Saturday, September 4, 2010

The oil canvas

India’s national security discourse has long seen the eastern and western parts of Asia as two unrelated worlds. If there were good reasons for this in the past — the political cultures, economic preoccupations and the international relations of the two Asian regions were indeed poles apart — Geoffrey Kemp persuades us to see the strategic consequences of the unfolding integration of East Asia and the Middle East.

Kemp, a well-known American specialist on the Middle East and long-time follower of Indian strategic debates, focuses on the growing Chinese and Indian role in the Middle East and the implications of the oil-rich Gulf “looking East”. At the core of this new integration is the insatiable appetite for oil in China and India.

Kemp asks some simple questions with enormous consequences. Will these two big Asian consumers of oil agree to live with American hegemony in the Persian Gulf? Or will they choose to become security providers, in their own right, to the Middle East? Will an exhausted America cede a bit of its burden in the oil-rich region to other powers?

Full review here Indian Express

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