Thomas P.M. Barnett responds to Friedman:
I am wary of the uni-causal explanation for the Soviet Union’s fall (oil up and then down), because it takes a complex thing and turns it into an all-encompassing, single-point failure answer. So I am equally wary of thinking that lower oil prices afford us that much leverage with Iran. High oil prices alone don’t explain all of Soviet behavior in the 1970s and lower prices don’t explain all of it in the 1980s. It is simply a simplistic 20/20 hindsight that’s been layered on in recent years, in part to give Reagan undue credit for the USSR’s demise.