Carter Doctrine

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  • President Carter's foreign policy stance to protect U.S. interests in the Persian Gulf region. Formulated in 1980, the doctrine was a reaction to the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan and the rise to power of Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran in 1979. Afghanistan was perceived to be a stepping stone to Soviet hegemony in the Gulf. The twin advantages of access to warm-water ports and control over a major portion of the world's oil supplies were seen as the historic aims of Soviet foreign policy, which the Soviets were determined to realize.

    President Carter and Zbgniew Brzezinski, his national security adviser, believed that these two events were a serious threat to U.S. interests, mainly access to oil resources. In the words of Brzezinski, the doctrine was “to ...

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