Energy security and Realpolitik
Geography is the most fundamental factor in foreign policy because it is the most permanent.
Cartoon depicting Rockefeller's Standard Oil monopoly
Since the industrial revolution the geopolitics of energy — who supplies it, and securing reliable access to those supplies — have been a driving factor in global prosperity and security.
Every international order in early modern and modern history is based on an energy resource.
Seven huge companies which have dominated the world of oil - and all our lives - since Rockefeller's first gigantic oil monopoly.
Big Oil has also declined due to the rise of OPEC in 1960. Even though both OPEC and the IOCs lost much control over oil pricing due to the rise of oil trading on the NYMEX in 1983, OPEC has helped oil-rich states with nationalized oil industries organize in order to gain economic and political power.
Let our position be absolutely clear: An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force.
US politics and oil enjoy a controversially close relationship.
USAF aircrafts fly over burning Kuwaiti oil wells during Operation Desert Storm, 1991
Petrodollar Warfare examines US dollar hegemony and the unsustainable macroeconomics of 'petrodollar recycling,' pointing out that the issues underlying the Iraq war also apply to geostrategic tensions between the United States and other countries, including the member states of the European Union, Iran, Venezuela and Russia.
Bordered by the Pacific in the west and the Atlantic in the east, any major invasion of the continental United States would require an enemy to control the oceans. Without naval dominance in at least one of the oceans, transporting and supplying an attacking army would be impossible. To prevent an amphibious invasion, America has adopted an offensive strategy of absolute naval dominance in both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and have invested heavily in their military. With a massive annual military budget of $700 billion, the United States has achieved global control over the oceans.
New Cold War
Russia and China increasingly seek to offset U.S. influence in Central Asia through enhanced cooperation ... The United States and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization allies play a critical role in Central Asia ... Central Asia's geostrategic qualities keep America strongly interested in retaining access and building co-operative, stable relations with regional states
A rising China will seek to dominate Asia, while the United States, determined to remain the world's sole regional hegemon, will go to great lengths to prevent that from happening.
The logic goes like this: American military primacy should be maintained at all costs, China's rise threatens this primacy, so the U.S. should work to "balance" against — or, broadly, contain — a rising China by surrounding it with powerful American military capabilities, creating NATO-like adversarial alliances, isolating it economically, and, most recently, "imposing costs" when it does things the U.S. does not like.