The Coming War For Natural Resources
The War For Resources
The reasons nations go to war are as numerous as the wars themselves. From territorial disputes to ethnic strife to a simple misunderstanding between historic enemies. Michael Klare, a professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College, believes the next “great” war will be fought over resources.
Klare offers a dim view of the future in which an absence of resources and the onset of “extreme climate change” converge to “produce a tidal wave of unrest, rebellion, competition, and conflict.” He contends the resource wars will begin in Africa, and Central Asia but “in time all regions of the planet will be affected.”
Asia Could Be Ground Zero In Resource Wars
In fact, he points to current disputes over resources that hold the potential to inflame regional conflicts, most notably in Asia.
“Recently, a set of resource conflicts have been rising toward the boiling point between China and its neighbors in Southeast Asia when it comes to control of offshore oil and gas reserves in the South China Sea. Although the resulting naval clashes have yet to result in a loss of life, a strong possibility of military escalation exists. A similar situation has also arisen in the East China Sea, where China and Japan are jousting for control over similarly valuable undersea reserves.”
Klare has expounded more deeply on these issues in his book, The Race for What’s Left: The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources.
Is Pyongyang Playing A Game Of Resource-Politik?
Daniel McGroarty, principal of Carmot Strategic Group, echoes this line of thinking in a recent article in which he wonders whether North Korea’s latest rhetorical flurry may be a case of “resource-politik.”
“Is North Korea’s current missile-flexing a prelude to another “food for peace” package, ushering in a quiet period during which Pyongyang pursues its same disruptive policies under clandestine cover? Papa Kim worked this gambit twice, trading a threatened withdrawal from the Non-Proliferation Treaty for food aid, oil and even a nuclear reactor in the Clinton era, and a stand-down at the Yongbang nuclear reactor to garner food aid and erasure from the U.S. terrorist state list from George W. Bush,” he writes.