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Home Front: WoT
Let the Sauds pay for Persian Gulf security
2006-03-11
There is no need for a U.S. military presence in the Gulf regardless of the amount of oil we import.

It's certainly true that a disruption of the oil supply from the Middle East would increase the price of crude oil everywhere in the world. But just because the security of Middle Eastern oil has the characteristics of a public good for all consumers in the world does not imply that the United States has to provide that security. Oil producers will provide for their own security needs as long as the cost of doing so is less than the profit they gain from the oil trade. Given that their economies are so heavily dependent upon oil revenues, they have even more incentive than we do to worry about the security of production facilities, ports, and sea lanes. And if producing countries provide inadequate security in the eyes of consuming countries, consuming countries can pay producers to augment it.

In short, whatever security our presence provides (and many analysts think that our presence actually reduces security) could be provided by other parties were the U.S. to withdraw. The fact that Saudi Arabia and Kuwait paid for 55 percent of the cost of Operation Dessert Storm suggests that keeping the Straights of Hormuz free of trouble is certainly within their means. The same argument applies to al Qaeda threats to oil production facilities.

It's no surprise that the political class has convinced itself that bigger handouts to farmers and more automobile regulation constitute a "secret weapon" in the war against bin Laden. It is a surprise, however, that so many otherwise serious people are willing to believe them.
Posted by:Nimble Spemble

#1  This is goofy tripe. No only is the full article very thin in facts, large sweeping assertions are made sans any proof, it is logically inconsistent - using the same fact to make conflicting points. In other words, they have a conclusion they want to sell and the facts do not get in the way. Cato Institute. A dishonor to the man.
Posted by: Threans Sniter5240   2006-03-11 12:28  

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