“Control of the strategically significant Middle East, with its huge and easily accessible oil reserves, has been a centerpiece of policy since the U.S. gained the position of global hegemon after World War II. The reasons are not obscure. The State Department recognized that Saudi Arabia is “a stupendous source of strategic power” and “one of the greatest material prizes in world history.” Eisenhower described it as the most “strategically important part of the world.” That control of Middle East oil yields “substantial control of the world” and “critical leverage” over industrial rivals has been understood by influential statesmen from Roosevelt adviser A. A. Berle to Zbigniew Brzezinski.”

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