The middle east petroleum dependency is the myth that we need petroleum from the Middle-East and that our military actions help in this regard. I think that this is a dangerous idea that many voters to have.
I see no reason for our military to be in Iraq or Afghanistan. We do not need Iraq's petroleum. Perhaps if we had a separation of economy and state politicians would be less spooked by the myth that we need Middle-East petroleum. There is more feed stock for making Gasoline and diesel fuel in Canada tar-sands than in all Middle-East petroleum, also there is CTL and GTL.
Now I am NOT saying, as many democrats do, that we should not buy Middle-east Petroleum. I see no benefits to us or them from us cutting them off from petroleum income and having higher fuel prices here. I am just saying that we should not worry about the negative economic consequences of a stoppage of Middle-East petroleum that could come out of a war or an embargo, pirates in the gulf or any other reason. The consequences would be short run.
My guess is that we are in Iraq and Afghanistan because there are many voters who want the USA to look very powerful and fearsome to would be attackers, but I think had we left Afghanistan as soon as toppled the Taliban and Iraq as soon as we got Saddam we would look more powerful and fearsome than we do today.