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There is no facet that influence geopolitics more than energy, energy is the dynamite on the table while everybody is smoking in the room. Energy explains almost any bilateral relation/agreement: USA Saudi Arabia, USA Afghanistan, USA Irak, USA Iran, USA Georgia (Rose Revolution), USA Venezuela, USA Mexico, USA Canada, USA Bolivia, USA Libya, Russia Georgia, Russia Algeria, Russia Eni/Italy, etc, etc, etc. All the easy carbon fields are like beautiful girls: everybody wants to enjoy them. Or by flirting, or by marriage or by rape. The world has seen in one decade its first pipeline driven war (Afghanistan and the Unicoal pipeline), its first oil and currency driven war (Iraq and their abandoning of the dollar for their oil sales) and its second pipeline war (Georgia). Georgia that tries to invading two of her autonomic provinces and get kicked out by Russia. This all is not about and in Georgia's interest, but about the struggle for the control of the major strategically geographical position of Georgia by both the US and Russia for both their pipeline plans. One huge benefit of the Georgian War is that it has reduced the chance for a new oil/gas/currency driven war (Iran) severely, as now both superpowers has drawn the line for each other. The Georgia incident has made the world a safer place. Russia will win the pipeline war without very much effort, because Russia has delegated the matter to her governmental controlled businessmen (as in: Gazprom). While Europe and the US just talks about pipelines, the Russians get the signatures under their contracts: just by being active and offering good national industry support plans and finance to the national governments involved in the pipe line countries. Mammoth tankers of the enemy will be attacked in wartimes, causing a lot of local environmental damage. Later on the tankers will just been seized. Unstable regimes will fall. In Saudi Arabia the Royal Family (and thereby the US influence) fall and the country will be divided in Shi'a state and a Sunni state. Iraq (never been a country: just a product of drawing boards of Western Nations) will be divided in a Kurdish state in the north, a Sunni state in the midst of the country and a Sunni state in the south (where people even speaks Persian) with close ties with Iran. The Kurds are the only real friends (government plus population) the USA have in the region. Therefore Georgia is of crucial importance for the USA. China and Russia will as close as many deals as they can with Central Asia and the Middle East. The Americas will be crucial for USA energy purchases, but the USA had some old pain to work though with almost al the South American nations (just like Russia has in Central Europe and Central Asia). The Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa will exporting power by power lines and maybe hydrogen by tankers to Europe, Russia and China. China will loose a lot of her export possibilities due the high energy prices, as they outstrips the labor cost of production. Geopolitics equals energy. Period. Nothing more, nothing less.

Author: Gijs Graafland

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