Monday, December 7, 2009

The Big Play

Now, this is an add-on to my last post.  In a sense, I will be speaking out of both sides of my mouth here, so deal with it it.  It is called the dialectic and unless you are an unwashed fool, it is how anyone with a modicum of intelligence deals with the world.

The world runs on energy.

Despite all the claims to the contrary, the US is a net energy importer and our native supplies do not meet the demands by a large margin. Drilling the currently known reserves and ramping additional production out of our current wells will no get us to the promised land either.  If we wish to maintain our standard of living and our stuff, we have to get oil from other countries. 

Afghanistan sits astride the routes where the bulk of the known and exploitable energy stocks of the world has to travel to get to us.  If, and folks, this is a huge if, we can control Afghanistan, we might be able to eke enough energy resources out of that region to allow us to downshift and keep the party here in the US going for a while longer.  Maybe, just maybe, if we can keep the external energy supply coming in long enough, we can set up a barely adequate energy infrastructure here in the US that things won't go completely to hell.

Now, let's not for a minute think that this will be a moral act.  When you boil it down, it involves us taking things from other folks who own them.  The other nasty aspect is that fossils fuels are a zero-sum game, there is only so much of the shit and we are proposing to keep using it up as fast as we can.  This simple act means that there will be less for future generations to use along with less for other folks to use.

But, and I don't like this a bit, that appears to be the nasty truth of the matter.  I wrote on Saturday "what are our strategic goals for the area?"  Right now it appears to boil down to two:
  • Kicking the Taliban and Al-Qaeda's ass.
  • Providing safety to the Afghanistan People.
I would posit that these two goals are nothing but window dressing.  The discussion today presents a brief overview of the real reason behind the troops and the cost and the blood and the pain.

If you look at the situation through the official lens of the stated goals, it is not an acceptable action.  If you look at it through the lens of the real goal, it may be distasteful, but acceptable.

It might be worth it, though I am not sure, I am undecided.


tweell said...

Hmm. You think that a former President that was an oilman thought of this? Mmmaybe...

Publius said...

I am decided. It is not worth it.
Would I dispossess a neighbor and take his supplies, condemning his family to starve, to save my own family?
There are limits to moral behavior beyond which it would not be wise to trespass, even if survival is at stake.

In this case, what is at stake is supporting a corrupt system. Let it collapse, so that the rebirth can happen.

The longer it is sustained, the worse the fallout will be.

Mayberry said...

That's what it's all about. Instead of reducing our consumption to levels we could sustain with our own reserves, we'll just invade another country and take theirs...

HermitJim said...

It's unfortunate, but our leaders have become so used to just taking what they want...including our own citizens, that change is not in the forecast!

Very sad!

shiloh1862 said...

You forgot all those poppies too. Very profitable for the black bag boys.

I am decided also. It is morally reprehensible.


Budro said...

When our oil runs out and we take over Afghanistan we will hail Dick Cheney as a genius.