The post-1970 political geography of the Red Sea region, with special reference to United States interests
This is a pioneer and comprehensive study of the political geography of the Red Sea region. Background studies on geopolitics, physical environment, and resources are offered. The thesis is especially concerned with three basic American interests in the Red Sea. Firstly, energy interest: United States deep concern about uninterrupted flow of oil supplies from the Gulf to the former as well as to its Western allies creates an increasing American interest in the Red Sea route, particularly since the Gulf tanker war in 1982. Such interest is clearly seen in United States political, technical, and financial involvement in the Suez Canal (1975) and in the current laying of pipelines from the Gulf to the Red Sea. Disruption of those supplies to the US or its allies may result in American use of force. Secondly, shipping interest: such concern is clearly shown in United States involvement in matters relating to the Suez Canal, the Straits of Bab al Mandeb and Tiran. Freedom of navigation through the Red Sea, especially for Israeli ships, is a major American interest in this respect. United States refusal to sign the 1982 UN Convention on the Law of the Sea may involve the former into conflict with some Red Sea States, particularly when American nuclear-powered vessels sail from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean or vice versa. Thirdly, Soviet involvement in Afghanistan, the Gulf war and the resurgence of Islam are becoming increasingly worrying to the US, because such developments are feared as a destabilizing factor to the stability of the oil producing states of the Arabian peninsula, with particular reference to Saudi Arabia, the most important Red Sea state.