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Enduring U.S. Interests in the Persian Gulf Region

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Research paper

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Despite the withdrawal of combat troops from Iraq in 2011, the United States maintains significant national security interests in the Persian Gulf region. Those interests need to be protected and advanced by proactive political, military, and other measures, including shared responsibility for the navigation and trafficability throughout the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz. The global economy remains largely affected if not heavily dependent on the export of a substantial portion of the world production of petroleum products that pass through the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz every day. Much of the developed and affluent world in East Asia and Europe benefits directly from an expensive American commitment to ensure that commercial and other maritime traffic can safely pass through the Persian Gulf to ultimate markets and consumers. The United States is facing both a growing concern about the Iranian threat to interfere with this traffic as well as growing resource constraints to thwart that threat. The Islamic Republic of Iran remains a major foreign policy and security challenge for the United States and its strategic and trading partners because of its aggressive nature and demonstrated willingness to acquire the technology that could yield the deployment of nuclear weapons. Impending reductions in defense appropriations will constrain future American force projection, thus necessitating a more collective response to ensure Persian Gulf security, including the possible introduction of outside stakeholders such as China and India. In the meantime, the United States will need to work with the Gulf Cooperation Council GCC and other regional partners to ensure that they have the capacity, interoperability, and willingness to work alone andor in concert to discourage Iranian aggression.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Geography
  • Surface Transportation and Equipment

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