Book Review: Three Kings Essay

Explain the influence of the Middle East in the tensions between the Allies during the ending of WWII and on the announcement of the Truman Doctrine that began the Cold War in 1947-1948. For the United States the Middle East and the Mediterranean Sea, which Greece and Turkey bordered, were of great importance, as the Middle East had rich oil reserves and America and Britain, as the largest industrialized countries and exporters of goods at the time, wanted control of this vast cache of oil to secure their economies.

Importantly, both nations did not want the Soviets to gain access to the oil reserves; however, Roosevelt had a concordant relationship with Stalin and thus included him in the Yalta conference. In 1945, FDR, Churchill, and Stalin met with the Shaw of Saudi Arabia, to gain oil rights and become sole developers of their oil reserves After the Yalta conference, FDR expanded his quest for more oil, meeting with the other two kings of the Middle East, Iran, and Egypt.

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Upon FDR’s death, President Harry Truman disregarded FDR’s work with Stalin and initiated America’s containment of socialism, advancing the Truman Doctrine, an expansion of the Monroe Doctrine, which determined the geographic regions in which the United States would exercise power, secure access to the Middle East, and prevent socialism. Although Truman’s actions alienated Stalin, Truman boldly proposed control of all European waterways; “ the plan, he suggested, would also be a good model for the [Black Sea] Straits. 2 By controlling the Straits, the United States would have absolute power over oil trade. At the end of the presentation of the Truman doctrine, Senator Walter George announced his opinion: “ … when we make policy of this kind we are irrevocably committing ourselves … no way to get out of it next week or next year. ” 3In effect, the United States was committed to enforcing its arguments as stated in the doctrine.

Explain the differences 1. between the stated public Cold War goal of the U. S. federal government, 2. the goal of the U. S. government and businesses in the Middle East, 3. nd the goals of the regimes/governments of Middle Eastern oil-producing nations in the period. 1. As the United States led the world in manufacturing and trading, its need for oil became a necessity. However, the spread of Communism throughout Europe threatened America’s capitalistic ideals. The American mindset embraced the philosophy that support of Middle Eastern governments would prevent their falling victim to the Soviets. The federal government promulgated the idea that in order to remain a superpower, the oil of the Middle East must be secured and Communism contained. . America had invested interest, economically and politically, in protecting the Middle East especially the three kings of Iran, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. WWII had considerably weakened the U. S. government, as well as the business sphere of the Middle East. The Middle East, especially Saudi Arabia, had gained protection, weaponry, and economic backing from the United States when they agreed to let the United States be their primary consumer of their oil; although, Iran, was not as easily persuaded.

After the fall of the democratic government in Iran, the United States sent the CIA to spy on the newly formed regime to initiate a coup and reestablish a democratic government. Gardner states, “A 1956 “ Country Plan” developed by the United States Information Service (USIS) listed as a top objective to direct nationalistic yearning towards realistic evolution instead of impatient revolution [would] build a lasting foundation for unlimited progress in Iran” 4 Unfortunately, the United States coup did not go as planned and ultimately contributed to anti-American sentiment in Iran. . In Three Kings, Gardner discusses how the Iranian oil crisis greatly concerned newly elected President Eisenhower, as well as American businessmen, as the overthrow of the Iranian Prime Minister Mossadeq and the democratic government threatened the future security of the oil fields.

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