered to Labour's policy. But in contrast to Labour's wish to cut the umbilical cord of empire, the Tories wanted to retain influence in the Persian Gulf, pursuing policies largely independent of the US by the creation of the United Arab Emirates, deposing the sultan of Oman, and trying to solve the dispute over the Buraimi oasis with Saudi Arabia. By trying to maintain its empire on the cheap, Britain turned into an arms supplier supreme. But offering and selling arms does not a foreign policy make, leaving Britain in the long run with less influence in regional affairs. This was true also for the US, whose arms sales were to prove no realistic an alternative to foreign policy. The US hid under the Iranian security blanket for almost a decade. Given the weakness of the regime and the Shah's nonsensical dreams of turning Iran into one of the top five industrial and military powers in the world, the policy was cavalierly irresponsible. Similarly, leaving Saudi Arabia wallowing in oil money and medieval stupor -- a seedbed for Islamic fundamentalists -- created major future problems for the United States, as evinced by 9/11.

Publisher: Sussex Academic Press
ISBN: 9781845192778
Number of pages: 192
Weight: 492 g
Dimensions: 152 x 229 x 18 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"Petersen joins the debate about how to make sense of events during and after the October War of 1973 and the round of OPEC oil price rises associated with the Arab oil boycott. Conventional accounts see the moment as a setback for putative vital US interests, whether in terms of cheap energy or the end of the Western oil companies' control of Persian Gulf oil reserves. These facts, which stress the US's increasing dependence on foreign oil, serve as explanations for the Nixon administration's acquiescence to this defeat. Petersen argues that recently declassified records from the Nixon administration strengthen the revisionist case. The US played an active role in the oil price rises, with the higher prices going to pay for arms purchases and base building that both protected the post-Vietnam budget and enmeshed the Iranian and Saudi client states turned allies in security 'special' relationships. Petersen argues that scholars have misunderstood the course of events and the transformations in oil states and markets. Recommended." --Choice


"Tore Petersen has succeeded in producing an innovative, thought-provoking and insightful study of an important, but neglected, aspect of the Nixon presidency. His book will be essential reading for those interested not merely in Anglo-American relations in the era of decolonization, but also the development of the modern Middle East." --Simon C. Smith, University of Hull, author, Britain's Revival and Fall in the Gulf: Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the Trucial States, 1950-71
"This is an important book, not only because of the new empirical material presented but equally, because of its intellectual ambition. It offers the reader not only a clear case study in the machinations of Realpolitik, but, just as importantly, an insight in to the more contemporary dilemmas that undue reliance on arms sales have come to pose for relations between the West, the Arab Gulf states and Iran." --Clive Jones, University of Leeds, author, Britain and the Yemen Civil War 1962-1965

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