High oil prices are bound to undermine the U.S. economic recovery, unless global supplies increase significantly. Latin America holds the world's biggest oil reserves after the Middle East, but politics are hindering its potential, especially in Venezuela. Global U.S. security would benefit from a revamping of outdated and misguided idealism-driven policies toward Latin America, which, in fact, strengthen anti-American forces led by President Hugo Chavez.
This is a blind spot in American politics, one that threatens U.S. geopolitical and economic interests. At stake, ultimately, is the U.S.'s ability to navigate a shifting world and protect its way of life. Washington needs a new regional policy not only to neutralize Chavez, but also to secure long term access to Latin America's oil, improve global security, and counter the rising influence of regional players.
America's Blind Spot offers a fascinating and thorough analysis of key geopolitical and economic threats to the U.S., highlighting the need for a new Latin American policy doctrine based on military and strategic priorities.
Michael J. Economides is Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Houston, US. One of America's leading energy analysts, he has done technical and managerial work in over 70 countries. He is the author with Ron Oligney of The Color of Oil: The History, the Money, and the Politics of the World's Biggest Business (2000), which looks at how petroleum dictates international politics and was nominated for a Pulitzer prize. Andres Cala is a journalist in Spain whose career spans three continents and over a dozen countries, specializing in geopolitics and energy. His work has been published by some of the world's leading publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones Newswires, The Christian Science Monitor, and TIME Magazine. He is also the European correspondent of Energy Tribune.
Preface Part One: America's failed relations south of the border Chapter 1: National security: the idealist curse Chapter 2: The Bolivarian caudillo and failed US policy Chapter 3: Gauging Chavez as a threat Part Two : The century of oil, again Chapter 4: America and energy: an "addiction" hard to kick Chapter 5: America and oil imports: until death do us part Chapter 6: Global oil supplies and American security Chapter 7: Latin America: the new frontierPart Three: A new approachChapter 8: Colombian lessons for Obama Chapter 9: The way forward