The U.S.’s approach to the Middle East frequently seems less policy than fated inevitability. The U.S. requires oil from that region for its survival, therefore it underwrites despotic and corrupt regimes, and bears the consequences of those alliances. Yet neither the need nor the alliances are written in the stars.
U.S. dependency on Middle East oil can be greatly reduced, if not eliminated, through domestic energy conservation. More specifically, the U.S.’s need for Middle East oil would plummet if Americans chose to reduce their consumption of gasoline. Writing in Foreign Affairs (hardly an organ of the Green movement), Amory and Hunter Lovins have claimed that if Americans “ had simply bought new cars that got 5 mpg more than they did, [the U.S.] would no longer have needed Persian Gulf oil.”