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Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Dependency on Imported Petroleum (American Empire Project) 1st Edition

43 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0805073133
ISBN-10: 0805073132
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The world's rapidly growing economy is dependent on oil, the supply is running out and the U.S. and other great powers are engaged in an escalating game of brinkmanship to secure its continued free flow. Such is the premise of Klare's powerful and brilliant new book (following Resource Wars). The U.S.—with less than 5% of the world's total population—consumes about 25% of the world's total supply of oil, he argues. With no meaningful conservation being attempted, Klare sees the nation's energy behavior dominated by four key trends: "an increasing need for imported oil; a pronounced shift toward unstable and unfriendly suppliers in dangerous parts of the world; a greater risk of anti-American or civil violence; and increased competition for what will likely be a diminishing supply pool." In clear, lucid prose, Klare lays out a disheartening and damning indictment of U.S. foreign policy. From the waning days of WWII, when Franklin Roosevelt gave legitimacy to the autocratic Saudi royalty, to the current conflict in Iraq, Klare painstakingly describes a nation controlled by its unquenchable thirst for oil. Rather than setting out a strategy for energy independence, he finds a roadmap for further U.S. dependence on imported oil, more exposure for the U.S. military overseas and, as a result, less safety for Americans at home and abroad. While Klare offers some positive suggestions for solving the problem, in tone and detail this work sounds a dire warning about the future of the world. Illus.
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From Booklist

Agreeing with the premise of "No Blood for Oil" placards, a college professor of international affairs here explains why he thinks the current Bush administration is a disaster on energy and foreign policy. In brief, Klare disputes the contention of the administration's 2001 National Energy Policy (NEP)--the document in the news less for its contents than for litigation against its sponsor, Vice President Richard Cheney--that the U.S. can foster increases in the global production of oil. This work is valuable for ventilating what the NEP says (which mass media rarely do), albeit for the purpose of shooting its arguments down. The NEP's thesis is that the U.S. must diversify its foreign sources of oil, importing more from the Caspian Sea, West Africa, and South America and less from the Persian Gulf. Systematically analyzing these areas, Klare dismisses the diversification strategy and promotes his solution to the foreign-oil dilemma: reducing consumption by sharply increasing fuel taxes. Although it is anti-Bush, this book will better engage readers interested in policy than those seeking polemics. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Series: American Empire Project
  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Metropolitan Books; 1st edition (September 10, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805073132
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805073133
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.1 x 10.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,345,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

177 of 186 people found the following review helpful By Robert David STEELE Vivas HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 4, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Edit of 20 Dec 07 to add links.

I have heard this author speak to groups of international intelligence professionals, and they take him very seriously, as do I. In many ways, his books complements the one by Thomas Barnett, The Pentagon's New Map: War and Peace in the Twenty-first Century except that whereas Barnett says that the military must go to war to make unstable areas safe for America, Klare points out that a) we don't have enough guns or blood to stabilize a world that we antagonize every time we deploy into an "occupation" mode, and b) cheap oil is going to be very very expensive in terms of American blood on the floor.

Although I have reviewed many books about both the problems within America and its policies, as well as books optimistic about the future of America and the world, I give credit to Klare and this book for finally forcing me to realize that our federal budget and federal policies, in relation to protecting America, are "inside out and upside down." There is, and Klare documents this beautifully in relation to petroleum, a very pathological cycle that could be easily stopped. We insist on cheap oil, this leads to bloodshed and high oil prices; this comes back to lower quality of life for the workers, etc.

As Klare points out, the pipelines (and I would add the pipe to ship portals) cannot be protected. American policy makers are deceiving the public when they suggest they can stabilize the Middle East and protect cheap oil. Not only can the pipelines not be protected, but on America's current consumption path, according to Klare, the Gulf States would have to DOUBLE production to keep up with American demand.
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51 of 55 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Spoering on October 26, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book, by Michael Klare, goes into much detail explaining how conservative leaders and think tanks have not only led us into a disastrous war in Iraq, but in addition have set the United States on a course to actually import more and more oil from unstable and despotic foreign countries in the future. Before the latest Iraqi war I did'nt believe the war was about oil, perhaps it was a side issue, but Klare goes into much detail here, illustrating the fact the war is primarily about securing a large and continuous oil supply for the United States. It is true, as Klare points out, that Presidents since FDR have placed a high value on Middle East oil, but the Bush administration has taken intervention to a new and dangerously high level. Several documents are referred to by Klare, one very important one was by the National Energy Policy Development Group, in 2001, headed by none other than Dick Cheney. This group gives full support to the use of the military of the United States to secure foreign oil sources, only giving lip service to alternate energy development, and almost nothing to conservation measures including raising CAFE standards. I have to say that I find this amazingly short sighted. Now that President Bush and his 'advisors' have gotten us into an endless resource war in Iraq it is evident to any thinking person that we are in a mess with nearly no end. In addition, our military, in their 'precision' strikes, have, as of 10-04, killed an estimated 21,500 Iraqi civilians, to me this is atrocious and another reason the terrorists have been able to easily recruit people. Klare goes into detail how we join forces with despotic regimes around the world in search of additional supplies of oil, and this includes the House Of Saud.Read more ›
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By doomsdayer520 HALL OF FAME on May 20, 2005
Format: Hardcover
For those knowledgeable on the subject of petro-politics, there is little new information in this book, but Michael Klare does a great job of consolidating current thought into one informative package. Klare finds compelling evidence, usually in freely available US government documents, that almost every single US military action in recent decades has been about ensuring the flow of imported oil to America. For example, the first Bush administration originally justified the 1991 Persian Gulf War with the need to restore the flow of cheap oil that was disrupted by Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. But of course, this was before the media spectacle began, and politicians and pundits started throwing around words like freedom and democracy and liberation.

Here you can see without a doubt, unless you're an unthinking apologist, that "energy security" is the primary (if not the only) military mission of the most recent American presidential administrations. In addition to the problematic Persian Gulf, we are also on the verge of getting involved in conflicts in alternative oil production regions, especially the Caspian Sea area. Our insatiable thirst for oil has led us into all sorts of damaging military engagements and unethical support deals with corrupt regimes and dictators. Klare provides indisputable evidence that America will get into a downward spiral of conflict and competition over dwindling supplies of oil unless we can break away from the status quo of consumption.

This book does have a few gaps that prevent it from being a complete success, however. Klare misses the point that America is creating competitors for the dwindling worldwide petroleum supply by "encouraging" developing nations (especially China and India) to adopt our lifestyle.
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