“Oil, Conflict, and U.S. National Interests” October 2013
Author: Jeff D. Colgan belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu
OIL AS A LEADING CAUSE OF WAR
“..Although the threat of “resource wars” over possession of oil reserves is often exaggerated, the sum total of the political effects generated by the oil industry makes oil a leading cause of war. Between one-quarter and one-half of interstate wars since 1973 have been connected to one or more oil-related causal mechanisms. No other commodity has had such an impact on international security.
The influence of oil on conflict is often poorly understood. In U.S. public debates about the 1991 and 2003 Iraq wars, both sides focused excessively on the question of whether the United States was fighting for possession of oil reserves; neither sought a broader understanding of how oil shaped the preconditions for war…
THE ROLE OF FRACKING
…Achieving such an understanding is important in light of recent changes in the United States. As hydraulic fracturing—”fracking”—of shale oil and gas accelerates, energy imports are projected to decline, and North America could even achieve energy independence, in the sense of low or zero net overall energy imports, in the next decade. Yet the United States will continue to import large volumes of oil, and the world price of oil will continue to affect it. Moreover, so long as the rest of the world remains dependent on global oil markets, the fracking revolution will do little to reduce many oil-related threats to international security. The emergence of aggressive, revolutionary leaders in petrostates would likely continue to pose threats to regional security. Petrostates will continue to be weakly institutionalized and thus subject to civil wars, creating the kind of security problems that demand responses by the international community, as occurred in Libya in 2011. Petro-financed insurgent groups such as Hezbollah will persist, as will threats to the shipping lanes and oil transit routes that supply important U.S. allies, such as Japan.
In sum, energy autarky is not the answer. Self-sufficiency will bring economic benefits to the United States, but few gains for national security. So long as the oil market remains globally integrated, national oil imports matter far less than total consumption. Rather than viewing energy self-sufficiency as a panacea, the United States should contribute to international security by making long-term investments in research and development to reduce oil consumption and provide alternative fuel sources in the transportation sector. In addition to the economic and environmental benefits of reducing oil consumption, substantial evidence exists that military and security benefits will accrue from such investments….”
July 15, 2014 by Michael T. Klare energypost.eu
“Fossil fuels are triggering violent conflicts all over the world, says Michael Klare, Professor of Peace and World Security Studies at Hampshire College in Massachusetts, the US. Klare zooms in on four areas – Iraq/Syria, South Sudan, the Crimea/Ukraine, and the South China Sea – to argue that the desire to control valuable oil and gas assets is fuelling long-standing historic tensions. “In a fossil-fuel world, control over oil and gas reserves is an essential component of national power,” he warns…”
“Uploaded on Sep 17, 2008
Nigerian militants have attacked yet another pipeline in the oil rich country. It comes amidst the heaviest fighting there in two years. The militants have cut Nigeria’s oil output by more than 20 percent since they began a campaign of violence two years ago.
Oil has been a burning issue in the Niger Delta since its discovery more than half a century ago. Resentment towards foreign-owned oil companies – accruing billions of dollars a year – has simmered for years as people living in this energy-rich region remain ensnared in poverty, hobbled by the legacy of decades of economic mismanagement and military rule. Now it’s exploded into what one militant group is calling an ‘oil war.’
In the last four days, this rag-tag army has attacked oil interests throughout the Niger Delta – heaping further pressure on Nigeria’s oil output which has been cut by more than 20 percent since militant violence began two years ago.
In the latest attacks the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta or MEND says it’s blown up a flow station belonging to Shell. The military says its successfully repelled a string of attacks, including an attempt to sabotage a Chevron pipeline.
The army is keen to underplay the impact of the escalating violence but a military spokesman confirmed that an explosion had taken place at the Shell flow station.
[Colonel Musa Sagir, Nigerian Joint Mil. Task Force]:
“There was really intense fighting and exchange of fire and in the process of cross fire, I think a bullet hit one of the sensitive and inflammable part of the flow station and there was explosion and it caught
The escalating violence has prompted Shell to evacuate some of its staff. Militants claim to be holding 27 oil workers who were kidnapped last week after their oil supply vessel was hijacked.
Despite being outgunned, these men say they’ll never give up until they win a stake in Nigeria’s vast oil wealth.”
Boko Haram Aren’t The Only Militants Causing Chaos In Nigeria , from youtube.com
“..Who Are They?
