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‘Academic Minute’ Airs Yetiv’s Essay on Oil Production and Foreign Policy

syetiv-steve-yetivSteve Yetiv

Steve Yetiv, University Professor of political science at Old Dominion University, was featured on the nationally syndicated educational radio program "The Academic Minute," speaking about why U.S. foreign policy is closely tied to foreign and domestic oil production.

In his audio essay, which appeared April 29 on public radio station WAMC and the national higher education website Inside Higher Ed, Yetiv said he believes the United States' foreign policy will still be tied to the Middle East, even though domestic oil production has increased to the point that the country is becoming less dependent on the importation of foreign oil.

"America's growing oil power, while positive in many ways, is not likely to allow an easy withdrawal from the Gulf any time soon," Yetiv said in the piece, available here: http://www.insidehighered.com/audio/2013/04/29/oil-production-and-foreign-policy.

"First, even if the United States used little oil, it would still have other strategic interests in the Gulf such as containing nuclear proliferation," Yetiv said. "Second, more importantly, while America's oil boom is decreasing dependence on foreign oil, it is not decreasing dependence on oil in general. Americans have been consuming more oil over the past decades. Such oil consumption makes the United States vulnerable to global oil markets where the price of oil is determined by oil traders."

Yetiv suggests a more durable solution to the issue is for the U.S. to invest more in energy conservation efforts and the development of alternative energy sources. "Seriously decreasing consumption could help Washington diminish its commitments to the Persian Gulf, by making global oil prices less important to the American economy, and it would also address critical security questions of our age such as climate change and global terrorism," Yetiv said.

Recognized by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) with a 2012 Outstanding Faculty Award, Yetiv conducts research that explores energy security, American foreign policy and decision-making, the Middle East and globalization. He has been a consultant to the U.S. departments of State and Defense and the General Accounting Office. He recently published a new edition of his book "Crude Awakenings," in which he develops and applies a framework for examining threats to global oil security.

Yetiv has written numerous national and international op-eds, which have been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor and other publications. He is the author of six books, including "Explaining Foreign Policy," "The Petroleum Triangle" and "The Absence of Grand Strategy."

In 2012, Yetiv was recognized by SCHEV for his "superior performance in teaching, research and service."

The brainchild of Albany's WAMC and its president, Alan Chartock, The Academic Minute features professors from top institutions around the country, delving into topics from the serious to the light-hearted. The Academic Minute features a different professor every day, drawing experts from institutions within WAMC's listening area and across the country.