Oil for Containment
THE SOURCE: “The Marshall Plan and Oil” by David S. Painter, in Cold War History, May 2009.
Even the most astute stu-dent of Cold War history might fail to connect America’s Marshall Plan directly to Middle Eastern oil. Yet oil was key to the “origins, operations, and impact” of the 1947 initiative, writes David S. Painter, a historian at Georgetown University. The policies put in place as part of the effort to rebuild Europe fostered an unprecedented dependence on oil from Saudi Arabia and other countries in the Middle East.