The politics of OIL

East and west are jockeying for influence in the Caucasus. The prize is oil and gas.

Israpundit intends to post a series of articles which explore the role of oil in determining foreign policy, including war. The war on terror is a sideshow as is the conflict in Israel

Richard Norton-Taylor, Monday March 5, 2001
The Guardian

A new and potentially explosive Great Game is being set up and few in Britain are aware of it. There are many players: far more than the two – Russia and Britain – who were engaged a century ago in imperial rivalry in central Asia and the north-west frontier.

And the object this time is not so much control of territory. It is the large reserves of oil and gas in the Caucasus, notably the Caspian basin. Pipelines are the counters in this new Great Game.

There are plans for pipe-lines through Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey, Iran, Bulgaria, Macedonia – and Albania. Traditional rivalries between east and west are complicated by other threats – from Chechen separatists, Kurds, Albanian guerrilla groups, the dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia over Nagorno-Karabakh and, throughout the region, Islamic groups whose activities are causing deep concern to Moscow, Tehran and Washington alike.

“In addition to instability and conflict in the Caucasus and parts of central Asia, there is a longer-term fear that Russia may rebuild its military capabilities, perhaps under a strongly nationalist regime,” notes Paul Rogers, professor of peace studies at Bradford University, in his recent book, Losing Control. Such a fear he adds, “rarely recognises the significance of a near-endemic Russian perception that Nato expansion and US commercial interests in the Caspian basin are part of a strategic encroachment into Russia’s historic sphere of influence”.[..] READ THE WHOLE ARTICLE

February 19, 2007 | 1 Comment »

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1 Comment / 1 Comment

  1. This is an important development because control of oil creates a motive which will effect every other issue. If the power struggle becomes too aggressive it could be the spark that sets everything off in the Middle-East – But it may not stop there.

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