There's no business like war business

  • free_mind12

    Posts: 301

    Mar 30, 2011 1:09 AM GMT
    It makes you wonder, what makes the world goes round, as for me I simply observe from a distance, and watch as the cards fall.

    There's no business like war business

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/MC30Ak01.html

    The water privatizers
    Few in the West may know that Libya - along with Egypt - sits over the Nubian Sandstone Aquifer; that is, an ocean of extremely valuable fresh water. So yes, this "now you see it, now you don't" war is a crucial water war. Control of the aquifer is priceless - as in "rescuing" valuable natural resources from the "savages".

    This Water Pipelineistan - buried underground deep in the desert along 4,000 km - is the Great Man-Made River Project (GMMRP), which Gaddafi built for $25 billion without borrowing a single cent from the IMF or the World Bank (what a bad example for the developing world). The GMMRP supplies Tripoli, Benghazi and the whole Libyan coastline. The amount of water is estimated by scientists to be the equivalent to 200 years of water flowing down the Nile.

    Compare this to the so-called three sisters - Veolia (formerly Vivendi), Suez Ondeo (formerly Generale des Eaux) and Saur - the French companies that control over 40% of the global water market. All eyes must imperatively focus on whether these pipelines are bombed. An extremely possible scenario is that if they are, juicy "reconstruction" contracts will benefit France. That will be the final step to privatize all this - for the moment free - water. From shock doctrine to water doctrine.

    Well, that's only a short list of profiteers - no one knows who'll get the oil - and the natural gas - in the end. Meanwhile, the (bombing) show must go on. There's no business like war business.
  • BIG_N_TALL

    Posts: 2190

    Mar 30, 2011 4:43 AM GMT
    I wrote a 30 page (sigh) paper about this in college - the incredibly dreary and alarming subject of natural resource depletion and its impact on international relations and national security. I think if most people knew of the probabilities of resource wars in the future - not just over oil - they would probably not sleep at night icon_eek.gif
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    Mar 30, 2011 5:01 AM GMT
    Alpha1 saidI wrote a 30 page (sigh) paper about this in college - the incredibly dreary and alarming subject of natural resource depletion and its impact on international relations and national security. I think if most people knew of the probabilities of resource wars in the future - not just over oil - they would probably not sleep at night icon_eek.gif


    Nah - these fears are overwrought. An indication on where energy prices are going may be more to pay attention to say natural gas prices in North America versus that of say oil. There are plenty of other developments in resources that keep getting more plentiful because we innovate. Take for instance the scares on rare earth metals and China's near monopoly on some of them (they're costly to extract with more environmental consequences so elsewhere, where these minerals exist like the US, they just don't mine them) - Japanese firms which are probably most affected have already been developing alternative technologies that don't require these metals (used in electronics and high tech batteries).

    And then there's water - technologies for desalination are fascinating - like the discovery or development of certain membranes that require little energy. Thought of in another way, we are not constrained by our lack of resources but rather our lack of future techologies - and those are in development and coming.
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    Mar 30, 2011 5:05 AM GMT
    Too much to worry about.

    Don't have much control over most of this individually.

    Better to worry about today, be happy!

    Clearly I'm WAY too involved in politics...

  • BIG_N_TALL

    Posts: 2190

    Mar 30, 2011 5:06 AM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Alpha1 saidI wrote a 30 page (sigh) paper about this in college - the incredibly dreary and alarming subject of natural resource depletion and its impact on international relations and national security. I think if most people knew of the probabilities of resource wars in the future - not just over oil - they would probably not sleep at night icon_eek.gif


    Nah - these fears are overwrought. An indication on where energy prices are going may be more to pay attention to say natural gas prices in North America versus that of say oil. There are plenty of other developments in resources that keep getting more plentiful because we innovate. Take for instance the scares on rare earth metals and China's near monopoly on some of them (they're costly to extract with more environmental consequences so elsewhere, where these minerals exist like the US, they just don't mine them) - Japanese firms which are probably most affected have already been developing alternative technologies that don't require these metals (used in electronics and high tech batteries).

