The oil weapon: past, present, and future

The phrase “oil weapon” almost universally calls to mind the October oil embargo of 1973, although various countries have used oil as a political weapon in recent history. The US has historically imposed a greater number of oil embargoes than any other nation, including oil embargoes on Japan before World War II; on the Soviet Union in the 1960s; and on South Africa, Burma, Serbia, Haiti, Libya, Iraq, Iran, and Sudan in the last 2 decades.A number of Arab oil-producing states, mostly US allies, used oil as a political weapon against Western countries in 1956, 1967, and 1973. Their objective, especially in 1967 and 1973, was to force countries that supported Israel to change th...

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