Andrew’s Note: The following is from the Energy Section (Part II, Trends Influencing World Security) of the Joint Operating Environment (JOE) 2010. I’ve mentioned the JOE in passing before as it’s a keystone document that the Department of Defense uses to project the world in which it will operate up to 25 years into the future. It’s a sobering read for the prepper and likely to turn the non-prepper into one… read on about Oil and the Arc of Chaos:
Remember as you read the JOE that this is the official Department of Defense projection of the world we will live in over the next 2+ decades.
OPEC nations will remain a focal point of great-power interest. These nations may have a vested interest in inhibiting production increases, both to conserve finite supplies and to keep prices high. Should one of the consumer nations choose to intervene forcefully, the “arc of instability” running from North Africa through to Southeast Asia easily could become an “arc of chaos,” involving the military forces of several nations. OPEC nations will find it difficult to invest much of the cash inflows that oil exports bring. While they will invest substantial portions of such assets globally through sovereign wealth funds – investments that come with their own political and strategic difficulties – past track records, coupled with their appraisal of their own military weaknesses, suggest the possibility of a military buildup. With the cost of precision weapons expected to decrease and their availability increasing, Joint Force commanders could find themselves operating in environments where even small, energy-rich opponents have military forces with advanced technological capabilities. These could include advanced cyber, robotic, and even anti-space systems. Finally, presuming the forces propelling radical extremism at present do not dissipate, a portion of OPEC’s windfall might well find its way into terrorist coffers, or into the hands of movements with deeply anti-modern, anti-Western goals – movements which have at their disposal increasing numbers of unemployed young men eager to attack their perceived enemies.
Check back in with Prepography tomorrow as we see what the JOE has to say about Peak Oil. Subscribe for e-mail or RSS updates using the tools at the top left of this page to make sure you don’t miss any of the prepucation available from Prepography.
About the Study: The Joint Operating Environment is intended to inform joint concept development and experimentation throughout the Department of Defense. It provides a perspective on future trends, shocks, contexts, and implications for future joint force commanders and other leaders and professionals in the national security field. This document is speculative in nature and does not suppose to predict what will happen in the next twenty-five years. Rather, it is intended to serve as a starting point for discussions about the future security environment at the operational level of war.
Distribution Statement: Approved for Public Release