Most people realize that he who controls energy resources controls how the game will be played. Few, however, take the analysis beyond that insight. When I’m looking at geopolitics, I keep asking the question “Cui bono?” Ultimately, I believe these decisions reduce to theological and conceptual starting points, but at the penultimate level the phrase “follow the money” can explain much in terms of modern politics.
I’m leaving aside the question of whether Putin’s Russia is a good guy or no (I’ve argued that sufficiently elsewhere). I’m merely examining the reasons why the neoconservative/neoliberal establishment does what it does.
Few doubt the American economy is fragile. While I think “peak oil” predictions are exaggerated, there is some truth behind the frantic shrieks: oil is scarce and expensive and he who controls the oil, controls the game.
After Saudi Arabia, Russia is the leading exporter of oil and natural gas (I believe Russia has actually surpassed Saudi Arabia on that point, but I’m not sure). While I think NATO has the military edge over Russia, such a confrontation would be disastrous and the costs outweigh any benefits–so NATO does the next best thing: control the proxy states. William Engdahl writes,
The unspoken agenda of Washington’s agressive Central Asia policies after teh collapse of the Soviet Union could be summed up in a single phrase: control of energy. So long as Russia was able to use its strategic trump card–its vast oil and gas reserves–to win economic allies in Western Europe, China and elsewhere, it could not be politically isolated. The location of the carious Color Revolutions was aimed directly at encircling Russia and cutting off, at any time, her export pipelines. With more than sixty percent of Russia’s dollar export earnings coming from oil and gas exports, such an encirclment would amount to an economic chokehold on Russia by US-led NATO
(Full Spectrum Dominance, 46).
With that perspective, one can better appreciate many of Putin’s tactical moves: the arrest of Mikhail Khodorovsky and the reversal of the Orange Revolution in Ukraine. With the former he kept British Petroleum from dominating Russia’s energy decisions, and with the latter he ensured a more reliable energy transit to Western Europe–negating the Anglo-American establishment at both points. In fact, no doubt by the grace of God, Putin has been able to achieve several crucial victories without firing a shot (the other necessary victory, obviously, was defeating Georgia in 2008).
Small Countries will Control the Game
Geographically small countries like Armenia and Georgia will be the pivot in this Eurasian struggle. These are mountainous countries through which pass major oil routes. With the exception of US adventurism, the days of empire are over. Instead of colonizing Georgia and Armenia, the US and Russia (respectively) use them as satellites.
A close look at the map of Eurasia began to suggest what was at stake for Washington in Eurasia. The goal was not only the strategic encirclement of Russia through a series of NATO bases ranging from Camp Bond Steel in Kosovo, to Poland, to the Czech Republic, and possibly Georgia, and possibly Ukraine. All of this had the overarching goal of enabling NATO to control energy routes and networks between Russia and the EU.
The Washington strategy of “democratic” coups–color revolutions in Georgia and Ukraine–were designed strategically to cut China off from access to vital oil and gas reserves of the Caspian Sea, including Kazakhstan and, ultimately, Russia (51).
Engdahl’s analysis, while clear and helpfully succinct, is nothing new. Forerunner of Antichrist Zbignew Brzezinski has routinely said the same thing (Brzezinski, interestingly enough, is one of the few globalists who does NOT want a war with Iran, seeing that one could play off Iran against Russia). Fr Raphael has made similar comments on the Eurasian scene. Here are others: