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Local. When the going gets tough, some parts of society will be earlier and/or more severe hit by the economic decline. This could lead to local unrest/conflicts. It's also obvious that food shortages equals local conflicts. Also water shortages could give huge local tensions, as one party (for example export focused agriculture) drains wells beyond critical points). Regional. Regional conflicts will have mainly one name: Water. This is already the case in California, Spain and many other parts in the world and we will see a lot more of that happening. If locals/regions that used to 'export' water to neighbourhood locals/regions stop doing that (by actual shortage for themselves or by future policies) this could give huge tensions. Rivers are natural pipelines of water, if upstream locals/regions use many water the downstream parties will receive less. A river as the Nile is such a potential, and the Nile Basin Initiative is therefore formed in 1999 to prevent such regional problems. And sometimes is oil or natural gas a conflict reason, as diagonal/vertical drilling techniques as a way of robbing oil from the neighbours, or neighbourhood oil/gas activities pollutes regional environments (getting the pollution bill of oil/gas, with out the income pleasures attached to oil/gas). Energy production also can lead to regional conflicts. German has installed a bunch of windmills, many are pragmatically response to the NIMB (Not In My Backyard) principle located on (as literally some 10 meters) the borders of Germany. Some border located villages in Holland has by this wing shadow circus the whole day, driving people real tired or psychological unstable. If these people will do stupid things to the wind mills this could give conflicts between Germany and Holland (certainly in times of high energy prices). This shove problems to the barriers policy on energy is not wise in terms of conflict birth ground. The same applies to nuclear installations. Military installations installed in a region (like HAARP/SDI now in Europe) can also be a birth ground for regional conflicts. HAARP for it's potential regional climate/ionosphere influence and SDI (as the new type of tech driven military bases) because of its military influence and spy capacity and tensions that it could bring to the region. Global. Water (as needed for life and food and prosperity) and energy (as being the number one thing needed for maintaining current economies/prosperity) is and will be the main sources of any global conflict as ideological conflicts doesn't exist anymore. Water as nations will secure total rivers from source to end and this will inspire them to become a continental instead of only one/some national power(s). By doing this they will hurt other nations and a new destructive worldwar can be scheduled by anyone. A war with less troops and much technology, hurting/scarifying civilians maximal. Energy as nations just invade other nations that has a strategic location in terms of energy transport (Afghanistan) or has actual energy surplus (Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Venezuela, and other (Mid American of African) small/weak states as carbon resources become more and more concentrated there. This could also be played 'smart by the side' by stimulating national regional conflicts to gain relations/control with/on the new oil field based independent nations that will be founded out of these conflicts. Example: Saudi Arabia's oil is located in regions where the population doesn't like the central government. Actual example: Kurdistan is an oil nation that achieves national independency out of the federal state of Iraq. In the south of Iraq is a similar different ethnic situation as there is in the north of Iraq, but there is no independent state drive more available yet, because that is -by it's easy accessibility- complete bombed (also chemical) out by Saddam Hussein as they as being Shi'a people felt more sympathy for Iran (being there Shi'a spiritual brothers) than for the former (and current) Bagdad based central regime/government or the US. But fuelling these two ethnic driven state births, the federal government of Iraq could be left with no oil at all as almost all the oil is located in the north of in the south. Any nation with one or more oil/gas rich regions face separation of these regions into independent states. By diplomacy (as in: paying some fee of the future income) or by (foreign supported) violence. The two possible very risky energy sources that could threatens global environment and stability(Ionic Energy and Fission Energy) also could be the reason for war. Starting with the most simple/actual: nuclear self determination. The Middle East located nations want nuclear (for replacing their own to big becoming energy use, that threatens further carbon export income). As fission is (unfortunately) the only available nuclear technology right now, they want fission based nuclear energy. Other nations doesn't like that (for military and/or economic reasons) and this causes enormous actual geopolitical stress. As you read this, the stress-meter is going more and more into the red zone. Maybe this fission attached geopolitical stress will speed up new/safe nuclear energy models, that would be the right thing to do, to fix this military attached nuclear fission problem (and it's a very nice 'view form above' that someone/everyone now official agrees on the relation between both). An other possible danger for geo conflicts is when nations start to confiscating/ceasing full/empty mega oil carriers (there is within some years a huge deficit on those as crude oil miles increases dramatically due the peaking of the production in non-OPEC nations) and full/empty LNG carriers (there is within some years a huge deficit of these vehicles). The deficit of oil/gas tankers will be the next price rise factor for carbon energy, the shipping companies will make money as water as transport shortages will lift transport prices till never seen prices, and new builds are extremely expensive by the high energy/steel prices. All big ships will have military deployed by the nations they serve. Ceasing ships the juridical way is always very common in times of economic collapse. All former USSR transport assets that where governmental asset related that in the '90ties appears in any state worldwide where seized by court orders of lenders, causing a lot of geopolitical stress that could lead to geopolitical conflicts and at least to difficult operating global transport environments. Also as prices of both ships/iron and products rise dramatically sea robbery will gain very much popularity. The global coastal seas are to big to defend by superpowers. HAARP (and beyond its ionosphere damaging characteristics, beside its possibilities to hinder foreign radio traffic ionic and to spy underground with it in combination with satellites sensors) and SDI (as new only tech type of bases of military/spy technology globally) also could lead to conflicts (as these locations could be bombed out by nations that doesn't like them, just like Israel does by each nuclear production facility in the Middle East till now). Gen Modification could also become a source of conflict. If this goes wrong (matter of time) this will damage ecosystems severely and the damaged nations will certainly start a conflict with the causing nation. And last but not least: as the USA will collapse economic, a super power disappears from the global stage. This could also lead to huge new conflicts (take the pressure away, several things starts growing instantly, and this will not be only beautiful things). The relatively lack of conflicts has boost the global economy severely, this will end. Georgia in the Caucasus is a perfect example of tension build-up. Huge geopolitical tensions due to energy policies. Georgia is a key link in the U.S.-backed "southern energy corridor'' that connects the Caspian Sea region (but also the Iraqi and Iranian reserves/production) with world markets, bypassing Russian and Arabian territories for transit and eliminating Gazprom her services for these countries. As usual Russia/Gazprom will win this 'battle' just by offering the right deals. The youngest war in Georgia is also not started by Russia but by the Georgian Authorities who wants to gain control on for independency focused regions with a different ethnic population. Russia don't initiate fights anymore. They let Gazprom with short negotiation lines offer good business deals to countries. This is way bilateral solutions in the energy field never will work: they're theoretical, not practical and just aren't able to do quick and good business. Russia has become capitalistic in their genes (just doing good mutual business deals based actual production) and the USA has become socialistic in their genes (living on credit, more consuming than producing and in addressing the Credit Crisis in privatizing profits and socializing debts).

Author: Gijs Graafland

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