A region energetically changing
Changes in the global energy economy mean the Middle East becoming less important to the US, while China, Japan and India fill the gap.
The world energy situation is changing with astonishing rapidity:
Mexico is in the process of changing its petroleum laws and the constitution to permit foreign participation in oil, gas and electricity projects
Canadian oil sands production is increasing exponentially and will continue to do so. If the United States government refuses to approve a pipeline to the refineries in Texas the Chinese will be delighted to finance a pipeline to Vancouver and take all the oil Canada can supply.
The United States is in the middle of an energy revolution. New technologies, especially horizontal drilling (“fracking”) has already led to natural gas self-sufficiency and similar techniques have increased domestic oil production by over two million barrels a day and rising. Federal dithering on approving additional pipelines has simply led to the movement of the oil by truck and rail. Soon the US will be entirely independent from Middle Eastern oil suppliers, which already only account for 13% of imports.