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Happy Dog Takes on the World: Myths of Oil, U.S., & Middle East

The Happy Dog     
5801 Detroit Ave, Cleveland, Ohio 44102    View Map

April 7, 2020 7:30 PM to 8:45 PM

There is a conventional wisdom about oil―that the U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf is what guarantees access to this strategic resource; that a "special" relationship with Saudi Arabia is necessary to stabilize an otherwise volatile market; and that these assumptions in turn provide Washington enormous leverage over Europe and Asia.

But what if the conventional wisdom is flawed? What if the fears of oil scarcity and conflict are unfounded? Dr. Robert Vitalis pursues these questions in his forthcoming book, "Oilcraft: The Myths of Scarcity and Security that Haunt U.S. Energy Policy". In it, he argues that oil, like other commodities, is bought and sold on the New York Mercantile Exchange and elsewhere. As such, the markets do not function according to who has "secured" access to oil; it functions based on consumer demand. Scarcity and security are myths that have driven both America's foreign policy and narrative around the Middle East for decades.

How have these myths about oil affected how generations of foreign policy experts and strategic planners think about the Middle East?

What does it mean for the future, as climate change and the exhaustion with America's "forever wars" in the Middle East are bringing people together around alternative visions of possible energy futures?

Join us as Dr. Robert Vitalis discusses the role of oil in international relations and the reasoning behind the notion of oil‐as‐power on the world diplomatic stage.

Category: Talks/Discussions

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Category: Talks/Discussions

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