April 17th, 2011
Blood and Oil by Michael Klare gives a good insight into the dependence of America on oil and the resulting conflicts with other countries. The book starts with explaining the oil dependency and the dilemma about how and where to procure more oil from. And then the detailed explanation of how US got into alliance with Saudi Arabia for oil and how that dragged US into more regional conflicts there is very interesting. The author also explains how the growing resentment against America’s presence in Saudi resulted in increase of terrorism. The book also discusses the issues with Iran, Iraq and other Persian Gulf nations.
But after a few chapters, it kind of becomes repetitive when it comes to issues in the Caspian sea, Africa or other oil producing nations. Everywhere the issues are almost similar with the exception of names of places and people. Nevertheless the author drives his point home about the cost to be paid to get oil from these unstable and authoritarian regimes. And the cost is almost always blood of soldiers.
Apart from focusing on just America and it’s energy policy, the author also discusses about the growing competition from Russia and China to get cheap oil. Though these three nations do have a common goal of keeping the oil flowing without any interruptions, there is also a natural tendency to have more control than the other nations often resulting in tensions.
Towards the end I liked the solutions proposed and especially the first one which says that America’s energy policy should be separated from it’s foreign policy. The administration must stop getting into agreements that basically result in supporting the repugnant and undemocratic regimes thereby going against the basic human values.
On the whole, it’s a good read for people who are interested in knowing the details of at what cost the oil we use daily is procured and what lays ahead of us if something is not done now.
Entry Filed under: Books I read