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John Wayne's Holster: Maintaining World Supremacy
John Wayne's Holster
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Friday, September 09, 2005

Maintaining World Supremacy

The United States is currently the world’s lone super power. Most of our competitors (European Union, Russia, etc) are beset with internal problems and are unlikely to present any real challenge to us in the foreseeable future.

Among developed nations, the US is the leader in economic growth. Last year, our GDP growth was 4.4%, more than twice that of the European Union. The US is also the world leader in technological innovations, science and education. Our ability to attract and cultivate the brightest minds from around the globe is largely responsible for this. But we must be careful not rest on our laurels.

Maintaining our global supremacy is dependent on continued economic growth and a sustained military presence in strategic regions. In political terms, that requires the implementation of strong foreign policy initiatives and building global alliances.

Driving a strong economy requires the input of energy. For the US, and many of its competitors, that means OIL. No sensible person can deny that oil is the life blood of the US economy. Without it (or an affordable alternative), our economy collapses. Revenues dry up. Then we can no longer afford to maintain the military muscle required to safeguard our people and our national interests.

The world’s oil supply is limited and the demand is high. With the continuing emergence of the Chinese and Indian economies, the demand for oil is increasing and will continue to do so. As such, gaining control of the access to oil is vital to maintaining our global supremacy.

A large portion of the affordably refineable oil reserves are located in the greater Middle East – in a region stretching from the Caucasus Mountains in the north to the Red Sea in the south, and from Morrocco in the west to Kashmir in the east. Unfortunately, this region is politically unstable. Ethnic and religious conflicts are commonplace. In recent years, the region has also become a spawning bed for international terrorism.

This instability coupled with the rise of terrorism has the potential to adversely affect the economies of not only the US, but also a good portion of the western world and the emerging economies of Asia. This is something that the United States CAN NOT and WILL NOT allow to happen.

Over the years, the US has attempted to implement foreign policy initiatives aimed at bringing some stability to a chaotic region. Unfortunately, the initiatives have too often been short-sighted and self-serving. In many cases, the outcome of these initiatives has had exactly the opposite effect of what was intended. However, the majority of the blame for instability rests at the feet of the regions corrupt leaders.

Military intervention is now our vehicle of choice to stabilize the region. Ostensibly, our primary goals are to stop the spread of international terrorism, halt the proliferation of WMDs, and initiate democratic reforms. To these ends, the “war on terror” is justified. These efforts are noble and should have been carried out long ago.

But don’t let our noble gestures fool you. If there were no oil buried under the sand, we would have no interest in the region or it’s long-suffering people. If you don’t believe it, take a look at our interventions (or lack thereof) in Rawanda and Dafur.

Our real raison de guerre is to establish political, military and economic footholds in the region to ensure our access to oil. If we could keep the cruel dictatorships in place and therby ensure our access to oil, we would do it. In fact, that is essentially a thumbnail sketch of what our Middle East foreign policy has been in recent years. This short-sighted approach has proven to be a collosal failure.

Now we find ourselves at war in Afghanistan and Iraq - mopping up messes we helped to create. Other regional conflicts may follow, perhaps in Iran. In all likelihood, we will maintain a long-term military presence in the region. This will go a long way to keep the oil flowing.

At least we hope so, for our future depends on it!


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