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The United States and Iraq since 1979: hegemony, oil and war

Hurst, Steven A. (2009) The United States and Iraq since 1979: hegemony, oil and war. Edinburgh University Press. ISBN 9780748627677

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Abstract

This book represents the first comprehensive overview of the US-Iraqi relationship since 1979 and the first attempt to place the 2003 American invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq in that wider historical context. Using a modified version of World Systems Theory, the book places American policy toward Iraq at the centre of a number of dynamics, including America's dominant role in managing the world capitalist system, the fundamental importance of Persian Gulf oil to that system, and long-term change in the American political system. It argues that American policy towards Iraq since 1979 has been shaped above all by the importance of Persian Gulf oil to the world economy and the consequent need to restore America's position as regional hegemon and guarantor of the global oil supply, which had been destabilized by the Iranian revolution. It also emphasizes the role of American domestic politics and above all the 'conservative ascendancy' which brought George W. Bush to the presidency, as a critical factor in explaining the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

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