In his pathbreaking Resource Wars, world security expert Michael Klare alerted us to the role of resources in conflicts in the post-cold-war world. Now, in Blood and Oil, he concentrates on a single precious commodity, petroleum, while issuing a warning to the United States—its most powerful, and most dependent, global consumer.
Since September 11 and the commencement of the “war on terror,” the world’s attention has been focused on the relationship between U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and the oceans of crude oil that lie beneath the region’s soil. Klare traces oil’s impact on international affairs since World War II, revealing its influence on the Truman, Eisenhower, Nixon, and Carter doctrines. He shows how America’s own wells are drying up as our demand increases; by 2010 the United States will need to import 60 percent of its oil. And since most of this supply will have to come from chronically unstable, often violently anti-American zones—the Persian Gulf, the Caspian Sea, Latin America, and Africa—our dependency is bound to lead to recurrent military involvement.
Michael Ruppert makes a compelling case that peak oil is the beginning of the end for our industrial civilization and is driving the elites of American power to implement unthinkably draconian measures of repression, warfare, and population control. Though the fuse to Ruppert’s argument is peak oil, the dynamite is the assertion (and wealth of evidence) that the war in Iraq—and even the attacks of 9/11—have been orchestrated by the neocon power players in the US to maintain access to the one thing that ensures their continued political control and wealth—oil. Though overly detailed at times, this is a powerful book, and it will forever change your view of “how things really work.
The invasion of Iraq may well be remembered as the first oil currency war. Far from being a response to 9/11 terrorism or Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction, Petrodollar Warfare argues that the invasion was precipitated by two converging phenomena: the imminent peak in global oil production and the ascendance of the euro currency.
Energy analysts agree that world oil supplies are about to peak, after which there will be a steady decline in supplies of oil. Iraq, possessing the world’s second-largest oil reserves, was therefore already a target of US geostrategic interests. Together with the fact that Iraq had switched to paying for oil in euros—rather than US dollars—the Bush administration’s unreported aim was to prevent further OPEC momentum in favor of the euro as an alternative oil transaction currency standard.
Meticulously researched, Petrodollar Warfare examines US dollar hegemony and the unsustainable macroeconomics of ‘petrodollar recycling,’ pointing out that the issues underlying the Iraq war also apply to geostrategic tensions between the United States and other countries, including the member states of the European Union, Iran, Venezuela and Russia. The author warns that without changing course, the American experiment will end the way all empires end—with military overextension and subsequent economic decline. He recommends the multilateral pursuit of both energy and monetary reforms within a UN framework to create a more balanced global energy and monetary system—thereby reducing the possibility of future oil and oil currency-related warfare.
William R. Clark is manager of performance improvement at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His research on oil depletion, oil currency issues and US geostrategy received a 2003 Project Censored Award and was published in Censored 2004. He lives in Columbia, Maryland.