    And then there's water - technologies for desalination are fascinating - like the discovery or development of certain membranes that require little energy. Thought of in another way, we are not constrained by our lack of resources but rather our lack of future techologies - and those are in development and coming.


    Well, based on my research, I would have to beg to differ with your assertion. Factoring in things such as global warming, the global propensity for reckless consumerism, and exponential population growth, the probability that a "resource war" could occur is high, if not inevitable. Albeit, it may not be a massive world war scenario, but small scale wars are indeed highly probable.
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    Mar 30, 2011 5:10 AM GMT
    Free Mind,
    Thank you for sharing this information. I was unaware of the facts revealed but more than a little perplexed by the advent of this effort to "protect" the rebels in Libya which has now graduated to regime change. I guess the belief or hope is that the rebels will eventually form a government so grateful to their international protectors that they will literally give away ownership and control of their natural resources (including the water) as a reward for ascendency to power. Time will tell.
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    Mar 30, 2011 5:12 AM GMT
    Alpha1 saidWell, based on my research, I would have to beg to differ with your assertion. Factoring in things such as global warming, the global propensity for reckless consumerism, and exponential population growth, the probability that a "resource war" could occur is high, if not inevitable. Albeit, it may not be a massive world war scenario, but small scale wars are indeed highly probable.


    icon_smile.gif well, I wish we could bet on that. Despite increasing consumerism, growing populations, we have been seeing fewer not more wars to date. So long as we keep trade moving, I don't think war as being particularly likely given the most valuable resource is people who innovate.

    The in thing to talk about in some circles though is the war over water in particular given how it flows through places where there is already scarcity like the Middle East but even there, the likelihood is probably fairly low:

    http://www.slate.com/id/2215263/

    (Again I highly recommend checking out how natural gas prices have absolutely plummetted in the last few years because of a massive abundance of the stuff - we went from worrying about being massive importers to looking at massive exporters in just a few years - that's how radically a lot of these underlying assumptions can change and universally only on the upside)
  • BIG_N_TALL

    Posts: 2190

    Mar 30, 2011 10:18 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Alpha1 saidWell, based on my research, I would have to beg to differ with your assertion. Factoring in things such as global warming, the global propensity for reckless consumerism, and exponential population growth, the probability that a "resource war" could occur is high, if not inevitable. Albeit, it may not be a massive world war scenario, but small scale wars are indeed highly probable.


    icon_smile.gif well, I wish we could bet on that. Despite increasing consumerism, growing populations, we have been seeing fewer not more wars to date. So long as we keep trade moving, I don't think war as being particularly likely given the most valuable resource is people who innovate.

    The in thing to talk about in some circles though is the war over water in particular given how it flows through places where there is already scarcity like the Middle East but even there, the likelihood is probably fairly low:

    http://www.slate.com/id/2215263/

    (Again I highly recommend checking out how natural gas prices have absolutely plummetted in the last few years because of a massive abundance of the stuff - we went from worrying about being massive importers to looking at massive exporters in just a few years - that's how radically a lot of these underlying assumptions can change and universally only on the upside)




    I think a great deal of 'what could be' is conjecture. A great deal more will be highly contingent on international cooperation. Unless no one has noticed, IGO's like NATO, the EU, and the UN are highly fragmented when it comes to policy formulation and implementation. Hypothetical dooms day scenarios, played out by the UN especially, meant to preclude hypothetical world catastrophes such as global warming/climate change - which ever you prefer - always show that countries, and regions to a greater or lesser extent, act out of their own short term economic and survival interests - occasionally short term political interests if economics and politics conveniently converge.

