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The Bush-Cheney Energy Strategy: Procuring the World's Oil

The Bush-Cheney Energy Strategy: Procuring the World's Oil

By Michael T. Klare

One arm of that strategy is to secure more oil from the rest of the world; the other is to refine the ability to intervene. One arises from energy concerns and the other from security issues, both pointing to American domination in the 21st century

A two-way strategy governs US policy toward much of the planet. One arm of that strategy is to secure more oil from the rest of the world; the other is to refine the ability to intervene. While one of those goals stems from energy concerns and the other from security concerns, it results in a unique direction: American domination in the 21st century.

Upon taking office in early 2001, President George W. Bush's central foreign policy priority was not to prevent terrorism or stop the spread of weapons of mass destruction; Nor are some of the other goals he pushed that year after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Rather, their priority was to increase the flow of oil sent by foreign suppliers to the US market. During the months leading up to his presidency, the United States had experienced severe crude and natural gas shortages in many corners of the country, as well as periodic blackouts in California. For the first time in history, crude oil imports increased to represent more than 50 percent of total consumption, causing great anguish over the long-term security of the country's supply. Bush stressed that addressing the nation's "energy crisis" was his most important task as president.

He and his advisers saw the supply of oil as essential to the health and profitability of major American industries. The argument was that any energy shortage could have severe and acute economic repercussions in sectors such as automotive, airlines, construction, petrochemicals, transportation of goods and agriculture. Oil was then considered to be especially crucial to the economy because it is the source of two-fifths of the US energy supply - and the largest source of energy - in addition to providing almost all of the country's transportation fuel. They also realized the vital role that oil plays in national security by being the propellant of formations of tanks, planes, helicopters and ships, the backbone of the American war machine.

"In the next 20 years America will suffer a major energy crisis," Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham told a meeting at the highest level on national energy on March 19, 2001. "If we were unable to rise to this challenge, the nation's economic prosperity would be threatened, our national security would be compromised, and the way we lead our lives would literally be altered."

The 2000-2001 energy whirlwind prompted Bush to establish the National Energy Policy Development Group (NEPDG), a group of high-level government representatives charged with developing a long-term plan to address US energy requirements. . To lead this group, Bush chose his closest political adviser, Vice President Dick Cheney.

A determined Republican Party member and former defense secretary, Cheney had served as president and CEO of Halliburton Co., an oilfield services company, before joining the Bush campaign in 2000. As such, Cheney enlisted top executives from energy-related companies such as Enron Corp. seeking advice on important matters.

As the NEPDG began to review the country's energy policies, its members realized that the United States was faced with a serious decision between two widely divergent paths. It could continue on the path that it had traveled a long time ago, consuming increasing amounts of oil and - due to the irreversible fall in domestic oil production - becoming more and more dependent on imported supplies. Or it could find some alternative route relying on renewable sources of energy to gradually reduce the use of oil.

It is clear that the outcome of this decision would have profound consequences for society, the economy and national security. Going down the old road would tie the United States much more closely with suppliers to the Persian Gulf and other oil-producing countries, impacting US security policy. Searching for alternative strategies would require huge investment in new energy generation and transportation technologies, which would lift or collapse entire industries. Either way, the public would experience the impact of this decision on daily life and on the dynamics of the economy as a whole. No one, in the United States or elsewhere, would fail to feel the effects.

The NEPDG struggled with this dilemma and completed its report in the first months of 2001. After careful review, Bush anointed the report elevating it to the rank of National Energy Policy (NEP) and published it on May 17. . At first glance, the NEP, or Cheney Report, as it is often referred to, seemed to reject the growing reliance on imported crude and instead favor the path of renewable energy. NEP "reduces demand by promoting innovation and technology to make us the world leader in efficiency and conservation," declared the president when it was released. Yet for all its conservation rhetoric, the NEP does not propose to reduce oil consumption. It proposes slowing the pace of dependence on imported oil by boosting local production by opening unexploited reserves in protected natural areas.

NEP's most important proposal was to increase crude production by drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), a vast and unspoiled wilderness area in northeast Alaska. Although this proposal generated enormous controversy in the United States due to its deleterious impact on the environment, it also allowed the White House to argue that the government was committed to a policy of energy independence.

