Conflict between the West and Middle East has been a constant theme datingback hundreds of years, and as eras change, the reasons for those conflictschange along according to surrounding world events. Historically, the declineof the Ottoman Empire in the nineteenth centaury paved a path for Europeancolonialism, which was ignited by the desire for extra territories and a gateto Asia.
Consequently, World War I started, and the conflicts were then mainlyabout religion. However, after the war, when all countries broke out of theEuropean imperialism, England handed the Jewish people a piece of land thatoriginally belonged to the Palestinians in their 1917 Belfour Declaration;Arabs and Middle Easterners in general took a stand against the Jews who werelater allied by many of the Westerners. This was the fire that caused thesmoke. In more recent times, after the discovery of the fortunes buried underparts of the Middle Eastern region, the energy resources interested theWesterners.
Fossil fuels and oil depletion are the main reasons behind theWestern conflict with the Middle East; starting from the war on Iraq in 2003till the Syrian intervention that has been recently planned in late August, andseveral more focal events in between, gaining power and control over theseresources have been the motives behind many relatively recent politicalencounters. Uses of Oil:In order to fully understand the Wests urge of control over Middle Eastern oil,one must recognize the forms that those energy resources come in; given theimportance of oil in almost everything produced, controlling the basiccomponent would significantly affect the market. Petroleum products, in all oftheir forms, are used in four major sectors: transportation, industry,residency and commercialism. Oil used in transportation makes up almost 70% ofthe annual US consumption, and is used for vehicle gasoline, diesel, and jetfuel. 25% of their annual consumption is used for industrial products, whichinclude agricultural, manufacture, mining, and construction products.Residential oil, used mostly for heating oils, and electricity and lightgeneration in buildings, and makes up around 3% of the annual US consumption.The commercial products include cosmetics, fabrics, medicine, waxes, plastics,and solvents, and make up around 2% of the United States’ consumption of oil.
According to the United States’ department of energy website, The U.S. EnergyInformation Administration (EIA), approximately 10.6 million barrels of petroleumwere imported daily in 2012, and 3.
2 million barrels were exported, whichresults in net import of 7.4 million barrels imported daily. “Net importsaccounted for 40% of the petroleum consumed in the United States, the lowestannual average since 1991….
The top five source countries of the U.S. petroleumimports in 2012 were Canada, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and Russia…. Netimports from OPEC countries accounted for 55% of U.S.
net imports” (EIA). TheOrganization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) include Algeria, Angola,Ecuador, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United ArabEmirates, and Venezuela; as seen, a couple of these countries, and one of themain five importers, are located in the Middle East, which illustrates theimportance of this region to the United States and shows how the A