Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Even Russia is Talking War - Resource Wars

While our leaders fantasize about Arctic nature parks, the rest of the world is either engaging in or getting ready for what they know is coming - resource wars. These aren't wars fought to expand empires or to spread ideologies. They're wars to seize or defend resources.

A Kremlin report released today warns that Russia foresees wars on its borders in the future over control of energy resources. From Reuters:

"In a competition for resources, problems that involve the use of military force cannot be excluded that would destroy the balance of forces close to the borders of the Russian Federation and her allies," said the document, which maps out Russia's security strategy until 2020.

"The attention of international politics in the long-term perspective will be concentrated on the acquisition of energy resources," the paper said.

It said regions where such a competition for resources could arise included the Middle East, the Barents Sea, the Arctic, the Caspian Sea and Central Asia. Russia also sees increased competition for food, fresh water and land.

The strategy document was approved by President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday and published on Wednesday by the Russian Security Council, which includes Russia's top politicians and intelligence chiefs and is chaired by Medvedev.

Gee, what a novel idea! It sounds remarkably like the assessments that have been coming out of the Pentagon and British Ministry of Defence. It seems consistent with the accelerating militarization underway throughout the Middle East, South Asia and Far East.

We know that Russia is already building a specific military force to bolster its resource ambitions in the Arctic not to mention a new generation of surface and submersible nuclear power plants and a fleet of ice breaker-super tankers. And we're sitting around spouting nonsense about Arctic nature parks? Incredible.

True Patriot Love. That sounds delightful. But what about the other part, We Stand on Guard for Thee?


LeDaro said...

Mound, the armies and wars have been about grabbing resources including humans as a resource. Not much has changed. Nothing new in that sense.

The Mound of Sound said...

I disagree, LD. Look at the nations Russia contemplates as its potential adversaries. It comes down to the NATO nations in the Arctic and Central Asia or China along its eastern frontier. China, meanwhile, is apt to see itself squeezed by Russia on one flank, India on the othere.

Big countries sometimes go after little countries over resources but military contests between nuclear armed states over resources are something we've never confronted - yet.

LeDaro said...

"..but military contests between nuclear armed states over resources are something we've never confronted" you have point there. However, this is a new phase of cold-war with additional players.

LeDaro said...

Mound, let me tell you a little story. I once ran into your favourite columnist Gwyn Dyer. He said he predicted nuclear confrontation during cold war but he said thank God he was wrong. He added that now we do not have to worry about it as cold war is over.

I said Gwyn you were wrong then what if you’re wrong again. He laughed and only said “touché”. Now given the current geo-political situation around the globe the nuclear confrontation looks like a greater danger than during cold war.

The Mound of Sound said...

Yes, LD, I served during the Cold War. We lived, and trained, in contemplation of nuclear war. A big part of the idea of tactical nuclear forces was to hold a massive Soviet invading force at bay, just for a few days, in hope that some way could be found to prevent one side or the other escalating the conflict to strategic nuke war, commonly known as "nuclear winter."

When I was a kid, living on the Canadian side just beyond Windsor, we would hear the air raid sirens in Detroit go off every noon on Saturdays. Then on a small island in the Detroit River all these clamshell doors would open up and batteries of Nike missiles would rise up from the ground in a well choreographed display.

I remember well the Cuban missile crisis. We really thought we were going to buy it then. My buddies and I had concluded the best thing to do was to just stand out in our front yards and get instantly vaporized. What a hell of a thing for little kids to argue about.

LeDaro said...

Mound, indeed it is a very sad and looming danger. God forbid. I feel horrible and choke up when I think of innocent children and what we could do to them. And resources which would do no good to anyone if this horrible reality comes to pass.

seven star said...

my grade 10 geography teacher called this one spot on, and that was 14 years ago.

The Mound of Sound said...

Too bad today's national leaders are dumber than your grade 10 teacher from 14-years back - but they are.