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Subject: "A conservative article from 2001 on central asian oil." This topic is locked.
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4. "A conservative article from 2001 on central asian oil."
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MOSCOW: As the Roman Empire spread two millenniums ago, maps had to be redrawn to reflect new realities. In similar fashion, the expansion of the British Empire kept cartographers at their drawing boards, reshaping territories from Southern Africa to India to Hong Kong.

Now, as the United States wages its 'war on terrorism' in Afghanistan - and deploys troops for the first time in the energy-rich regions of Central Asia and the Caucasus - the borders of a new American empire appear to be forming.

Firmly in the Russian and later Soviet sphere of influence since Napoleon's day, these strategic regions, along with their Middle Eastern ramparts to the south, are now home to 60,000 American troops.

Some of these soldiers are building what appear to be long- term bases at remote Central Asian outposts, raising critical questions about America's future role.

One aim is the containment of Islamic extremism, a goal shared by Russia on its vulnerable southern flank. Looking to challenge OPEC leader Saudi Arabia in the oil markets, Russia is also worried about protecting its growing economic interests in Central Asia and the Caucasus, which are criss-crossed by oil and gas pipelines - and potentially lucrative new routes. But the new nearness of America is triggering heated debate in Moscow, where President Vladimir Putin, by permitting US deployments, is being widely blamed for "losing" Central Asia and succumbing to a new American imperialism.

Others say that Putin - recognizing that 70 per cent of Russia's state budget comes from oil and natural gas exports - has simply traded in cold-war baggage for a new, clear-eyed pragmatism amid Russia's harsh economic realities.

Already 3,000 Americans are based in Uzbekistan, and are believed to run both overt and covert operations in Afghanistan from there. Commanders are setting up new facilities in Kyrgyzstan for a combat air wing and humanitarian missions, with 3,000 more troops.

A deal has been struck with Tajikistan - where Russia has 10,000 of its own troops guarding the Afghan border. Americans have held secret military meetings with Armenia - a key Russian ally - and talks with Kazakhstan.

While the US may have grand imperial designs - some experts even go so far as to speak of US troops "guarding" Caspian energy resources in case Iraqi oil supplies are disrupted by any American attempt to change the regime in Baghdad - others emphasize common US-Russian economic interests.

While the presence of American forces and the overthrow of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan are causing fresh thinking about how to tap Caspian riches, the context of cold war rivalries - played up by regional leaders often eager to wiggle free of Russia's influence - still dominates discourse.

During a recent tour of the region, state Duma speaker Gennady Seleznyov, warned that "Russia will not endorse the emergence of permanent US military bases in Central Asia." Such considerations haven't escaped notice in Washington, where US Secretary of State Colin Powell last December said that Kazakhstan's oil was becoming of "critical importance."

And "Caspian reserves could be critical to future global energy supply," notes an analysis earlier this month by the respected, London-based Jane's Foreign Report. "This is in line with the doctrine of 'full-spectrum dominance' that now seems to govern American foreign policy and is manifesting itself in the Caucasus and Central Asia," the report said.

Escaping the template of Cold War rivalry is proving difficult, even though US-Russian economic interests often coincide. "The Russian security establishment still contains a high proportion of dinosaurs," says Anatol Lieven, a regional analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington.

Many in the US see Russia through old prisms, despite Moscow's demonstrated commitment to helping the US wage war in Afghanistan and elsewhere. "You have people who are still saying Russian policy in the 'near abroad' (the former Soviet states) is a key threat to American interests," Lieven says.

That some in Washington want to keep US troops in Central Asia beyond the Afghanistan campaign "accentuates the fact that the 'war on terrorism' is horribly complicated, and risks being lost by being overloaded with other agendas," Lieven adds. "One problem is that some in the Pentagon are gung-ho for world domination. And then you have (others) who say: 'Hang on a second, we are not prepared for that.' "

Moscow's former domains stretch from Uzbekistan to Ukraine, and have often bristled under Russia's strong-arm tactics to re- exert control. The US arrival may be forcing changes. "The fact that Russia has acquiesced to US troops in Central Asia and indeed Georgia, shows that Russia itself is prepared to play a much more open and even-handed role in the region," says Julian Lee, a senior analyst at the Center for Global Energy Studies in London. "But we're seeing Russian interest in business channels, rather than political and military ones. It's the sensible way forward."

Some observers say that Putin's KGB background makes him as wary as anyone of American moves - but also realistic about the imperative of a pro-West future.

Pipelines can be another point of cooperation. The US has long pushed for an oil line from Azerbaijan to Turkey, which deliberately bypasses Russia and Iran. But Russia has a key stake in the year-old, Chevron-led CPC pipeline, which carries Kazakh oil to a Russian Black Sea port.

And though laughed at when first proposed during Taliban rule, plans to build two pipelines, oil and gas, across Afghanistan are now being dusted off. Cutting Russia into any such deal to provide gas to South Asia could make sense, analysts say.

