US economic and geopolitical interests were entwined in the Middle East in the early 1970s. Prioritizing geopolitical objectives, the Nixon administration bolstered Iran and Saudi Arabia as regional clients and cultivated Israel as a Cold War ally. Meanwhile, the declining U.S. share of global oil production made the United States-and the larger Western world-ever-more dependent upon the oil exports of the Middle East. In the context of the Middle East crisis of late 1973, which included an Arab-Israeli war and a major oil crisis, US decision-makers struggled to comprehend and manage the consequences of energy interdependence. Recognizing the damage that surging oil prices were doing to the Western Alliance, Henry Kissinger belatedly set out to manage-and mitigate-the vulnerabilities that economic interdependence created for the West and to stabilize the Middle East through the achievement of a bilateral peace between Egypt and Israel.
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