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JSPES, Vol. 39, No. 2 (Summer 2014)
pp. 219–231

The Shale Gas and Oil “Revolution”: Strategic Implications for United States Policy in the Middle East

Gawdat Bahgat

National Defense University, Washington, DC

For decades, most analysts and policymakers have argued that the United States policy in the Middle East has largely been driven by Washington’s – and the world’s -- need for oil and natural gas supplies from the region. In the last few years, however, technological advances – the so-called shale revolution – have drastically changed the United States’ energy outlook. Instead of being a major oil and gas importer, the nation is becoming selfsufficient and even an exporter of these fuels. This essay seeks to examine the strategic implications of these new dynamics on Washington’s policy in the Middle East and how oil and gas producers in the region are reacting.