MIDDLE EAST: Preserving the Oil Flow

The U.S. seeks to shore up security in the Persian Gulf

The barren hills near the Iraqi border town of Khanaqin quaked with the thump of artillery fire last week. While Iraqi MiGs and Iranian Phantoms dueled in the skies overhead, tanks were battling on the ground, yet again, over a patch of disputed frontier. Iraq and Iran have been skirmishing along their border for nearly two years, ever since the downfall of the late Shah. The fighting did not spread, but it underlined afresh the edgy, mercurial state of the Persian Gulf...

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