However, a careful examination of the Cheney Report leads to very different conclusions. Apart from the proposal to exploit the ANWR, nothing raised in the NEP would contribute to significantly reduce dependence on imported oil. In fact, the opposite is true: The basic goal of the Cheney plan is to find additional external sources of crude for the United States. Ultimately, Bush was clearly deciding the future of America's energy drive. Aware that nothing will be able to reverse the decline in domestic crude production in the long term, and reluctant to curb the country's insatiable thirst for petroleum products, he decided to continue on the path of relying more and more on foreign oil.

CONSERVATION INITIATIVE: FACTS OR FICTION?

The fact that the Bush energy plan involves more, not less, dependence on imported oil does not appear at first glance either in the president's public comments on the NEP, or in the first seven chapters of the Cheney Report. It is only in the eighth and final chapter ("Strengthening Global Alliances") that the real objective of government policy becomes apparent. Here, the tone of the report changes markedly, from an expressed concern for conservation and energy efficiency to an explicit emphasis on securing more crude from foreign sources. The chapter begins: "America's national energy security depends on a sufficient supply of energy to cement America and global economic growth." The report goes on to say, "We can strengthen our own energy security and the shared prosperity of the global economy" by working with other countries to increase global energy production. It is a mandate "to make energy security a priority of our trade and our foreign policy."

The Cheney Report is very cautious about the amount of foreign crude required. The only key provided by the text is a table of net oil consumption and real US production over time. According to these data, the internal production of the oil fields will decrease from 8.5 million barrels per day (mbd) in 2002 to 7 mbd in 2020, while consumption will grow from 19.5 mbd to 25.5 mbd. This suggests that imports or other sources of energy, such as natural gas liquids, should grow from 11 mbd to 18.5 mbd. Almost all the recommendations in chapter 8 of the NEP propose to obtain this increase of 7.5 mbd, which is equivalent to the total of crude consumed by China and India.

A third of the report's recommendations relate to ways to gain access to oil sources abroad. Many of the 35 proposals are specific to regions or countries, and emphasize the need to remove political, economic, legal and logistical obstacles. For example, the NEP calls on the Secretaries of Energy, Commerce and State to "deepen the commercial dialogue with Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and other Caspian states to foster a strong, transparent and stable business climate in order to establish energy projects. and others related to infrastructure ".

The Cheney Report will have a profound impact on the future of US military and foreign policy. Officials will have to negotiate these foreign stocks and make arrangements to invest in such a way as to increase production and exports. They will have to take steps to ensure that wars, revolutions, and civil disorder do not impede foreign deliveries to the United States. These imperatives will be especially significant for policy towards the Persian Gulf area, the Caspian Sea basin, Africa and Latin America.

Implementing the Cheney energy plan has important implications for US security and military policy. The countries from which that nation is expected to supply oil in the years to come are torn by internal conflicts, harbor strong anti-American sentiments, or both. Efforts to secure additional sources of foreign crude are sure to lead to violent disorder and resistance in many key production areas. Although US officials prefer to avoid the use of force in such situations, they may conclude that the only way to guarantee a continuous flow of energy is to guard oil fields and pipelines with soldiers.

Adding to Washington's dilemma, troop deployments in oil-producing areas are likely to cause resentment among locals who fear a resurgence of colonialism or who object to particular political positions, such as US backing for Israel. Efforts to safeguard the flow of crude could be counterproductive, intensifying (rather than abating) local disorder and violence.

THE PERSIAN GULF

Currently, the United States obtains only 18 percent of its imported oil from the Persian Gulf area. But Washington has a strategic interest in the stability of energy production in the area, as its main allies, including Japan and Western Europe, rely on imports from that enclave. In addition, the large volume of exports from the Gulf has helped keep world oil prices relatively low, benefiting the US economy. As domestic production declines, the NEP notes, the Persian Gulf "will continue to be vital to the interests of the United States."

The United States has played a significant role in the affairs of the Persian Gulf for a long time. In World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt forged an agreement with Abdul-Aziz ib Saud, founder of the modern Saudi dynasty, to protect the royal family against their internal and external enemies in exchange for privileged access to Saudi oil. In subsequent years, the United States also agreed to provide security support to the Shah of Iran and the leaders of Kuwait, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). These agreements led to the delivery of vast quantities of US weapons and, in some cases, the deployment of combat forces in the aforementioned countries. (The US security link with Iran was severed in January 1980, when the Shah was overthrown by militant Islamist forces.)

