WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 11, 2014) – Newly released research from Hudson Institute scholars examines the geopolitical and economic opportunities presented by recently discovered hydrocarbon fields in the Eastern region of the Mediterranean Sea.
Authored by Seth Cropsey (Senior Fellow and Director of the Center for American Seapower) and Eric Brown (Senior Fellow), the report, “Energy: The West’s Strategic Opportunity in the Eastern Mediterranean,” provides insight into the region’s energy potential and makes the case for strong American leadership to leverage opportunities to reduce the influence of Russia and Iran, build political and economic stability, and strengthen US alliances in the region.
“If the United States and its allies do not take advantage of these opportunities, then those who do not share our liberal aspirations will play a greater role in shaping the region’s future,” note Cropsey and Brown in the report.
“The first step in unlocking the East Med’s full potential is to construct a secure regional market,” add Cropsey and Brown, “and partner with the democratic producers of the Levant Basin as its foundation and the immediate neighborhood as its destination.”
Key findings and recommendations include:
- The development of hydrocarbon resources in the East Mediterranean Sea will bring energy self-sufficiency to Israel and economic relief for Cyprus.
- The creation of a secure energy production sector in the region could directly supply Europe and reduce the European Union’s reliance on Russian energy.
- The U.S. should seek Turkey’s improved security and inclusion as a key partner in the defense and expansion of a law-based security order in the East Med.
- The US and the region’s core liberal democracies should continue to bolster security cooperation to guard against a potentially destabilizing naval arms race and deter encroachment of revisionist powers, specifically Russia and Iran.
- The U.S. should reestablish a robust naval presence in the Mediterranean.
- NATO members France and Italy should be integrated into the regional security structure.
- NATO’s Partnership for Peace should accept Cyprus as a member, and the U.S. should loosen its arms embargo on Cyprus.