The Niger Delta Avengers claim to be a new group made up of youth from the region. “We are young, educated, well traveled and most of us were educated in east Europe,” one statement from the group says.
The Avengers have criticized previous Delta insurgent groups for working with the government, while ex-militant leaders urged the new group to halt attacks , saying they are a distraction from solving the region’s problems.
Even so, many locals believe the group is in fact made up of disgruntled former militants or local criminals seeking attention, according to the BBC .
Experts note that the level of coordination and technical expertise of the Avengers’ attacks suggests the group has help from sympathetic insiders at the oil companies.
What Do They Want?
The Niger Delta Avengers have vowed to continue attacks until oil firms leave the region, blaming them for the environmental destruction and economic marginalization of the Delta. “We will make you suffer as you have been made the people of Niger Deltans suffered over the years from environmental degradation, and environment pollution,” they warn international oil companies in one statement.
The group has also called for the Delta region to gain independence from Nigeria, reprising the hard-line demands of earlier insurgencies that had become much less common in recent years. “Their demands are impossible to meet so there will be probably more attacks,” an anonymous security expert told Reuters .
A further complication is the emergence of various splinter groups , which have echoed the demands of older militant movements in the region. For example, one group calling itself the Egbesu Mightier Fraternity has demanded the release of a separatist leader from the nearby region of Biafra. Meanwhile, another group, Red Egbesu, called on anti-corruption authorities to stop pursuing a local warlord nicknamed Tompolo. ..”
China, Russia launch South China Sea naval wargames Mon Sep 12, 2016 6:26AM HomeAsia-PacificChina presstv.ir
“..The South China Sea is the subject of a territorial dispute between China and its regional neighbors including Taiwan, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines, with the US having waded into the row against Beijing.
The oil and gas rich South China Sea is an important international waterway, where China has been expanding its presence. ..”
“Published on Oct 7, 2015
Oil politics in the Syrian civil war is a complex web of money deception and proxy war. What began as non-violent grassroots rebellion against Bashar al Assad and the Syrian state has morphed into a complex proxy war involving countless factions and alliances competing for control of oil, and territory. Various nation states and world powers who have their own financial interests in the region are supporting the armies on the ground. This is because of Syria’s strategic importance as a potential gatekeeper between oil reserves from the gulf and oil markets in Europe. There are two different proposed pipelines that will have to run through Syria in order for this to happen. One sponsored by the gulf states called the “Qatar-Turkey pipeline” and one sponsored by the Iranians and Syrians nicknamed the “Islamic pipeline”.
Since the 1990s, Europe has been increasingly dependent on Russian natural gas and oil. In 2014 it was estimated that 42% of the European Union’s natural gas imports originated from Russia. This dependence has limited Europe’s ability to make a show of force against Russia. Last year the U.S introduced economic sanctions against Russia in retaliation for its annexation of Crimea. When the US asked the EU to participate, there was a heated debate amongst the European nations about how exactly to impose sanctions. Eastern Europeans felt especially threatened by Russia’s actions and wanted to enact the harshest penalties possible, however, Western Europeans were well aware that cutting off economic trade with Russia would destabilize their economies. As a result the European Union (EU) has desperately been looking for other sources of natural gas. The “pipeline” which will carry natural gas from Azerbaijan into Europe will help to offset dependence on Russian gas, but will take years to reach full capacity and will not rid Europe of Russian dependence altogether. On top of which European demand for natural gas is expected to rise dramatically in the next 30 years. There is only one known source of gas that can solve Europe’s long term energy needs and that’s source resides in the Middle East underneath the Persian Gulf.
“Uploaded on Feb 18, 2010
The Iraq war was based on lies, but it is part of a much bigger conspiracy.
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6 essential facts about Iraq’s Kurds
Updated by Zack Beauchamp@email@example.com Aug 12, 2014, 2:20pm EDT vox.com
“…You might wonder, given the Kurds’ long history of persecution and deep desire for a state, why they haven’t just declared independence from Iraq already. There are a number of reasons, including American opposition, but a big one is oil. They don’t yet produce enough to be economically self-sufficient (but they might), and they don’t have legal authority to sell it directly on the market.
Under the current arrangement, the Baghdad government is supposed to handle Kurdish oil sales. They then take the proceeds and divvy them up among the different regions. Kurdistan is supposed to get 17 percent of the nation’s oil sales, but Kurdish leaders say they’re given less than that…”
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