More Background

jonathan flanders jon_flanders at
Tue Sep 25 07:27:35 MDT 2001


   I have not run across anything about the ISI yet, but given the interest
in the pipeline project, we can assume they have been involved.

The Unocal led Centgas consortium consisted of the following companies.
Unocal Corporation (U.S.), 46.5 percent 
Delta Oil Company Limited (Saudi Arabia), 15 percent 
The Government of Turkmenistan, 7 percent 
Indonesia Petroleum, LTD. (INPEX) (Japan), 6.5 percent 
ITOCHU Oil Exploration Co., Ltd. (CIECO) (Japan), 6.5 percent 
Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co., Ltd. (Korea), 5 percent 
The Crescent Group (Pakistan), 3.5 percent

 Jon Flanders
I just ordered this book.

Resource Wars 
The New Landscape of Global Conflict 

by Michael T. Klare  

Ten years after the end of the Cold War, the world is entering a new era in
which competition over vital resources will dominate conflict and war. Much
of that conflict will be over water and oil and will take place in areas
such as Central Asia and the Caspian Sea, where resources remain relatively
abundant and local governments are too weak to protect them. 

No one is better positioned to oversee and analyze this phenomenon than
Michael Klare, who is the Director of the Five College Program in Peace and
World Security Studies based at Hampshire College in Amherst,
Massachusetts. Michael is the author of three other highly readable books
and the major impetus behind the United Nations campaign against small arms

In his exceptional new book, Klare argues that it is not only the United
States that is preparing for such conflicts. He contends that all regional
powers are focusing increasingly on how to protect or enlarge their access
to vital resources over the next generation. 

A major signal of the importance of resource issues has been underscored by
the extensive joint military exercises undertaken by U.S. troops with
armies in energy-rich Central Asian nations like Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan,
and Uzbekistan. Such exercises have been designed to build up the military
forces of these countries and to encourage their independence from powerful
neighbors like Russia, China and Iran. But they’ve also been designed to
plant the U.S. flag in a region which is believed to harbor as much as 270
million barrels of oil, or about one-fifth of the world’s total proven

Klare predicts that in the future conflicts will not only be between states
but within states as well, particularly for control of minerals and
disappearing stands of valuable timber. The result is that conflict will
shift increasingly to regions where there remain relatively abundant
supplies of natural resources and which were neglected during the Cold War.
“The result is a new strategic geography in which resource concentrations
rather than political boundaries are the major defining features,” writes

World: Experts Discuss Looming 'Resource Wars'
By Nikola Krastev

One of the consequences of globalization is the increased demand for
resources, especially energy. The U.S. government's new energy policy
proposal is only one of the attempts to address an anticipated energy
crisis, though the problem is global in dimension. A panel of energy
experts in New York City discussed recently how international developments
have affected countries' needs for more energy and water supplies.

New York, 28 May 2001 (RFE/RL) -- A U.S. expert on energy and politics says
in a new book that the growing demand for energy supplies is a source of
looming confrontation among the world's powers.

Michael Klare, a U.S. expert on world policy issues, makes his case in a
study entitled "Resource Wars: A New Geography of Conflict." In it, he
points to the oil-rich Caspian Sea region as a typical region of growing
confrontation, in this case between Russia and the United States.

In an interview with our correspondent, Klare says the United States and
Russia are now establishing greater military contacts with countries in the
region, which he argues can be a source of future instability.

"If things proceed the way they have been -- which is, the both sides view
this as zero-sum game of competition -- I think, it's likely to be more
disorder and instability in the region and periodic crises. Because both
sides currently -- that is, the American-supported side and the Russian
supported-side -- are building military alliances with local countries.
They're providing military aid, arms transfers, other forms of military
involvement. And I think they're both proceeding from a competitive
confrontational stand. And I think if that proceeds that way, we will see
more conflict in the area." 

Klare participated in a panel discussion on energy policy issues organized
last week by the Council on Foreign Relations, a New York-based think-tank.
Other participants in the panel emphasized the close relationship between
global energy resources and water supplies, and how water can become a
major factor for regional instability in various parts of the world. Sandra
Postel is director of the non-governmental Global Water Policy Project. She

"We are about to enter what, I would say, is a really unprecedented period
of water-stress -- globally -- that we are not yet [prepared] to adequately
deal with."

Among factors helping to create increased energy and water demands, the
panel participants cited the so-called "consumption revolution,"
urbanization, and global climate changes. The consumption revolution is a
process during which those people in developing countries who acquire more
wealth try to duplicate the lifestyle in the developed world. The trends in
urbanization clearly show that in the next 25 years two-thirds of the world
population will inhabit large urban areas. Reported global climate changes,
Postel says, are leading to disproportionate distribution of rainfall and
to the expansion of arid lands.

"Countries in this category of water stress simply cannot mobilize enough
fresh water to meet all of the food needs, and all of the industrial needs,
and all of the household needs of their citizens. What they typically have
to do at some point is [to] import water indirectly in the form of grain.
Grain is the currency by which water is traded in large quantities around
the world. It's not by tanker, it's not by pipeline, it's through the
international grain market." 

For example, Postel says Egypt, a country with a large mass of fertile
land, needs to import 60 percent of its grain because a lack of water
prevents it from providing enough food domestically.

A map of contested water-resource zones shows that most major water systems
in arid or semi-arid areas are shared by two or more countries and are a
potential source of conflicts. These include large river systems such as
the Tigris and Euphrates, shared by Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey, and the
Amu Darya, shared by Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Panel participants said that, while water will continue to be a major
factor in international relations -- particularly in the developing world
-- oil will continue to dictate strategic policy decisions in the
foreseeable future. Klare tells RFE/RL that vast energy reserves in Central
Asia and the Caucasus have made the region a priority for the United States
despite the area's generally poor progress in post-communist reforms.

"I think in this case this is a national security consideration that's
driving all of this. The United States has to get that oil from that region
[Central Asia] and will make a deal with whatever governments are there in
place that are willing to work with us [that is, the U.S.], like the
government[s] in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan that are far
from ideal with respect to human rights and democratic procedure. And I
think that's a reflection of the view that I write about in my book -- we
[the U.S.] view oil as a security consideration and we have to protect it
by any means necessary, regardless of other considerations, other values."

But U.S. officials also have sought to play a mediating role to help
protect oil supplies. The new administration of President George W. Bush
this year has been active in trying to assist in peace talks between
Azerbaijan and Armenia over the disputed enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh. 

U.S. oil companies are currently developing some of Azerbaijan's most
promising offshore oilfields in the Caspian Sea, and Washington is eager to
secure safe transportation of Azerbaijani crude to world markets through
Georgia and Turkey.

Some analysts, however, downplay the significance of the Caspian-basin oil
reserves for the United States because of their remoteness and internal
instability in the region. Amy Myers Jaffe, an energy consultant and a
participant in the panel, says that no Caspian oil will feed U.S. markets.
Rather, she says, it will flow to Europe and possibly to Asia.
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