Guardians of the Gulf: A History of America's Expanding Role in the Persion Gulf, 1883-1992

Overview

The East's riches and untapped markets in the late eighteenth and nineteenth century, and its strategic and geopolitical assets in the twentieth century, have continually attracted American interest and investment to the countries of the Persian Gulf. Describing a complex two-century-old relationship, Michael Palmer tells the illuminating story of our nation's steadily escalating involvement in the region despite our ongoing resistance to active guardianship of its stability and security. Initially, American ...
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Guardians of the Gulf: A History of America's Expanding Role in the Persion Gulf, 1883-1992

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Overview

The East's riches and untapped markets in the late eighteenth and nineteenth century, and its strategic and geopolitical assets in the twentieth century, have continually attracted American interest and investment to the countries of the Persian Gulf. Describing a complex two-century-old relationship, Michael Palmer tells the illuminating story of our nation's steadily escalating involvement in the region despite our ongoing resistance to active guardianship of its stability and security. Initially, American commercial activity basked in the protection of British military prowess. But as Yankee merchants successfully displaced the declining empire's influence, the United States was forced to assume increased responsibility for the volatile nations of the gulf. Relying heavily on the Shah as a surrogate police power in the ensuing decades, we actively intervened in Iranian politics to sustain his rule. The United States was finally compelled to assume the mantle of guardianship, which we had long avoided, when he fell from power in 1979. Today, our military presence ensures the continued existence of Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Oman. Tracing the trajectory of American influence and engagement in the Persian Gulf, Palmer reveals the recent war with Iraq to have been a logical culmination of our past history. The limited objectives sought reflected our traditional reluctance to be militarily engaged in foreign lands and to incur postwar commitments. The gross over-estimation of Iraqi capability by President Bush and Generals Powell and Schwarzkopf continued a long-standing misperception of the realities of the gulf countries and their military and political potential. Exploring the issues raised by our presence in the Persian Gulf and our role as protector of this unstable region, Palmer reveals American ambivalence toward the responsibilities, risks, and costs of guardianship. His historical analysis provides an essential primer for ou
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780684871066
  • Publisher: Touchstone
  • Publication date: 5/1/1999
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Table of Contents

Prologue: To the Valley of the Euphrates
1 An Open Field for American Capital and Industry, 1833-1939 1
2 The World Oil Center of Gravity, 1939-1946 20
3 Middle East Oil and the Destiny of Europe, 1946-1950 40
4 The Chimera of Regional Defense, 1950-1967 52
5 A Tale of Two Doctrines: The Nixon and Carter Doctrines, 1968-1980 85
6 Not While This President Serves: The Reagan Administration and the Gulf, 1981-1987 112
7 The Tanker War, 1987-1988 128
8 The Road to Desert Storm, August 1988-August 1990 150
9 Shield in the Desert, August 1990-January 1991 163
10 A Commander's Dream: Planning Desert Storm 193
11 Just the Way It Was Scheduled: The Storm from the Air 213
12 The Mother of All Battles, the Mother of All Retreats: The Storm on the Ground 228
13 The Guarantor of Last Resort 243
Map: Gulf War of 1991 253
Map: The Persian Gulf 254
Map: The Middle East 255
Notes 257
Bibliography 305
Index 318
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