By RICHARD JOHN STAPLETON, PhD, CTA
This essay is based on two well researched, documented, and reasoned articles—one authored by Effective Learning Report correspondent Courtenay Barnett, published in 2005 in the Global Research internet journal, entitled “Oil, Conflict and the Future of Global Energy Supplies,” that hit the nail right on the head with respect to what the US was/is up to with its forever wars started in 2003 by Bush II. Read this article at https://www.globalresearch.ca/oil-conflict-and-the-future-of-global-energy-supplies/1781.
The second article was written by Michael Hudson, recently published in the Counterpunch internet journal, entitled “America Escalates its ‘Democratic’ Oil War in the Near East.” Read this article at https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/01/06/america-escalates-its-democratic-oil-war-in-the-near-east/?fbclid=IwAR3SgZQOuEu1b4OObFxTQwqLRidNZPMy2NpEgwcLz53eYaJ7fkbG9Sm1Q1Y.
One supposedly Adult reason for starting the forever wars – to protect the US oil supply – may have been relevant to some extent in 2003; but, in light of new information about global warming, this reason was/is irrelevant, since peak oil arguments about scarce oil supplies have been rendered obsolete by global warming, since all the oil already discovered still in the ground cannot be pumped out and burned if human Earthians expect to survive global warming, assuming the opinions of hundreds of scientists and millions of others are correct regarding the seriousness of global warming. There is a consensus that humans don’t have much time (probably less than twenty years) to convert to green energy to stave off an ecological catastrophe.
US governments started and persisted with the forever wars for oil, and they should be stopped; but as both articles referenced here also point out, there were/are deeper realities involved in the whole Game. As Barnett pointed out in 2005 there is an even more ominous and relevant reason why the US fights its forever wars: to preserve the reserve status of the American dollar in global trade. Michael Hudson has written extensively about the importance of preserving the American dollar with US foreign policy in recent years.
If oil is not traded in US dollars globally, causing balance of payments dollar surpluses for countries that export more than they import to and from the US, especially exporters such as China, Japan, and Saudi Arabia, the US system used globally for financing and supplying its 800 military bases outside the US (that cause huge yearly balance of payments deficits for the US, since food, energy, and other local purchases for those American bases are counted as US imports) could collapse.
If those surplus trade dollars are not recycled back into the US treasury to buy treasury bonds the market for US treasury bonds will shrink, which will probably force the US treasury to significantly raise interest rates to sell more bonds to private investors to finance the US budget deficit (largely caused by the 800 military bases overseas), which would dramatically increase the interest payments on the entire US government debt, now some twenty-two trillion dollars. These higher interest rates would probably cause a massive stock, bond, and housing bubble burst, and an economic collapse.
The forever wars are more for controlling oil and gas pipelines and making sure other countries use the American dollar trading oil internationally than they are for spreading and protecting freedom, democracy, and the like globally. In reality the US has no serious Earthian military threats at this time, other than the remote chance of a lone nut pushing a nuclear button somewhere. Barnett shows where the pipelines are in Central Asia and how they cause US military activity in the region and both he and Hudson explain why the US government and its military do not want to get out of the region now.
While there was/is Adult logic buttressing US military policy in the Middle East to protect the US oil supply in 2003, one can now build a case that protecting the oil supply alone does not justify keeping US military forces in the region, since there is little chance the US cannot buy and import enough oil at world market prices to make up for any shortfalls in US domestic oil production required to power existing production and consumption systems in the US until new green systems can be produced and implemented.
Protecting the reserve status of the American dollar, on the other hand, is another matter. The amoral cold-blooded neocon and neolib decision makers in the US White House, Pentagon, CIA, and State Department can build their usual case that the US military should stay in Central Asia forever, so as to be able to quickly destroy governments who would replace the American dollar as the international trade reserve currency with their own currencies around Spaceship Earth.
A solution would be to shut down all the 800 US bases scattered around Spaceship Earth and bring all US military and civilian employees now living in them (in the equivalent of an outsourced US socialistic pseudo-state) back to the US, which would eliminate the need to protect the reserve status of the American dollar and just about eliminate the US domestic budget deficit, assuming the well-disciplined well-trained US socialistic military and civilian employees now housed and working outside the US were reemployed back home in the free enterprise dog-eat-dog capitalistic domestic US economy.
If you ever thought all US government employees (military and civilian) living in those 800 US bases scattered around Spaceship Earth were plain ole patriotic simple-minded good guys out to keep Americans in the US safe and free and to help unfortunate undeveloped impoverished people in countries outside the US forget it. They are primarily there to create good deals and make money for the US deep state, as our current USian Repuglican dear leader truthfully bloviates in tweets and public outbursts.
Richard John Stapleton is a Certified Transactional Analyst, Educator, and the Writer, Editor & Publisher of the Effective Learning Report, January 23, 2020, https://www.effectivelearning.net/rjs-academic-vita.html