Monday, 15 September 2014

The Causes of Third Iraq War and the Global Struggle Against IS

War against ISIS is becoming more imminent eaders and diplomats from more than 30 countries pledged to use "whatever means necessary" to defeat the 'global threat' of Islamic State ( ISIS ) with France set to join Americal air strikes and Britain, no doubt, waiting til after the Scottish referendum on September 18.

The Paris talks are mostly concerned about containing ISIS and protecting the oil producing zones of Kurdistan and those towards the south of Iraq around Basra and near the borders of Kuwait and towards Saudi Arabia. The terror threat to the West is useful mostly as 'public diplomacy' in democracies.

ISIS does pose a potential threat to the region and across its so-called caliphate because most of the lands it stakes a claim to are in regions with copious supplies of rare earth and minerals as well as oil that the world economy requires. So in that real sense it is a 'global threat'.

Public diplomacy requires that the population is given an simplistic narrative in which there are evil terrorist ready to attack Britain or France because a war to secure resources is seen as lacking the necessary heroic uplift that a cosmic battle between good and evil has.

In the US, statesmen and advocates of geopolitical strategies are usually more refreshingly more candid about the importance of strategic control over resources than in Britain where politicians think it's rather bad form to mention the grubby reality of oil needs in front on the electorate, that is, the children.

A surge in oil prices could damage the economies of the west such Britain's with its fragile and ailing rentier economy easily affected by the higher cost of oil, not least as it is dependent upon East Asian manufactured goods being produced cheaply to keep up consumer led recovery through shopping.

The threat to Qatar in particular is a threat to Britain's supply of liquified natural gas upon which it depends for 12-15% of its gas imports with the decline of North Sea gas reserves. Qatar is a vital market for French and British weapons system and billions of dollars of investment to prop up their ailing rentier economies.

Britain is one of many global powers with a developed economy that has an interest in that along with OPEC nations and East Asian countries such as Japan and China, even though the 'international core coalition' to defeat ISIS is primarily a US western led alliance.

Maintaining western influence by making its military capacity useful to Saudi Arabia and the GCC states is considered vital to fend off the prospect of China making inroads and muscling in to the lucrative arms market dominated by US, French and British companies.

The other aim is to try to bring together the Gulf states again over differences as regards Libya where Qatar is backing militant Islamists and the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt which are backing ex-Gaddafi militias. The need to freeze Iran out of diplomacy is also thought necessary.

One reason is because the 'Friends of Syria' Group ( i.e the west and its allies ) want unity between Qatar and Saudi Arabia so as to be able to overthrow Assad and secure the Turkey-Qatar pipeline. That would thwart Iran's alternative plan for a Shi'ite pipeline through Iraq and Syria to the Mediterranean.

Resource wars and struggles for access to far flung supplies of oil and gas are set to be a recurrent feature of the 21st century. Jihadists, as in Syria, were used as part of a risky strategy to try to get rid of Assad just as they were in Libya, the better to try to gain control over oil.

The consequence was blowback. Wherever the US, France and Britain have considered military intervention the stakes have been fighting a 'global terror threat' which is portrayed as such because there is a need to justify intervening to secure oil supplies whether Boko Haram in Nigeria or jihadists in Yemen or Egypt.

ISIS has a base in Syria and Iraq but it is, like Al Qaida, becoming a franchise operation that is set to spread across the lands claimed as part of the caliphate because in such regions jihadi-Islamists are leading the disenfranchised poor in a war to seize oil or menace oil transit zones or vital pipeline routes.

Throughout all these lands climate change, drought, crop failure , overpopulation, the strain on water supplies and resource struggles are combining now in a lethal brew to spawn pyschopathological jihadi-movements that have nothing to lose in trying to deal crippling blows to the world economy.

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