The British Withdrawal, East Of The Suez

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Subsequent to the British withdrawal “east of the Suez,” the United States (US) assumed the mantle of guarantor of Middle East stability. In furtherance of that stability, prior to the Islamic Revolution, Iran, along with Saudi Arabia, was considered one of the “Twin Pillars” of American support aimed at limiting Soviet access to Middle East Oil. As a result of the revolution in Iran, President Jimmy Carter, in his 1980 State of the Union Address, defined what came to be called The Carter Doctrine: “An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.” A new Iran, hostile to America, threatened American interests by potentially allying itself with the Soviet Union and placing the vital Strait of Hormuz at risk to commercial shipping carrying oil to the United States. Now, after nearly four decades of American provided security in the Arabian Gulf, the Soviet threat is gone and a highly integrated global oil market is swamped with excess supply. However, the Strait of Hormuz, and the Arabian Gulf, remains of vital interest to the US and events there continue to threaten global maritime security. The Strait of Hormuz is a narrow waterway connecting the Gulf of Oman to the Arabian Gulf and is contained within the territorial waters of both Iran and Oman. This sea line of
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