The Global Significance of the Middle East
During the historical times, the Middle East was an area known for religion, global trade, science, as well as ancient civilization. However, in the contemporary period, the Middle East area has become important to the world for different reasons. When oil was discovered in the Middle East in recent times, a lot of importance and interest from other world regions has drifted to this part of the world. The more developed countries however, have been influential in the political, social, and economic matters of the Middle East, to have an upper hand to the access of oil in the region.
Overall, the global economy continues to depend on the Middle East. This area also influenced America, as well as other world regions. On the other hand, the current international relations continue to be shaped by the factor of oil the Middle East. The key players in these relations, with regard to oil, are the US and UK. In the past, UK as an external player in the politics of the Middle East imposed its policies on the area, in relation to the state system formation in the past. Today, the aspect of diplomacy in the Middle East has been highly influenced by oil. Oil today has become a political tool, and not an objective. For instance, the USA put a ban on trade with Libya and Iran, while the UN banned Iraq. Unfortunately, these countries have hardened their access to oil in the region, because their priority is in politics.
The current geopolitics in the Middle East has all along revolved around oil. More than half of the world’s energy supply comes from the Middle East, with the Persian Gulf holding vast oil wells. The reason behind the world bestowing much importance to the Middle East is the fact that, the global economy cannot survive without oil, which the Middle East produces in plenty. Different countries, especially the current and former super powers and imperialists such as the USA and UK, have developed great interest in the Middle East. The discovery of oil in the Middle East also enhanced its strategic positioning, as it lies in the center of three different continents. With this, it is in a position to control important links in the global system of transportation.
The global significance of the Middle East emanates from the fact that the area is the world’s greatest producer of oil. Oil and other oil-related interests have in return influenced the political and social economy of the Middle East, both at the local and international level. Most people consider oil as a political product, since it is the main source of energy; most governments ensure that this is available in their countries, while attempting to reduce their dependence on imports. However, the oil producing countries in the Middle East have, in the recent past, avoided plentiful supply of oil to countries, and have raised the oil prices. These strict conditions to oil access by countries have been instrumental in increasing the importance of the Middle East, as more governments today develop strategies of accessing this oil on better terms than other countries.
The global significance of the Middle East has had different implications and consequences to the world today. Because of much interests and importance attached to the Middle East today, different countries have disagreed and gotten into conflicts and rivalry. Since the Middle East is known for its persistent political instability, the over-dependence of other world countries on this area for oil will only increase the instability in the area. In addition, this puts global security at risk. This is because; different world countries have to build strong relations with the oil supplying countries in the Middle East. This relations goes to the level of supplying the Middle East countries with military aid and diplomatic support, thus, ignoring the human rights violations of these countries. Most of the conflicts witnessed between different nations today, especially the powerful states, are in one way or another, inspired by the Middle East. For instance, Iran and Iraq, which are the two main power icons in the Persian Gulf region, have had a strained relationship since the period of WW2. The United States is an external player, and has had immense influence in this area, since the period after the disintegration of the Soviet Union. On a positive note, oil is crucial as it drives economic development. In the case of Middle East, the oil should stabilize the region, instead of destabilizing them as it is doing now. Instead of oil being the cause of all conflicts, and making the world insecure, the key domestic and international players should serve the responsibility of ensuring stability in the Middle East is gained, for the good of everyone in the world.
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