The Effect of U.S. Energy Self-Sufficiency on Its Commitment to Secure Shipping Lanes in the Strait of Hormuz

27 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2013

See all articles by Kenneth J. White

Kenneth J. White

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Christine Jojarth

Stanford University - School of Humanities & Sciences

Saud Al-Fattah

Saudi Aramco; King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 1, 2013

Abstract

Deemed as the “world’s most important chokepoint” for oil and international shipping, the Strait of Hormuz is the main thoroughfare to and from the Arabian/Persian Gulf. A disruption in shipping through the Strait of Hormuz would have severe consequences for the world economy. Without securing by American forces, oil tankers could be threatened by Iran or non-state actors such as pirates. This paper outlines three potential scenarios for U.S. engagement in Hormuz. In the first scenario, “Maintaining the Status Quo,” the U.S. sustains a large, unilateral force in the Arabian Gulf. In the second scenario, “Strategic Partnerships,” the U.S. reduces its overall footprint but ensures security through a close partnership with GCC countries. In the third scenario, “Limited Engagement,” the U.S. withdraws from the Gulf and cedes leadership roles to a rising China. Based on our analysis, there are two main policy implications. First, U.S. policymakers should emphasize the importance of shipping lanes in the Arabian Gulf and their continued relevance to U.S. interests. Second, GCC states and U.S. policymakers should realize the importance of forging stronger defense partnerships. Not only do their interests converge, but a partnership could allow U.S. to maintain security with a reduced budget.

Keywords: U.S. energy policy, Energy security, geopolitics, Strait of hormuz, Gulf cooperation council states

JEL Classification: N70, Q40, Q49

Suggested Citation

White, Kenneth J. and Jojarth, Christine and Al-Fattah, Saud, The Effect of U.S. Energy Self-Sufficiency on Its Commitment to Secure Shipping Lanes in the Strait of Hormuz (May 1, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2354418 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2354418

Kenneth J. White

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Christine Jojarth

Stanford University - School of Humanities & Sciences ( email )

518 Memorial Way Building 1
Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Saud Al-Fattah (Contact Author)

Saudi Aramco ( email )

Dhahran, 31311
Saudi Arabia
00966504984090 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.saudalfattah.com

King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) ( email )

Dhahran, 31311
Saudi Arabia
00966504984090 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.saudalfattah.com

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