I am leaving TWITTER SOON. Please continue to follow me here.
"Is there any man, is there any woman, let me say any child here that does not know that the seed of war in the modern world is industrial and commercial rivalry?" So asked Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), U.S. president during World War I.This presidential observation is probably more true of the squabbles over black gold than any other material substance in the modern world. Even the present conflagration in Afghanistan is no exception. According to an article in The Guardian, "Afghanistan is as indispensable to the regional control of oil in Central Asia as Egypt was in the Middle East."
Afghanistan's northern neighbors contain abundant oil reserves that may prove critical to world supplies. The American military presence in Afghanistan is not only a crucial strategic blow against terrorism but may have another major benefit: the opportunity to secure ready access to Central Asian oil reserves as a countervailing measure against too much dependency on Islamic nations in the volatile Middle East.
As an editorial in The Washington Times points out: "Americans depend on fossil fuels for much of their material prosperity, even though much of that fossil fuel comes from unfriendly Islamic states in the Middle East. Almost 60 percent of American oil is shipped from overseas-Americans annually pay Saddam Hussein nearly $4 billion for the 700,000 barrels of oil that he provides them."
Therefore, the recent Russian-American cooperation against terrorism may also work to America's long-term advantage in securing adequate oil reserves. Russia is not a member of OPEC and therefore has the option of dragging its feet in reply to requests for substantial cuts in oil production.
The Times recently reported: "Russia [is] where oil output is increasing in leaps and bounds. The world has forgotten the contribution of Russian oil to global energy supply." Of course the Russians are as concerned about oil reserves as the Americans. A Daily Telegraph feature article recently observed: "For all the talk of international alliances and the future of Afghanistan, the real concern for Moscow is cementing its control of the oil supply."
America wants to build one or more oil pipelines in Central Asia. It has already invested $30 billion in developing oil in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Suddenly these faraway countries, difficult for most of us to spell and pronounce, take on an important role in our welfare. The Telegraph article continued: "Washington is now proposing a $3 billion pipeline from Azerbaijan, on the Caspian Sea, through Georgia to Turkey's Mediterranean Coast. U.S. companies could build a similar pipeline from Central Asia through Afghanistan to Karachi at half the cost, if the next Afghan government can guarantee its security."
Let's not forget China. The International Herald Tribune reported that in September "Prime Minister Zhu Rongji of China was in Moscow meeting with his Russian counterpart and signing off on a $1.7 billion feasibility study for a proposed 2,400-kilometer pipeline that by 2010 would deliver 30 million tons of oil to Chinese refineries each year." China's fast-growing economy of the past several years has created a voracious and expanding appetite for energy, and oil is one of the main sources.
Watch the oil chessboard as nations seek to secure their supplies and control world prices to their national advantage. Wars have been fought over oil, and the strivings over black gold may give us valuable clues as to how certain aspects of Bible prophecy may be fulfilled. (Sources: The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Times [all London], The Washington Times, The International Herald Tribune .)
Nobody has commented yet. Be the first to kick off the discussion!