Summary: We have not begun a new era of low oil prices, fruits of new tech and a beneficent Fate. Low oil prices are the wreckage of an ongoing war — a financial war waged by the Saudi Princes for control of the world oil markets. We can predict who will win but only guess at the effects.
Nukes made conventional interstate war among great powers as obsolete as jousting. But war is protean, always assuming new forms. Fourth generation warfare is one form, as non-state actors use asymmetric tactics to defeat larger and better financed state forces. We might be in the midst of the first financial world war, waged by the Saudi Princes for control of the world oil market. The outcome seems likely to reshape the world, inflicting massive damage on nations relying on oil income — with Brazil, Venezuela, Russia, Iraq, and Iran among the notable casualties. A major victory by the Saudis — making them leader of a stronger OPEC — might reshape the Middle East and the world more than our 14-years of wars since 9/11.
To understand this new age of war I recommend reading Unrestricted Warfare, published in 1999 by Qiao Liang (乔良) and Wang Xiangsui (王湘穗), Colonels in the air force of the People’s Liberation Army. They describe the 1997 attack on the currencies of Southeast Asia by George Soros and other hedge funds as the first financial war. Here’s a key excerpt…
“When people begin to lean toward and rejoice in the reduced use of military force to resolve conflicts, war will be reborn in another form and in another arena, becoming an instrument of enormous power.
“… Thus, financial war is a form of non-military warfare which is just as terribly destructive as a bloody war, but in which no blood is actually shed. Financial warfare has now officially come to war’s center stage — a stage that for thousands of years has been occupied only by soldiers and weapons, with blood and death everywhere. We believe that before long, “financial warfare” will undoubtedly be an entry in the various types of dictionaries of official military jargon.
“… Today, when nuclear weapons have already become frightening mantlepiece decorations that are losing their real operational value with each passing day, financial war has become a “hyperstrategic” weapon that is attracting the attention of the world. This is because financial war is easily manipulated and allows for concealed actions, and is also highly destructive.”
See my analysis of the oil war and its implications at Wolf Street.
For More Information
Also see these about our new age of war, as seen from a non-US perspective…
- China introduces us to the future of warfare (asymmetric).
- The American Empire, as seen by a Major General of the PLA.
- A Chinese general judges America’s leadership of the world economy.
- A Chinese general sees a ruthless America striving to contain his nation’s growth.