The role of the United States in the new system of power relations in the Persian Gulf region, with particular reference to the security and stability
The last decade has witnessed a dramatic resurgence in the United States capabilities of deploying her military forces around the world, particularly, in the Persian Gulf region. The region's security and stability, due to its extensive oil reserves, is crucial for the well being of the global economy. This thesis is a study of the interaction between the United States' policies and Persian Gulf regional developments in the new system of power relations in the region. No bilateral interaction can be understood properly without a reference to the multilateral context in which it occurs. Therefore, in this study the Persian Gulf region is used as the unit of analysis and the interaction is studied in the context of regional security and stability as methods of assessing the effects of the two interacting factors. The study traces both regional developments and US policies towards the region in a period of approximately three decades since the British withdrawal in the early 70s and it attempts to construct an analytical framework for the study of the effect of regional developments upon US policies in the region. The most salient features of the present work and its original contribution to the literature of the Persian Gulf studies are as follows: 1. Using a systemic approach, it defines the Persian Gulf as a geopolitical region and rejects the concept that it has sub-systemic relations to the Middle East. 2. It shows instead that the region is a subsystem of the international system. The interaction between US policies and regional developments is directly assessed without reference to intermediate levels. 3. Three systems of power relation have been proposed as the main framework for the study of the United States' role in the region from the time of the British withdrawal from the region. 4. A distinction has been made between "security of the Persian Gulf region" and "security of the foreign power interests in this region" in order to assess the interaction between US policies and the regional developments. 5. It presents for the first time the idea of "dual functional effects of regional developments" and shows that the role of the United States in this region is a function of two complementary variables of "threats" and "opportunities". This study applies different methods in dealing with its different procedures of analysis namely: "analysing historical background"; "conceptual clarifications"; "explaining the problematic"; "hypothetical illustrations"; "reasoning" and "theory building and prescription. " However, it mostly uses a normative analysis of rational (not actual) choices.