The equivocal American mood with regard to the use of force in US foreign and security policy, defined elsewhere as Selective Interventionism, found its reflection in competing interpretations of the administration’s Strategic Consensus framework. Public Sentiment presented the administration with a demand to stand firm in the defense of American interests abroad, and supported the allocation of resources for the creation of the instruments of power projection. The more moderate Alexander M. Haig Jr. and key State Department advisors argued for the irreplaceability of an active American involvement, and advocated visible and extensive preparations for the possible resort to the instruments of military power. The continuing decline in overall western dependence on Persian Gulf oil and financial resources may eventually reduce the economic consequences of an American failure to assure uncontested access to regional resources. But this in itself is unlikely to remove the region from the broad roster of American strategic interests.