Fareed Zakaria describes in the Washington Post, how the high oil prices make the war on terrorism and the democratisation of the Middle East, Russia and Central Asia more difficult and strengthen anti-American governments in Latin America and Iran:
In almost every region, efforts to produce a more stable, peaceful and open world order are being compromised and complicated by high oil prices. And while America spends enormous time, money and effort dealing with the symptoms of this problem, we are actively fueling the cause. (...)
In 2004 China consumed 6.5 million barrels of oil per day. The United States consumed 20.4 million barrels, and demand is rising. That is because of strong growth, but also because American cars -- which guzzle the bulk of oil imports -- are much less efficient than they used to be. This is the only area of the U.S. economy in which we have become less energy-efficient than we were 20 years ago, and we are the only industrialized country to have slid backward in this way. There's one reason: SUVs. They made up 5 percent of the American fleet in 1990. They make up almost 54 percent today.