Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Political Science

First Advisor

Dr. Lawrence Ziring

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Western Europe and Japan have been heavily dependent on Arabian Gulf oil; the United States' dependency is growing. Hence, the "security" of this region and consequently the securing of the oil flow has become a major strategic issue to the Western and particularly the U. s. policy makers. To the U. s., the British "withdrawal" from the Gulf in 1971 created a strategic "vacuum". Aggressive arms sales to the region and the "policeman" role of the Shah of Iran in the Gulf served as the main U.S. instruments of filling this vacuum. This was a direct application of the "Nixon Doctrine". This Doctrine came as a direct result of the U.S. failure in Vietnam and of the new international power realignment. According to the Doctrine, the U.S. sought to supply arms and assistance to its " threatened" allies and friends, provided that they assumed the primary responsibility for providing the necessary manpower. The Doctrine's main test and success in the Gulf occurred when thousands of Iranian troops helped Oman crush the Dhufari Rebellion in 1975. The triumph of the Iranian Revolution in 1979 brought the end of this Doctrine in the Gulf. This was due mainly to the U. s. failure to foresee the collapse of the Shah, and the failure to grasp the complexities of Arab and Iranian politics.