US policy regarding the protection of energy stocks in the Persian Gulf is unambiguous: when a threat arises, the United States will use whatever means it can to ensure the continuous flow of oil. This principle, known as the Carter Doctrine, was first articulated by President James Carter in January 1980, after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the fall of the Shah in Iran. Since then it has been part of American politics. In accordance with this principle, the United States used force in 1987 and 1988 to protect Kuwaiti tankers from Iranian missiles and artillery attacks, and then in 1990 and 1991 when it pulled Iraqi forces out of Kuwait.

In explaining the need to use force on such occasions, US officials emphasize the importance of oil from the Persian Gulf to internal stability and prosperity. "Our strategic interests in the Persian Gulf region, I think, are well known, but it is important to reiterate them," then-Defense Secretary Cheney told a Senate committee on armed services on September 11, 1990, five weeks later. from the beginning of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. In addition to the other security ties with Saudi Arabia and its neighbors, he added: "Obviously we have a significant interest because energy is at stake in the Gulf." Iraq owned 10 percent of the world's oil reserves and acquired another 10 percent by taking over Kuwait, the secretary explained. The occupation of Kuwait placed Iraqi forces within a few hundred kilometers of another 25 percent of these reserves, located in eastern Saudi Arabia. "Once [former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein] acquired Kuwait and deployed an army as large as he owns, he was in a position to dictate the future of world energy policies, and he obtained a privileged key to our economy and the of almost all the other nations of the world, "he stressed. Cheney insisted that the United States had no choice but to use military force in defense of Saudi Arabia and other friendly states in the area.

When Iraqi forces were expelled from Kuwait, the United States adopted a policy of containing Iraq, implementing severe economic sanctions and "no-fly" zones in northern and southern Iraq, in order to weaken the Hussein regime and prevent further attacks on Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. At the same time, Washington substantially expanded its military presence and bases in the Persian Gulf area to facilitate future US military operations in the region. Most importantly, the Department of Defense sent huge amounts of ammunition to Kuwait and Qatar so that there would be the possibility of sending groups of troops into combat without having to wait weeks or months for the arrival of heavy equipment.

In early spring 2002, the Bush administration concluded that the containment policy was not sufficient to eliminate the threat Hussein posed to US interests; more aggressive action was required. Although much was made of alleged Iraqi possession of weapons of mass destruction as a central reason for acting in this way, Cheney attached equal importance to American energy security in his much-quoted August 26, 2002 speech. "If ambitions [ of Hussein, of acquiring weapons of mass destruction] were fulfilled, the implications for the Middle East and the United States would be enormous, "he told the convention of veterans of wars abroad. "Hopefully - armed with an arsenal of these terror weapons and sitting on top of 10 percent of the world's oil reserves - Saddam Hussein will seek dominance over the entire Middle East, take over a large portion of the stock. energy companies and directly threaten the friends of America throughout the region. "

Officials told the public that oil had nothing to do with the motivations for the US-led invasion of Iraq that began in March 2003. "The only interest of the United States in the region is to advance the cause of peace. and stability, and not the [Iraqi] ability to generate crude, "said Ari Fleischer, a White House spokesman in late 2002. But a closer look at the government's war plans reveals a very different picture. In tactical information produced in January, an unidentified "high-level defense official" outlines US plans to protect Iraqi oil fields in the event of war, noting that Pentagon leaders revealed that General Tommy Franks and His team "identified strategies that will allow us to secure and protect these fields as soon as possible, in order to avoid their destruction."

The official, who is likely to be Assistant Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, indicated that the Bush administration was seeking to capture Iraqi oil fields intact, and thus provide a source of income for the reconstruction of the country. Under the Hussein regime, Iraq was a major oil supplier to the United States, delivering an average of 566,000 barrels a day in 2002, 5 percent of total imports. Many people in Washington hoped to get more crude from Iraq in the future. According to the US Department of Energy, Iraq has proven reserves of 112.5 billion barrels, more than any other country except Saudi Arabia, and it is thought to have another 200 billion barrels in undeveloped fields. Iraq could become the main supplier of crude in the coming decades, if a stable government were established in it, opening up its territory for some US firms to exploit it.

