Oil and Terrorism in the New Gulf:
Framing U.S. Energy and Security Policies for the Gulf of Guinea

by James JF Forest and Matthew V. Sousa
(Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2006)

NEW: Read it online for free at Google Books


U.S. national security and energy security are inexorably intertwined, particularly when considering the multiple state and non-state actors who can wreak considerable havoc on our economy based solely on our significant dependence on foreign oil. Ensuring unfettered access to Middle East oil has sustained U.S. economic growth, but has also contributed to less desirable outcomes, such as the spread of anti-U.S. sentiments which fuels radical terrorism. Despite its oil wealth, the quality of life in the Arab World is considered lower than in many Latin American and East Asian developing countries. The authors argue that lessons learned from our experience in the Middle East should be applied to our burgeoning energy security interests in Western and Sub-Saharan Africa. Particularly, the Gulf of Guinea presents some unique opportunities, quite distinct from the Middle East. Oil is plentiful, the people are incredibly poor, and state infrastructures are weak, but radical Islam has only a limited influence in the region, and the U.S. has good relations with many African nations. Overall, this analysis suggests that we must adopt a long-term, integrated approach to protecting our energy and national security interests in West Africa.


“James J. F. Forest and Matthew V. Sousa focus on the nexus of energy wealth and good governance, which is the key to future economic development, stability, and prevention of terrorism. They have done a terrific job highlighting U.S. national security interests in the Gulf of Guinea-a little understood region of tremendous oil wealth.” — ARIEL COHEN, The Heritage Foundation



  1. Oil and Security: An Introduction
  2. A Region of Opportunities and Challenges
  3. A Region in Trouble
  4. The Emerging Terrorist Threat to West and Central Africa
  5. A History of U.S. Foreign Policies in the Middle East and the Old Gulf
  6. Contemporary U.S. Foreign Policies in the New Gulf
  7. A New Framework for 21st Century U.S.-Africa Policies
  8. Addressing the Security Challenges of the Gulf of Guinea
  9. Facilitating Economic Development
  10. Democratization and Leadership for Good Governance
  11. The Policy Coordination Imperative
  12. Conclusion



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NEW: Read it online for free at Google Books



About the Authors

James J.F. Forest is director of terrorism studies and associate professor at the U.S. Military Academy. Click here for a bio.

Matthew V. Sousa is currently serving as a Foreign Area Officer in the U.S. Army, specializing in Sub-Saharan Africa. Previously, he was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Social Sciences at the U.S. Military Academy, where he taught Politics and Development of Sub-Saharan Africa and Comparative Politics. He served the first half of his career as an Armored Cavalry Officer, and has lived, worked, and traveled in twenty-one African countries, and thirty others around the world. He received his graduate degree in Public Administration and International Development from Harvard University, and undergraduate degree in Human/ Regional Geography from West Point.






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