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A new Cold War with Russia
November 26, 2006 10:01 AM   Subscribe

W Joseph Stroup believes we are headed to a new Cold War. It may be triggered when Russia attacks the West's Achilles' heel (part II: Russia tips the balance) and a Russian oil grab 'puts western supplies at risk'.
posted by stbalbach (39 comments total)

 
I was actually thinking about this just a day or two ago. Russia's been getting more odd all the time, recently. I'm not sure what anyone can do about it, though.
posted by blacklite at 10:12 AM on November 26, 2006


Any hostile takeovers like that could be blocked with relative ease, either through anti-trust regulators at the DOJ's Antitrust Division or straight up legislation. I would not be suprised if oil mergers can be straight up blocked for national security reasons.

Let's remember that Russia is a weak power. They have spent the last eighty years going through a series of population shocks which have left them incredibly weakened. The economy is incredibly weakened by corruption and the very oil companies of which Mr. Stroup speaks are dependent on Western capital for improvements and investment.

His stuff on the Chinese is more on the mark. They do pose a long-term strategic issue for the United States. We will have to decide what the best way to deal with thier rise to global prominence will be.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:12 AM on November 26, 2006


Any hostile takeovers like that could be blocked with relative ease, either through anti-trust regulators at the DOJ's Antitrust Division or straight up legislation.

That's not how. This is how.
posted by Kwantsar at 10:23 AM on November 26, 2006


So, should I go ahead and get the second Hummer H2 for the wife or not?
posted by well_balanced at 10:28 AM on November 26, 2006


And here it is. The Exon-Florio provision of the Defense Production Act of 1988 provides that such mergers can be blocked. I can't find the codification, as the GPO Access website indicates that title 50 hasn't been positively codified, but here's a report. I understand the positive codification is at 50 U.S.C. Appendix 2170(a)
posted by Ironmouth at 10:32 AM on November 26, 2006


What Kwantsar said, but with a bit more detail, on preview.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:33 AM on November 26, 2006


Motion in the ocean
His air hose broke
Lots of trouble
Lots of bubble
He was in a jam
S'in a giant clam
posted by Ironmouth at 10:36 AM on November 26, 2006


crap, wrong thread. Back to crustaceaon sex art thread.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:37 AM on November 26, 2006


and China sits idly by, grabbing more and more of oil in Africa and dealing with ME countries? If there is a new counter-US world, it will be via China, which has miliary and resources and manpower etc to offset US and West...Russia will be a player but not a big one. Russia has great oil resources but consumes 50% of it whereas other countries export most of what they have.

Article assumes the US will always be reliant on oil as we now get it, yet there are growing indications of new source and newer methods coming available to take burden off ME imports
posted by Postroad at 10:39 AM on November 26, 2006


yet there are growing indications of new source and newer methods coming available to take burden off ME imports

The sooner the better, yet let's not forget that the key to dependency reduction is not increasing the methods to obtain, it is reducing the asbsolute quantity.
posted by elpapacito at 11:01 AM on November 26, 2006


Russia (along with France) was quite displeased with us moving in & displacing their business relationships with the former Iraq state. It's weird how this critical piece of the puzzle was entirely ignored by the mass media.

from the article:

"[Russia is] insidiously working to undermine its US-centric nature and slanting it toward serving first and foremost the energy-security needs and the geopolitical aspirations of the rising East."

oooh those bad men! How dare they put the slant on what we have already assiduously skewed.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 11:40 AM on November 26, 2006


Why would I think it a bad thing if the US lost its "top superpower position"?
posted by A189Nut at 12:08 PM on November 26, 2006


About time! Bond needs some decent villians to fight.
posted by Kudos at 12:29 PM on November 26, 2006


This article seems to delude itself on having a unique perspective. Quotes I find odd:
"Too many persons have become captive to thinking merely in terms of of black and white - the US destroys Russia and/or China, or conversely, they destroy the US."
"The reader should avoid confining his/her thinking only to the overly rigid conventional concept of the boxing match, that is, a direct head-to-head contest between two opponents who are nearly equally matched to each other in size and power..."
I guess I'll find more as I read on, but really, who does the writer hang out with?
posted by Anything at 12:32 PM on November 26, 2006


Why would I think it a bad thing if the US lost its "top superpower position"?

