This book is about global oil and US economic relations with the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) states in historical and contemporary perspectives. The focus is on the evolution and significance of investment and trade relations between the United States and the GCC countries. The setting is post-World War II changes in North-South relationships and the evolution in energy economics. An underlying theme here is that no economic intercourse between nations ever took place in a political void. American commercial relations with the Arabian peninsula--although a unique historical experience in its own right--should indeed be viewed as an integral part of a broader universal whole. That universe comprises the sweeping global changes since World War II, especially in the postcolonial complex relationship between the industrial developed nations and the preindustrial and industrializing economies. That universe is also the changing global pattern of demand and supply of petroleum, of which changes in the structure of the petroleum industry and changes in the American energy landscape are subsets.
In a global system, the dramatis personae affect and are affected by the universal environment. The key to understanding international economic relations, more so today than ever, is power relationships and interdependence. In the case of US-Arab relations, oil and energy economics happened to play a central role in determining the modality and character of that power relationship and interdependence. It is like a vicious circle: one cannot understand US-GCC relationships without some grounding in the global oil market; one cannot understand the oil market without being familiar with OPEC ( Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries); one cannot understand OPEC without knowing