The US commitment to the Gulf is because some 22% of the world’s petroleum is shipped out through its Strait of Hormuz.
It has cost the United States $8 trillion to provide military security in the Gulf since 1976.
Some argue that since the US itself imports relatively little petroleum from the Gulf, we’re crazy to pay for policing it.
The right argument is that we shouldn’t be using petroleum and nor should our allies. The supreme tragedy is that the US has bankrupted itself ensuring military security for the oil-producing nations of the Gulf when oil production is destroying the world. We need a crash program to get the world off petroleum, some 70% of which is used to power automobiles. People should be given incentives to move back to cities so they don’t have to commute. Better public transport is needed.
A tiny fraction of the $8 trillion we spent through 2010 (surely it is up near $10 trillion now) on Gulf security would, if invested in research and development in solar energy and other renewables, and in reformulating our urban transportation systems, save the world. We are told we don’t have money for that effort. But we had plenty of money for aircraft carriers and wars in the Gulf.