The basic self-sufficiency of the USSR in energy resources will provide Soviet leaders with far greater freedom of maneuver than their oil-deficient competitors. Whether they are likely to promote disruption or stability with respect to the flow of oil from the Middle East is the key question for the future. They cannot independently cause a major disruption in the world energy situation, but they can choose courses of action that could contribute toward exacerbating or alleviating the problem. Characteristics of a Soviet-preferred future world energy scenario might include a continuing gradual erosion of the Western oil companies' position in the Middle East and repeated temporary shortages in consumer states. Whether the USSR can benefit from such scenarios will depend on the success or failure of the United States, Western Europe, and Japan in forging a common energy policy to avoid a crisis. 9 pp.
This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.
Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit www.rand.org/about/research-integrity.
The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.