Open Thread – April
Don’t Break the China
We need Beijing as an ally against anarchy.
By WILLIAM S. LIND • March 28, 2013
If this proposal seems radical, it in fact reflects the way Britain accommodated a rising United States. The possibility of war between America and Britain was taken seriously by both sides well up into the 20th century. But instead of clashing, as British power weakened after World War I and, more dramatically, after World War II, London incrementally passed the task of maintaining order to the United States. Britain eventually did this even in areas she had long regarded as vital to her interests, including the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf.
Just as a return to spheres of influence can replace conflict with alliance between the United States and China, so it can harmonize relations elsewhere, again with the goal of allying all states against the forces of the Fourth Generation. We should recognize Russia’s “near abroad” as her sphere of influence. We should work actively to bring Afghanistan into Pakistan’s sphere of influence. While contested spheres of influence can exacerbate conflicts, agreed spheres reduce them. By acting as an honest broker to facilitate such agreement—including between China and Japan—rather than joining either side, the U.S. can do more for her real interests, including her vital interest in maintaining the state system.
As the abominable snowman of foreign-policy idealism, made up of Wilsonians, globalists, and moon-gazers melts in the sun of serial failure, realism awakens from hibernation. The destruction of states in the name of “democracy” and “human rights” may not be an unmixed blessing. Results matter—not merely intentions.
Syria has produced heavy-grade oil from fields located in the northeast since the late 1960s. In the early 1980s, light-grade, low-sulphur oil was discovered near Deir ez-Zor in eastern Syria. Syria’s rate of oil production has decreased dramatically from a peak close to 600,000 barrels per day (95,000 m3/d) (bpd) in 1995 down to less than 140,000 bbl/d (22,000 m3/d) in 2012.
Syria exported roughly 200,000 bbl/d (32,000 m3/d) in 2005, and oil still accounts for a majority of the country’s export income. Syria also produces 22 million cubic meters of gas per day, with estimated reserves around 8.5 trillion cubic feet (240 km3). While the government has begun to work with international energy companies in the hopes of eventually becoming a gas exporter, all gas currently produced is consumed domestically.
Prior to the uprising, more than 90% of Syrian oil exports were to EU countries, with the remainder going to Turkey. Oil and gas revenues constituted around 20% of total GDP and 25% of total government revenue.
Oil Wells Set Ablaze in Eastern Syria: Govt Blames Rebels
Rebels Reportedly Fought Over How to Split Revenue
by Jason Ditz, March 31, 2013
More Calls for Intervention in Syria
MARCH 21, 2013
Syria – April 2013
Why the U.S. Has Stayed Out of Syria (So Far)
By DANIEL LARISON • March 30, 2013
THE ROVING EYE
Crisis? What crisis? Let’s hit Syria
By Pepe Escobar