The Staggering Amount of Money That's Been Spent to "Defend" the Gulf
In 2013 professor Juan Cole wrote a blog post about this noting that then Sec. of Defense Hagel said, "Hagel said that the "US had and would keep 35,000 military personnel in the Gulf region, some 10,000 of whom were army soldiers with armor or helicopter gunships. In addition, some 40 US naval vessels patrol the Gulf waters, including an aircraft carrier battle group. Cole's post was entitled "Solar would be Cheaper: US Pentagon has spent $8 Trillion to Guard Gulf Oil" Cole argues that not only would it be cheaper, it's absolutely necessary to drastically limit oil use because of what global warming gases are doing to the climate.
This oil industry website uses the $8 trillion figures and quotes Stern as noting that only 10% of the oil from the Gulf actually comes to the U.S.
In May of 2015 Ali Al Ahmed of the Institute for Gulf Affairs wrote that the hyper spending on military for the Persian Gulf was the result of the "Carter Doctrine" which he says should be abandoned..
Based on the work of a study by Princeton professor Roger Stern, Time magazine wrote that as of 2007 the U.S. had spent $6.8 trillion "to protect the flow of oil" from the Persian Gulf. As of 2011 Stern estimated over $8 trillion had been spent. He regards it as waste. Stern believes "Iran and other nations in the region have just as much, if not more, need to keep the oil flowing than the U.S." Here's a link to Stern's study.