TITLE

ELEMENTS OF POWER

AUTHOR(S)
Bundy, William P.
PUB. DATE
October 1977
SOURCE
Foreign Affairs;Oct77, Vol. 56 Issue 1, p1
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
This article identifies the distribution and elements of power in the global political setting as of October 1977. Over the last five years the oil-producing countries grouped in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) became the new holders of power. Theirs is a case of economic power at its purest based on the capacity to embargo oil shipments to selected consum-ing countries and more broadly on the ability and willingness to set prices for oil moving in world trade. However, commodity power was limited to OPEC countries, Jamaica and Morocco. It excluded third world resource-holding countries. The breach that OPEC opened has not been widened to admit to significant new power any other group of producing nations. In this new power structure, the U.S., Europe and Japan stand vulnerable to oil embargo. This threat left the U.S. almost unable to act on the Arab-Israeli conflict in 1973. It does not follow of course that this loss of strength means an equal gain for the OPEC countries. Income need not mean wealth, let alone power. Corruption and waste abound in Iran and Saudi Arabia where much emphasis is placed on military spending. And Qaddafi of Libya--unrestrained by any sense of common interest with the West--has shown that "money for mischief can have a sharp nuisance impact not only in his neighborhood but in trouble spots as far-flung as Mindanao and Northern Ireland.
ACCESSION #
4852738

 

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