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James Burgess studied Business Management at the University of Nottingham. He has worked in property development, chartered surveying, marketing, law, and accounts. He has also…

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The U.S. has Spent $8 Trillion Protecting the Straits of Hormuz

The U.S. has Spent $8 Trillion Protecting the Straits of Hormuz

A group of nine student journalists from the Medill National Security Journalism Initiative have created a website as part of a project to report on the US energy security situation. An incredibly interesting article on the site, and written by Dana Ballout, looks at how oil travels around the world on the seas, and where the vulnerable choke points are.

Map of Oil Routes
Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

The Strait of Hormuz is the busiest passageway for oil tankers in the world, with over 17 million barrels (or 20% of the total world supply) moving through the narrow stretch of water each day. Disruption to this flow could severely damage global oil markets and so protecting the straits is an important job; and one of the most critical that the US Navy carries out.

Related articles: OPEC Falling Apart at the Seams

Roger Stern, a professor at the University of Tulsa National Energy Policy Institute, wrote a study in 2010 in which he estimated that the US had spent $8 trillion on protecting oil cargoes in the Persian Gulf since 1976, when its military presence in the region was boosted following the first Arab oil embargo. This is all despite the fact that only 10% of the oil passing through the straits is actually destined for the US.

Stern explained the true meaning behind the US’s reasons for heading to the Gulf en masse in an interview: “The fear grew out of a belief not just in a global peak oil, but a strong CIA conviction, that was shared by the National Security Council, that the Soviets were running out of oil, that their production was going to tank in just a few years and the Soviets had no choice but to march to the Persian gulf to get oil, so that was the rationale for the idea that a force was needed.”

I recommend the full article on Oil Change for interesting read and further breakdown on other choke points around the world.

By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com

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  • Darrell on October 24 2014 said:
    Better for oil to be grown on non arable USA land and keeping that future 8 trillion dollars in the US economy than giving it to a terroist ideology The technology already exists all that is required is the will to back yourself. What say yea America? Invest in your future!
  • Robert French on January 10 2014 said:
    DDearborn lighten up remember that if the Arab States declare war against Israel the Koreans will get the contract!
  • DDearborn on January 01 2014 said:

    First the title of the article is completely false. If anything the 8 Trillion the American tax payer was forced to spend did the exact opposite; it actually made the Straits a far less safe and more vulnerable choke point than at anytime since 1967. Which in MHO is precisely the intention from the start. Bear in mind that before the neocons/Israelis launched their false flag op on 9-11 oil was trading at about $11 a barrel. So there were 3 powerful and in this case intersecting interests served by that Pearl Harbor type event requested by the Zionists. First there was the big oil-no one was getting filthy rich on $11 a barrel. Second was the military industrial complex. After the first gulf war things were getting down right desperate and with the collapse of the wall there was a very real danger of peace becoming a worldwide epidemic. And finally Israel was champing at the bit to steal Palestine and lusted after much of rest of the Middle East. And they desperately wanted to finish getting rid of the indigenous population which was causing so many problems demanding their rights and land back.

    Looking at the key players in charge on 9-11 and the decade that followed; Virtually every single key position in the US/England/Israel was tied to one or more of those 3 interests. Israel planned the entire decade well in advance. Given the greed and megalomania of those controlling the oil/military industry getting the cooperation of the other 2 parties a pretty much foregone conclusion. It was made far easier by virtue of the fact that many of them are in fact dual citizen Israelis.

    Given the source of this article, the conclusions drawn are hardly surprising. At this point those 3 parties are throwing up everything but the kitchen sink in a desperate attempt to deflect the growing realization and rage among the working classes that had to actually pay for these crimes with their labor and often their lives that they have been robbed in a very big way by a very very small international criminal cartel. And if Joe Six pack knew that "oil" is a not a finite resource oh my....................

    Having said all that I offer the following; The ONLY actual military "threat" to the Straits of Hormuz by any country in the Middle East is ISRAEL. No other country including Iran can offer any credible threat. Why? Simply put only Israel has nuclear weapons. It is ironic indeed that the true threat to America in this regard is now and has been for over 30 years Israel. Every nuclear weapons equipped country is a threat to our supply of oil. The real question the American people should be asking is why in 2013 given the exponential advances in technology since 1940 is America still dependent on oil and gas?

    For the record the "American people" did not spend that 8 trillion. From the very beginning a majority in America was and still is against the war. But hey why quibble over details right. And the real kicker is that 8 Trillion was borrowed from the FED at interest.
  • doug on May 13 2013 said:
    If you want to buy oil from the Middle East you had better use the petro-dollar.
  • charlie on May 10 2013 said:
    It would be best to get Oil from the gulf of mexico, Shale Oil and oil from canada rather than support the middle east states. The only thing they apparently do with the oil money they give us is support terrorism against the USA, make cars with gold shells, etc.

    Let europe, russia, china have problems in getting oil from the straights.

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