Such a scenario is far from certain. Planners are challenged to ensure that Saudi Arabia and other Gulf producers increase oil supplies to match growing US and international demand. Another challenge will be to protect the Saudi regime against internal unrest and insurrection.

The need to increase Saudi production is particularly pressing. With a quarter of known crude reserves - an estimated 262 billion barrels - Saudi Arabia is the only country other than Iraq capable of meeting the ever-growing demand for oil. According to the US Department of Energy, the total net production of Saudi Arabia must grow 133 percent in the next 25 years, from 10.2 mbd in 2001 to 23.8 mbd in 2025, in order to meet the global requirements that are anticipated from today for said period. Expanding Saudi capacity by 13.6 mbd, which is equivalent to what the United States and Mexico now produce together, will cost hundreds of billions of dollars. It will also create enormous technical and logistical challenges. Western analysts believe that the best way to achieve this increase is to persuade the Saudis to allow substantial investment from US oil companies. The Cheney Report asks for exactly that. However, any effort by Washington to put pressure on Riyadh is likely to meet significant reluctance from the royal family, which has nationalized oil pools since the 1970s and fears being viewed as openly subservient to the United States.

The strong American ties to the Saudi royal family are unpopular with the regime's many opponents. Furthermore, growing numbers of young Saudis are turning against the United States over its close ties to Israel and what is seen as an anti-Islamic bias from Washington. It was from this environment that Osama Bin Laden recruited many of his followers in the late 1990s and obtained much of their financial support. After the attacks of September 11, 2001, the Saudi government broke many of these forces, but an underground opposition to this military and economic cooperation between Washington and the regime persists. In the coming years, finding a way to root out this opposition while persuading Riyadh to increase its oil shipments will be one of the most difficult challenges for US planners.

CASPIAN SEA BASIN

Although the United States will continue to depend on oil from the Persian Gulf area for much longer, officials seek to minimize this dependence as much as possible by diversifying the sources of energy imported by the nation. "Diversity is important, not just for energy security, but also for our national security," declared President Bush on May 17, 2001. "Overdependence on any source of energy, especially foreign, makes us vulnerable to energy. price shocks, supply disruptions and, in the worst case, blackmail. " To avoid this, the government's energy plan calls for a substantial effort by the United States to boost production in several areas other than the Gulf, including the Caspian Sea basin, the West Coast of Africa and Latin America.

The one likely to receive the most attention from planners is the Caspian Sea basin, which consists of Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgizstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and adjacent parts of Iran and Russia. According to the Department of Energy, this area hosts proven reserves (with a 90 percent probability) of between 17 and 33 billion barrels of crude oil, and possible reserves (with a 50 percent probability) of 233 billion barrels. If these amounts are confirmed, they would constitute the second unexploited reserves after the Persian Gulf area. To ensure that much of that oil eventually flows to consumers in the West, the US government goes to great lengths to develop the area's oil infrastructure and distribution system. It was during the government of William Clinton that the United States began seeking access to Caspian crude stocks. Since the Caspian Sea is enclosed by land, its oil and natural gas must travel via pipelines to other areas. Packaging these resources requires building export pipelines over great distances.

The government was reluctant to accept that Caspian crude would flow through Russia on its way to Western Europe, as this would give Moscow some degree of control over energy supplies to the West. Transporting this oil through Iran was prohibited by US laws because that country sought to have weapons of mass destruction. So Clinton backed a plan to transport oil and gas from Baku in Azerbaijan to Ceyhan in Turkey via Tbilisi in the former Soviet republic of Georgia. Before leaving office, he flew to Turkey and presided over the signing ceremony of a regional agreement that allowed the construction of a Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline at a cost of $ 3 billion.

While concentrating on the logistical and legal aspects of Caspian power, the Clinton administration also faced the threat that instability and conflicts in the region posed to future crude deliveries. Since many of these states were torn apart by ethnic and separatist conflicts, the government initiated a series of military assistance programs aimed at strengthening the chances of its internal security. This involved providing weapons and training, as well as conducting joint maneuver exercises.

Building on Clinton's efforts, the Bush administration sought to accelerate the expansion of Caspian production facilities and pipelines. "Foreign investors and their technology are critical to the rapid development of new viable export trade routes," the Cheney report stated. "Such development will ensure that the growth of Caspian oil production is effectively integrated into world oil trade." Particular emphasis is placed on completing the BTC pipeline and increasing the participation of US companies in energy projects in the Caspian. The government is also looking to build an oil and gas pipeline from Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan on the east coast of the Caspian to Baku on the west coast to funnel more energy from central Asia to the BTC system.