That could help satisfy Russia's bottom line - maximum market share. Russian gas reserves are the largest in the world, but a European Union decision this weekend will break Russia's decades- long monopoly there.

"Putin's a realist, and economics are everything," says Szymczak, of "Oil and Gas Eurasia." The result is a tricky balancing act for Putin, as American influence spreads to Russia's borders. "The reality is that a lot of the money to run this country comes from gas sales," Szymczak says. "Putin needs markets to the east - or the whole thing unravels, and he's got a bigger problem than just a few people thinking: 'Oh goodness, we've got Americans in Uzbekistan!"-Dawn/The Christian Science Monitor News Service.


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The race for oil & the dynamics of global energy policy [View all] , FireBrand, Wed Mar-02-05 07:05 AM
Subject Author Message Date ID
Provided by Marcus3x: Senator Cliton on Syria.
Mar 02nd 2005
Here is some in depth info from a reliable source.
Mar 02nd 2005
'98 Central Asia, Afghanistan and Russian Hegemony.
Mar 02nd 2005
A socialist perspective from '97 on Central Asia.
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Facts on Central Asian fuels, and American/Taliban link.
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Background on the invasion on Iraq.
Mar 02nd 2005
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Ya'll lemme know when you are ready to start talking.
Mar 02nd 2005
what does the North Korea situation have to do with oil?
Mar 02nd 2005
      I've read the Grand Failure by Brezinski...
Mar 02nd 2005
           RE: I've read the Grand Failure by Brezinski...
Mar 02nd 2005
                word...I don't totally agree...
Mar 02nd 2005
                     RE: word...I don't totally agree...
Mar 03rd 2005
Mar 03rd 2005
                          yeah you gotta beat them in the marketplace
Mar 03rd 2005
                     the german mark doesn't exist anymore
Mar 05th 2005
                          It did at the time that all this was coming to a head.
Mar 05th 2005
                               now i'm lost
Mar 05th 2005
                                    how so? The entire process for this was over
Mar 05th 2005
Mar 05th 2005
                                              Word? well then I am mistaken.
Mar 05th 2005
                                                   de rien. and
Mar 05th 2005
                                                        I see.
Mar 05th 2005
Mar 05th 2005
Mar 05th 2005
Mar 05th 2005
                                                                       I knew when I saw that Twinning, that u were bongo.
Mar 05th 2005
Mar 05th 2005
                                                                                 When they were talking about trying accomdate
Mar 05th 2005
Mar 05th 2005
                                                                                      Nah, it just looks effed up is all I'm sayin.
Mar 05th 2005
                                                                  I'm not laffin at u, I'm laffin at the fact that I had no clue.
Mar 05th 2005
                                                                       and you know what ?
Mar 05th 2005
                                                                            Well, I aint got to explain to you basic budgeting...
Mar 05th 2005
                                                                                 the u.s. is done
Mar 16th 2005
                                                                                      I agree that it CAN be. Why do you feel that way?
Mar 17th 2005
Question RE: Alternative fuels....
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You said it. It's about money. Think of the conversion.
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The knuckledraggers aren't even considering it...
Mar 02nd 2005
RE: The knuckledraggers aren't even considering it...
Mar 03rd 2005
      But if it is proven that the dollar is what drives
Mar 06th 2005
great question!!
Mar 02nd 2005
      Great answer. I remember we talked about this
Mar 02nd 2005
      Really, really a great answer.......
Mar 02nd 2005
Bush's record on energy policy and more...
Mar 04th 2005
Its the Culture and monitary system.
Mar 04th 2005
so what does one do?
Mar 04th 2005
      RE: so what does one do?
Mar 05th 2005
           so you will eat a cookie?
Mar 05th 2005
                RE: so you will eat a cookie?
Mar 10th 2005
                     So you come online to say that
Mar 10th 2005
                          RE: So you come online to say that
Mar 11th 2005
                               RE: So you come online to say that
Mar 11th 2005
                                    No, I read your comment wrong- forgive me.
Mar 12th 2005
Italy and the Iraq shooting (courtesy of 3X)
Mar 06th 2005
Russian/Iraqi relationship ( courtesy of 3x)
Mar 06th 2005
Mar 08th 2005
Egypt is about to hold elections...
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hmmm.. Congo "held" election too
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RE: The race for oil & the dynamics of global energy policy
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What steps do you think we can take to win back
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(ALJAZEERA) US Report Acknowledges Peak Oil Threat
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Popular mechanics on 9-11 (originally posted by 3x)
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House of Saud (originally posted by EAS)
Mar 10th 2005
Is this what they said? Much of this is suspect.
Mar 10th 2005
New FTW Article.....
Mar 12th 2005
Mar 16th 2005
this post says it all
Mar 16th 2005

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