Well, there's no denying that the american standard of living is significantly derived from how well our Power Capitalists have screwed over the rest of the world over the past 100-odd years, tho the L-Curve of wealth distribution in the US does make this assertion somewhat untenable I guess.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 12:38 PM on November 26, 2006


Anything: It's a weakness of contrarianism to overstate the inflexibility of conventional wisdom. To the contrary, I have found that conventional wisdom is infinitely adjustable to new conditions. It just isn't very useful for making predictions -- for the same reason.

In any case, I think this overstates the desire of either China or Russia to exercise strategic reach anymore. Both countries have shown themselves quite canny at using soft power in recent years. Largely out of necessity, to be sure, but nevertheless developing a skill set.

China's economic dependence on the US (and vice versa) argues against any body checks. A trade embargo would be disastrous for both countries. It's more likely by far that any Chinese moves along these lines would be in the form of increasing interdependence, similar to the Dubai Ports World deal.

Russia, too, has a stronger interest in US dominance than at first blush. The US Navy's control of the seas and regional threat (regardless of Iraq &c.) is valuable to Russian interests. The Iraq switcheroo was a relic of an older era of power blocs. Russia today is far more likely to work below the radar of US military power and inside or beside multinationals.

Of course, anything can go tits up -- but I think my scenario is more realistic and more in line with reasonable-term planning options.
posted by dhartung at 1:23 PM on November 26, 2006


It's not just the US - Ottawa red-flags foreign (read: Chinese) takeovers.
posted by loquax at 1:26 PM on November 26, 2006


Those damn commie ruskies! Red Dawn, I say, Red Dawn!
posted by qvantamon at 1:29 PM on November 26, 2006


The Exon-Florio provision was specifically addressing the CNOOC/Unocal (now Chevron) deal. The Committee on Foreign Investment monitors acquisitions of US companies by non-US entities. How would this have any effect on, say, a merger or takeover of Shell (a Dutch company) or BP (a British company) by Middle Eastern, Russian, or Chinese entities?
posted by Houstonian at 1:47 PM on November 26, 2006


This guy is borderline illiterate. His web-site is the geopolitical equivalent of Time Cube.
posted by mr. strange at 1:48 PM on November 26, 2006


mr. strange is correct. crackpotfilter is in full effect.
posted by facetious at 1:55 PM on November 26, 2006


This guy is borderline illiterate. His web-site is the geopolitical equivalent of Time Cube.
posted by mr. strange at 1:48 PM PST


And we should believe YOUR position because?
posted by rough ashlar at 2:07 PM on November 26, 2006


But... but... he's got a self published book!

Russia going crazy while maintaining a stranglehold on Europe's oil supply: Very serious

W Joseph Stroup: not.
posted by Artw at 3:40 PM on November 26, 2006


Though in polish he's a amerykański analityk procesów geopolitycznych, which is quite cool.
posted by Artw at 4:13 PM on November 26, 2006


This guy is borderline illiterate. His web-site is the geopolitical equivalent of Time Cube.

Thank you. This guy's a complete jagoff; according to his editorial statement his mission is "to tell the whole economic and geopolitical truth, no matter how unpopular, no matter how painful," and then he drops such insight turds as "Steadily rising East-West tensions, the ever-more divergent interests between East and West," as if talking about a big monolithic "East" is even sensical.

Other clues that this guy is captain cukoo-bananas: the "my amateur web-design friend made this for me" website; the prominent copyright notice and "all rights reserved" statement; total lack of CV or other indicia of qualifications; the fact that he sells "Insightful Hi-Res Geopolitical Posters" alongside his profound commentary; his conviction that some subtle conspiracy underlies all other media but he is immune; and finally, his hifalutin "The-reader-should-kindly-remember" tone, as if he's the narrator in a freakin' Jane Austen novel. Totally rest of the web.
posted by rkent at 4:28 PM on November 26, 2006


First one with tanks in Belguim wins!
posted by blue_beetle at 4:44 PM on November 26, 2006


He was busted, for me, with this gem from the first article:


Other currencies continue to chip away at dollar dominance while the enormous reserves of the rising East are progressively but rapidly re-balanced out of the dollar.


Progressively but rapidly?