Until September 11, 2001, US involvement in the Caspian Sea basin and in Central Asia had been largely restricted to economic, diplomatic and military agreements. To combat the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, the Defense Department deployed tens of thousands of fighters to the region and established military bases in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. The government called in some of these troops, but apparently plans to maintain bases and a permanent military presence. This is supposed to help in the war on terror, but it is also a safeguard for the flow of oil. The government deployed military instructors to Georgia to provide counterinsurgency training to special units that would guard the Georgian segment of the BTC pipeline.

The White House has high hopes for the development of energy supplies from the Caspian Sea, but some obstacles remain to be resolved. Some of them are logistical: until new pipelines can be built, it will be difficult to transport large amounts of crude to the West. Other obstacles are political and legal: the authoritarian regimes that predominate in the former Soviet republics ooze with corruption and are reluctant to accept the legal or fiscal reforms necessary to attract large-scale investment from the West. But even solving all this, the main problem facing the United States is that the Caspian Basin is no more stable than the Persian Gulf. Any effort to secure energy deliveries will require the same military commitments that the United States has with its Gulf suppliers.

WEST AFRICA

Another area that the Bush administration sees as a promising source of crude is Western Africa. Although African states were responsible for only 10 percent of global crude production, the Department of Energy predicts that their share will grow to 25 percent by 2020. This will add 8.3 mbd to global inventories, good news for Washington. "Western Africa is expected to be one of the fastest growing sources of oil and gas in the US market," the Cheney report noted.

The government hopes to focus its efforts on Nigeria, its neighbors in the Gulf of Guinea and Angola. As in the Caspian region, US expectations of obtaining additional crude from Afrecha could be dashed by political unrest and ethnic wars. Indeed, much of Nigerian production had to shut down during the spring of 2003 due to ethnic violence in the Delta region, the site of much of Nigeria's onshore oil. Local activists have occupied off-shore oil facilities to negotiate funding for community projects. Crime and vandalism have bogged down Nigeria's efforts to increase oil production.

The United States is not prone to respond to these challenges by deploying troops. That would certainly evoke images of colonialism, which would provoke strong opposition at home and abroad. But Washington does plan to scale up military aid to friendly regimes in the region. Total US assistance to Angola and Nigeria totals $ 300 million for fiscal years 2002-2004, a significant increase over the previous triennium. In fiscal year 2004, Angola and Nigeria have the possibility of receiving surplus weapons according to the Pentagon's program on excess defense articles. Meanwhile, the Department of Defense began to secure rights to establish naval bases in the region, especially in Nigeria and the Islands of São Tomé and Príncipe.

LATIN AMERICA

Finally, the Cheney plan calls for a significant increase in US imports from Latin America. The United States already gets a large slice of its imported crude from that region. Venezuela is currently the third largest supplier to the United States, after Canada and Saudi Arabia; Mexico is the fourth supplier and Colombia is the seventh. Como indicara el secretario de Energía Abraham, "el presidente Bush reconoce no sólo la necesidad de incrementar el abasto de energía, sino el papel crítico que el hemisferio jugará en la política energética del gobierno". Al presentarle estas aspiraciones a los gobiernos de la región, los funcionarios estadounidenses resaltan su deseo de establecer marcos de trabajo comunes en el desarrollo de energía. "Intentamos enfatizar el enorme potencial de una mayor cooperación regional en asuntos relacionados con la energía, de cara al futuro", dijo Abraham en la quinta Conferencia Hemisférica Ministerial de Iniciativas Energéticas en la ciudad de México, el 8 de marzo de 2001. "Nuestro objetivo es construir relaciones entre nuestros vecinos, que contribuyan a una seguridad energética compartida; que contribuyan también a un acceso adecuado, confiable, sólido en lo ambiental y que sea rentable". Pese a ser sinceros, estos comentarios enmascaran el hecho de que la "cooperación" se dirige esencialmente a canalizar más y más remesas de crudo, de la región a Estados Unidos.

