This sobering look at the future of warfare predicts that conflicts will now be fought over diminishing supplies of our most precious natural resources.
From the barren oilfields of Central Asia to the lush Nile delta, from the busy shipping lanes of the South China Sea to the uranium mines and diamond fields of sub-Saharan Africa, Resource Wars looks at the growing impact of resource scarcity on the military policies of nations. International security expert Michael T. Klare argues that in the early decades of the new millennium wars will be fought not over ideology but over resources, as states battle to control dwindling supplies of precious natural commodities. The political divisions of the Cold War, Klare asserts, are giving way to an immense global scramble for essential materials, such as oil, timber, minerals, and water. And as armies throughout the world define resource security as their primary mission, widespread instability is bound to follow, especially in those places where resource competition overlaps with long-standing disputes over territorial rights.
A much-needed assessment of a changed world, Resource Wars is a compelling look at the future of warfare in an era of heightened environmental stress and accelerated economic competition.
Klare analyzes the most likely cause of war in the century just begun: demand by rapidly growing populations for scarce resources. An introductory chapter sets the scene, laying out the complexities of rapidly increasing demand as the world industrializes, the concentration of resources in unstable states and the competing claims to ownership of resources by neighboring states. Succeeding chapters look more closely at the potential for conflict over oil in the Persian Gulf and in the Caspian and South China Seas, over water in the Nile Basin and other multinational river systems and over timber, gems and minerals from Borneo to Sierra Leone. The strength of Klare's presentation is its concreteness. His analyses of likely conflicts, for example among Syria, Jordan and Israel for the limited water delivered by the Jordan River, are informed by detailed research into projected usage rates, population growth and other relevant trends. As Klare shows, the same pattern is repeated in dozens of other locations throughout the world. Finite resources, escalating demand and the location of resources in regions torn by ethnic and political unrest all combine as preconditions of war. Klare, an expert on warfare and international security (Rogue States and Nuclear Outlaws, etc.), presents a persuasive case for paying serious attention to these impending hostilities and furnishes the basic information needed to understand their danger and the importance of international cooperation in staving off conflict.