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Robert Vitalis

Oil: The Stuff of Mass Delusion

[President Obama meets Saudi King Salman. Image from creativecommons/]

Military primacy, and the routine use of deadly military force, remains the cornerstone of US foreign policy in the Middle East. The 2015 nuclear non-proliferation accord with Iran represents a rare yet fleeting bright moment for diplomacy in a region where wars—in Libya, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen—and the mass displacement of peoples continue unchecked. The United States has done much to precipitate the violence through its unjustifiable and destructive 2003 invasion of Iraq. ...

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Robert Vitalis


Robert Vitalis is Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the author of America’s Kingdom: Mythmaking on the Saudi Oil Frontier (Stanford, 2007) and most recently White World Order, Black Power Politics: The Birth of American International Relations (Cornell, 2015).