Wednesday, November 5, 2008

DNI Mike McConnell Sees Global Trouble Ahead ...

... and oil is right in the middle of it. Iraq and Afghanistan have been no walk in the park, and both will demand serious attention and consume substantial DOD resources for years. But if DNI is correct, things may only get busier for DOD in the coming two decades:
Territorial expansion and military rivalries are not likely, but cannot be ruled out, and the perception that oil is scarce could trigger conflicts between states.
I think he's being overly conservative using the term "the perception." In the 20th century we saw oil play a strategic role in economic and military success. In the 21st century there are already clear sigals that oil and gas price and availability are key leverage points for Russia and OPEC.  The pressure will come not just from the supply side, but from countries jockeying for what they see as their rightful part of the supply. As we move further into this century, McConnell sees that:

By 2025, China is likely to have the world's second largest economy and to have emerged as a major military power, the largest importer of natural resources and the largest contributor to world pollution.

It's all about energy security: the more we can move DOD and the rest of the economy off the oil standard, the less vulnerabile the US will be to the turmoil McConnell and many others see coming. Those working the problem today know it's a tough, tough problem. They need all the help we can give them.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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