El plan energético enfatiza la adquisición de petróleo adicional procedente de México y Venezuela. "México es una fuente confiable y pujante de petróleo importado", observa el Informe Cheney. "Sus vastas reservas, aproximadamente 25 por ciento mayores que nuestras propias reservas probadas, hacen de México una fuente probable de producción de crudo en expansión durante los próximos diez años". Venezuela se considera vital porque posee enormes reservas de crudo convencional y aloja vastas existencias del llamado crudo pesado, un material viscoso que puede convertirse en petróleo convencional mediante un costoso proceso de refinación. Según la NEP, "el éxito de Venezuela, convertir los depósitos de crudo pesado en comercialmente viables, sugiere que contribuirá sustancialmente a la diversidad de las existencias de energía globales y a nuestras propias existencias energéticas en el mediano o el largo plazo".

Pero los esfuerzos estadounidense por abrevar de las abundantes existencias energéticas mexicanas y venezolanas puede terminar en un revés importante. Debido a la historia de predación colonial e imperial, estos dos países han situado sus reservas de energía bajo control estatal, y establecieron fuertes barreras legales para la inversión extranjera en la producción interna de crudo. Aunque desean capitalizar los beneficios derivados de un mayor volumen de exportaciones a Estados Unidos, los países latinoamericanos son propensos a resistir una mayor participación estadounidense en sus industrias energéticas y en cualquier incremento significativo en la extracción de crudo. La NEP llama a los secretarios de Comercio, Energía y Estado a cabildear con sus contrapartes latinoamericanos con el fin de eliminar o suavizar las barreras existentes. Sin embargo, en México, las reformas que facilitarían la entrada de compañías petroleras privadas, se han topado con una dura resistencia en el Congreso. En Venezuela, la nueva Constitución adoptada en 1999 prohíbe la inversión extranjera en el sector petrolero, y en 2003, el presidente Hugo Chávez despidió a los administradores de la empresa petrolera estatal, Petróleos de Venezuela SA, que favorecieron nexos con firmas extranjeras.

EL VINCULO ENTRE LOS PLANES MILITAR Y ENERGÉTICO DE BUSH

En su búsqueda de petróleo, Estados Unidos se está entrometiendo en los asuntos de las naciones abastecedoras de crudo. En el proceso, se expone a mayores riesgos de involucrarse en conflictos regionales y locales. Esta realidad ya influyó en las relaciones estadounidenses con las principales naciones productoras de crudo y es seguro que tendrá en el futuro aun mayor impacto.

No hay ningún apartado donde la NEP reconozca este hecho. En cambio, se enfoca en las dimensiones económicas y diplomáticas de la política energética.

Sin embargo, los arquitectos de la política Bush-Cheney saben que asegurar su acceso a algunas fuentes petrolíferas puede resultar imposible sin el uso de la fuerza militar. La estrategia militar del gobierno asume el punto enfatizando fuertemente el requisito de proyectar capacidad de fuego en campos de batalla claves. "Estados Unidos debe retener la posibilidad de enviar fuerzas bien armadas y con buen apoyo logístico a puntos críticos por todo el globo, incluso frente a la oposición del enemigo", señala el Quadrennial Defense Review.

Estos puntos críticos necesariamente implicarán áreas que son fuentes de petróleo. Sea que el gobierno vincule conscientemente sus políticas de energía y seguridad o no, es indudable que Bush priorizó refinar la proyección del poder estadounidense mientras respaldaba un aumento en la dependencia del petróleo procedente de áreas inestables.

El resultado es que una estrategia de dos vías gobierna la política estadounidense hacia buena parte del mundo. Un brazo de esta estrategia es asegurar más petróleo del resto del mundo; el otro es refinar la capacidad de intervenir. Mientras que uno de estos objetivos surge de preocupaciones energéticas y el otro de aspectos de seguridad, resulta una dirección única: la dominación estadounidense en el siglo XXI. Es esta combinación de estrategias, más que ningún otro aspecto, lo que anclará las relaciones internacionales de Estados Unidos en los años venideros.

* Michael T. Klare es autor de Guerras de recursos: nuevo panorama del conflicto global y es profesor de estudios sobre la paz y la seguridad mundial en el Hampshire College de Amherst, Massachusetts (EU); es analista de asuntos militares de Foreign Policy in Focus ( www.fpif.org )

Traducción: Ramón Vera Herrera

Publicado en La Jornada, enero 26 de 2004


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