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Iran Saber Rattling Threatens Strait of Hormuz

WHO:  American University School of International Service Professors Jeff Colgan, David Bosco, and Ben Jensen

Experts available to discuss U.S. foreign policy, geopolitics of oil, Iran, military options to keep the Strait of Hormuz open.

: July 17 - ongoing

In-studio, via telephone, from American University

The geopolitics of oil is returning to headlines as international sanctions tighten on Iran. One little-noticed aspect of the sanctions is how successful they are so far in comparison to previous cases of oil sanctions, such as those on Iraq in the 1990s.

The two mile stretch at the Strait of Hormuz has become Iran’s focus of retaliation in an effort to spook oil and financial markets around the globe. The U.S. is already flexing its military muscle with aircraft carrier groups, submersible drones, and special operation teams in place to combat disruptions. However, akin to roadside bombs in Afghanistan or Iraq, Iran’s sea mines could cause devastation to oil tankers and U.S. Navy ships. These mines would also show the vulnerability of oil supplies and high-stake political, economic and environmental risks associated with keeping the Strait of Hormuz open despite the technologically advanced U.S. forces should just one find its target. Additionally, Iran has other weapons at its disposal such as missiles and a navy of its own it could use to swarm tankers and U.S. Navy ships.  

American University School of International Service professors are available to discuss the Iran sanctions, geopolitics of oil, U.S. foreign policy, and military options available to keep the Strait of Hormuz open to international shipping and other challenges in the region.  

Jeff Colgan focuses his research on the geopolitics of oil, international security, and international trade. His forthcoming book, Petro-Aggression, develops a new theory of why oil is linked to international conflict — petrostates with revolutionary governments having a much higher propensity to instigate militarized conflict than other types of states.

David Bosco is a senior editor at Foreign Policy magazine writes the Multilateralist blog. Bosco is the author of Five to Rule Them All (Oxford University Press, 2009), a history of the UN Security Council. He is currently researching a book on the International Criminal Court.

Ben Jensen, who also teaches at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, focuses his research on international security and conflict analysis. In addition to his research, Jensen works as an adviser on military planning, intelligence, counterinsurgency, and stability operations. He is also an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve where he most recently served in Afghanistan.

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.