The United States emerged from World War II with unprecedented economic power and the conviction that its global leadership would serve to restore the shattered international order. Such ambition assumed the structuring of an international liberal economic order that would stem the excesses of economic nationalism, while arresting political radicalism in Europe, occupied Germany, and Japan. 1 Allied to this design was another, which involved the projection of U.S. power through the acquisition of bases, transit and landing rights, stretching from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean and the Pacific. Support for the domestic and foreign policy aspects of this postwar vision came from the internationally oriented U.S. corporate elite whose influence and political allegiance transcended partisan lines. 2 Its members understood, as did the military and civilian leaders of the Roosevelt and Truman administrations, that petroleum resources were a prerequisite to such postwar reconstruction and that the unparalleled petroleum resources of the Middle East constituted the chosen means to its implementation. The resulting enhancement of the economic and strategic value of the Mediterranean and the Middle East shaped U.S. policy, in consequence. Given the dominant role of France in North Africa and the legacy of its Syrian and Lebanese mandates in the Middle East, as well as the far more formidable presence of 22Britain in the eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East, U.S. foreign policy in the postwar period virtually guaranteed a competitive relationship with its chief European allies.