A Layman's Guide To WWIII:
The Persian Gulf
By Kevin Filan
| United Arab Emirates | Yemen
Before recorded history sailors traversed the Persian Gulf, and kings fought wars to control its sea lanes. Today it remains a strategically important flash point. Over 60% of the world's known oil reserves are found here; more than half of all seaborne oil will pass at some point through the Straits of Hormuz. The Persian Gulf is also the meeting point of two of the world's most ancient cultures: here the Arab world abuts the Persians. Despite their common adherence to Islam, there is a long history of conflict between these two peoples, which also continues to this day.
The Persian Gulf countries may be small in size, but their oil fields and their strategic position make them large in importance. The border dispute between Iraq and Kuwait led to Operation Desert Storm, and an increased U.S. presence in the Gulf which continues to this day. Should relations between America and Saudi Arabia continue to deteriorate, we can expect to see increasing U.S. involvement in the affairs of these small kingdoms - and increasing anti-American sentiment among their population.