    The fact is that resource wars have long since been a fact of reality. A case can be made that several recent international and regional conflicts have indeed been "resource wars" masked as politically motivated conflicts. When it gets down to the nitty-gritty reality, World War 2 was a resource war that was driven by expansionist policies of the USSR, Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, the European empires, and to a lesser extent, the United States. The US has a propensity for economic homogeneity over militaristic empire, and will do anything to ensure that its hegemony stays intact - look at the Monroe Doctrine and American intervention in Latin America during the 19th and 20th centuries. When the US cut off Japan's access to oil as a result of Japanese imperial ambitions in the Far East, Roosevelt was just asking for trouble. Pearl Harbor was an attack out of necessity - at least in the eyes of the Japanese - had they not attack when they did, the ability of their military machine to conduct such an operation like Pearl Harbor in the future would have highly limited due to the limited access to oil.

    Hitler and his Nazi cohorts were also resource driven in part due to by political ideology and in part due to his own interests in rebuilding post-WWI Germany. It only accelerated to outright war once his political ideology overcame short-term economic, rebuilding interests. The war with the Western Allies was largely one of politics and alliances, whereas Eastern Europe was one intermingled with politics and resource control (access to oil in Romania/Hungary, USSR, etc., and to a lesser or greater extent agricultural land to feed the Nazi war machine).

    The Korean and Vietnam wars were largely ones of politics. Conflicts and political subterfuge in the Middle East were largely driven by access to oil. The manipulation of Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc. have always been conveniently explained as being something other than operations to secure access to a resource that builds economic empires - oil. Jimmy Carter himself is on the record for saying that if the Iranians made any attempts to intercede or interrupt in the shipment of oil through the Persian Gulf, he would have authorized military force to preclude such a reality. Reagan, Bush 41, Clinton, Bush 43 (especially), and now Obama are all following the same unspoken doctrine. I have not seen any evidence that a future American president would be any different - s/he might give a different explanation, but the underlying cause would be the same.

    The Persian Gulf War was one of resource control. The major worry for the UN and the US was that Saddam would make a run on Saudi Arabia - a country poorly equipped, militarily. This reality is a contributing reason why so much military equipment and personnel were deployed to Saudi Arabia. The liberation of Kuwait and containment of Saddam proved a sufficient explanation to avoid the nitty-gritty reality that it was resource war. Bush 43 arguably did the same thing with Iraq in 2003. It was a regime change masked as something else; by most standards the most reckless attempt at regime change the US has ever attempted. Afghanistan was an unavoidable war of circumstance following 9/11 - Iraq was not. More recently, Obama's intervention in Libya is another example of how stable resource access is a cornerstone of American foreign policy. Americans might not get a great deal of oil out of Libya, but other people do. If the oil is cut off, those other people will flock to suppliers Americans use - that would not be a good for American interests or economics. I am certain we wouldn't be there if they were growing bananas. Yes, it is a horrible that Khadafi is torturing his people the way he is, but there are a lot of bad governments and leaders out there in the world..... we don't invade or attack them all..... just the ones we want something out of, in this respective case oil access.

    Regime change and manipulation has been a convenient mechanism to ensure that military intervention wouldn't become a necessity - it worked well prior running up to WW2 and during the Cold War, but we as world are finding ourselves caught between convenience, resource access, comfort, and our ideals. The reality is that resource wars or conflicts have been a part of our history for centuries - Rome and Egypt with Cleopatra and the then soon-to-be Emperor Augustus Caesar; the Spanish subterfuge and military involvement with the Aztec and Incan Empires; access to 'blood' diamonds in Africa; the more recent wars in the Middle East, etc. From access to fertile land, water, mineral deposits (gold and silver especially), to oil, the reality is our policies and actions are driven by access to resources. We just tend to overshadow that reality with some other auxiliary reason. I have no evidence to imply the future will be any different from the past. The economics and politics may be different, but the underlying reasons for why we do, what we do is no different.

    I could go on and on, but I think I've made my case. Some people might pass over my thoughts as speculation and hypothetical, but the Pentagon, national security advisors, and other foreign military entities surely do not think the scenario of a resource war is unlikely.