As Andy Rooney said to Borat: "What's your FIRST language?"
posted by rokusan at 5:27 PM on November 26, 2006


rkent, what about the commentators from other people who support or suggest similar things he is saying (see third and fith links, you'll need to read them). The idea of resource wars centered on Central Asia is well known and acceptable, see for example the excellent Resource Wars. It seems like your attacking the person and his web site design, and not the ideas he has presented. Obviously any forward looking statement should be taken with a grain of salt from anyone, but this is not exactly Time Cube material.
posted by stbalbach at 5:31 PM on November 26, 2006


Well, sure, it's plausible -- and hey, Asia Times published him. But then I don't believe half the stuff Spengler says, either. This guy seems to have no existence outside of his own site, which goes by the self-important but not widely cited "Global Events" magazine, Asia Times, and a handful of "invest in gold before the crash" websites and various lefty blogs which quote him. No Google Books or A9 hits. He doesn't seem to have any breadth, either -- it's all about this East-West Cold War stuff. You won't catch him commenting on the coup in Thailand or the elections in Congo unless he can tie it to his unified field doomsday theory.
posted by dhartung at 6:32 PM on November 26, 2006


If a man with an internet site says this is true, well, what more proof do we need?

But the potentially disastrous consequences of rising Chinese and Russian power cannot be overstated. What could possibly be worse than the US being hindered from liberating countries for their WMD programs and giving them peace and democracy as in Iraq?
posted by sien at 7:54 PM on November 26, 2006


What could possibly be worse than the US being hindered from liberating countries for their WMD programs and giving them peace and democracy as in Iraq?

Nothing except for Russia and China doing it instead.
posted by loquax at 7:58 PM on November 26, 2006


His book cover is interesting considering this one's.

A former government adviser has warned it is "only a matter of time" before BP or Shell faces a bid from a Russian state-owned group such as Gazprom which could threaten western oil supplies.

Er...since the 'majors' only control 5% of the world's oil, color me unimpressed. Or mauve. Whatever.

Andy Rooney talked to Borat? Sweet!
posted by A dead Quaker at 8:22 PM on November 26, 2006


But would China or the Russians carry on in a similar way?

How many aircraft carriers do the Russians have? Or the Chinese? What condition are they in? What capability do China or Russia have for launching an invasion of a country on the other side of the world?

China's defence budget is $65B. Russias is $50B. So, each spends about one tenth the amount that the US does.

It's fine if US politicians want to send the US bankrupt by spending on the military, but being asked to believe in the bogus threats that they cook up is a bit too much.
posted by sien at 9:09 PM on November 26, 2006


The funny thing about Stroupe is that he projects something that a lot of people who make policy believe: the US is top dog and there is an up-and-coming Enemy that, if left unchecked, will threaten our well-being if not our very existence. Thus we must Take Action or be Doomed. It reminds one of Marcus Cato showing up in the senate and declaring at every opportunity Carthago delenda est!

For Stroupe it is Russia, for others it is China, or would-be "Islamic Caliphate."
posted by moonbiter at 10:14 PM on November 26, 2006


Well, sure, it's plausible -- and hey, Asia Times published him.

i don't think he's a kook, i just think he may be a decade or two early in what he's predicting ... and the real power of the east isn't going to be in direct conflict, but in having a veto over what the u s wants to do in asia

this isn't a matter of policy, it's a matter of logistics

But then I don't believe half the stuff Spengler says, either.

"spengler" is interesting, though ... there aren't too many people around who see the fall of the prussian empire in ww1 as a bad thing ... (wish i could find the article he said that in)
posted by pyramid termite at 2:23 AM on November 27, 2006


If the US is Colossus....that makes Russia....Magneto then?

“To rock the US colossus forcefully out of its position of global dominance and credibly threaten to inflict economic and geopolitical "catastrophe" on the West,”

Hello Murmaaaansk! Are you ready to ROCK!?

“Carthago delenda est!’

Agreed. Quite similar.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:12 PM on November 27, 2006


But would China or the Russians carry on in a similar way?

I certainly can't answer that. Ask the Tibetans, the Afghans, Chechans, Hungarians, Czechs, Poles, Taiwanese, South Koreans or the Vietnamese.
posted by loquax at 4:35 PM on November 27, 2006


From the article:
Odell warned that at any time Russian and Chinese state-owned oil companies, backed by certain rich members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries who are closely aligned with the two, could make hostile takeover bids for key Western oil majors such as BP-Shell, ExxonMobil and/or Chevron, thereby gutting what little remains of the Western oil majors' control over the global markets and thereby further threatening US access to strategic resources.
IANAL, but I'd thought that the President can block foreign aquisition of U.S. corporations under the Exon-Florio provision. This smells like run-of-the-mill geopolitical gasbaggery to me.
posted by gsteff at 6:11 PM on November 27, 2006


Oops. That'll teach me to read the thread first. Carry on.
posted by gsteff at 6:14 PM on November 27, 2006


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