Often the idea is thrown around that if the US can become energy independent, this will stop foreign countries and dictatorships such as Iran and Saudi Arabia from sponsoring terrorist activities against the US. While the premise and idea seems logical, it’s only half of the story. And until you consider all the facts and ramifications, making a blanket statement like this is “uninformed”. Here’s why:
1. Long-term planning maybe… but in the short term (Next few decades), this is definitely not a feasible option to stop terror sponsoring countries. Nearly two-thirds of our oil is imported, with the Middle Eastern countries making up a large portion of that. With our own economy so dependent on international trade and imports such as crude oil, punishing them punishes us. Think of it this way… If you’re at the beach relaxing with your family and your child acts up. Would you send them to the car, and say, “come back when you’ve calmed down.” Or would you say, “We all have to leave now. Let’s pack up and go home.” In one of these scenarios you get to stay at the beach. In the other, you don’t! You would never punish yourself, to teach your child a lesson. (At least that’s not how Nanny 911 teaches us to do it )
Slapping an immediate ban on all countries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia is similar to our beach example. It is self-sacrificial and self-sabotaging to try to end our reliance on foreign oil and cut all ties immediately, in the hopes that this would someday lower Iran’s oil revenues.
2. With the rate China and India’s economies are growing, and the demand for oil, the US is quickly losing its strangle hold on the market demand. If you don’t believe me, here’s a link.
India’s oil demand is set to outpace China’s demand for the third year in a row! With such a growth in demand for oil globally, OPEC countries will still have a market to sell – even if their biggest customer takes their ball and goes home. Will it make a dent? Yes. But, you’d be naive to believe there isn’t other money out there, up for grabs.
So that leads you to the question – If cutting them off won’t help stop terrorism, then what will?
To be perfectly honest, that’s a question I don’t have an exact answer for. My initial thought is that terrorism is probably best fought with direct and decisive military action — not self-sacrificing, multi-decade schemes to lower oil prices.
Maybe I'm wrong. What are your thoughts?