Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Year 2005 could be crisis year for US: "The drive for resources is occurring within the context of a world in which alliances are being formed amongst major oil producing and consuming nations (outside the US) as a kind of post-Cold War global lineup against perceived American hegemony: Brazil, China, India, Iran, Russia and Venezuela. Russian President Putin’s riposte to the US strategy of increasing its military presence in some of the nations of the old Soviet Union (and thereby ensure that they cut all links with Moscow) has been to ally the Russian and Iranian oil industries, and open up the shortest, cheapest and most lucrative oil route of all, southwards out of the Caspian to Iran. Russia and China have recently announced large joint military exercises and the EU is negotiating to drop its ban on arms shipments to China (much to the publicly expressed chagrin of the Pentagon). Russia has also offered a stake in nationalized Yukos to China.

"This is pretty brazen behavior by all concerned, but is symptomatic of the growing perception of the US as a declining giant, albeit one with the capacity to strike out lethally when wounded. American military and economic dominance may still be the central fact of world affairs today, but the limits of this primacy (which dates back to the fall of the Berlin Wall) are becoming increasingly evident, just as dollar’s fall reflects this in economic terms. It all makes for a very challenging backdrop in 2005. This could therefore be the year when longstanding problems for the US finally do matter. Do not expect Washington to accept the dispersal of its economic and military power lightly."

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