A fresh study jointly released by the Energy Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Russian Energy Agency – a global energy forecast spanning till 2035 – says: “Tensions in North Africa and the Middle East are rising and the regions’ discords (between the Sunni and the Shia Muslims, various tribes, and political factions) will persist into the foreseeable future. Over the forecast period, the oil output and consumption in the regions will drop by 10% and 5% respectively. Oil production in Iran will come to a grinding halt and oil consumption will plummet in 2013-2019 (the term is calculated based on the outcomes of the previous wars). In Iraq, production will shed 50% and consumption will stagnate.
I think the assessment is correct here, except for the timing.
Netanyahu will not wait until next year for an attack against Iran, if he doesn’t see all the concessions he wants from Iran in the next round of talks, to be held this May. Many of these are absolute non-starters for the Iranian government,and almost appear to have been engineered to cause the talks to fail.
And no matter how lousy the timing will be for President Obama’s re-election campaign this year, Netanyahu is most likely going to strike against Iran this year, pulling the US in after an initial strike.
And if this scenario is correct, what should be of grave concern to this administration is as follows.
1. With the debacles which have been the invasions and occupations of Iran and Afghanistan, the American people will have absolutely no appetite for a war against Iran. Even though the Federal government may well impose some form of martial law to squelch public opposition against such a war, it cannot change the way people think about it. Americans understand, particularly those who have lost family members and friends in these military misadventures, that these wars were sold to the American people on a pack of lies. In Iraq, it was really about the oil; in Afghanistan, it is about the pipeline routes, and publicly funded military action, ultimately for private profit.
2. If such an attack is not a blitzkrieg, executed with lethal precision, and is prolonged, there is a real possibility that the US military cannot see a prolonged war through to a successful conclusion, and for the following reasons: the US government doesn’t have the troop strength, the money, or the resident manufacturing to make such a success possible.
3. Leaders of nuclear-armed countries such as Russia, Pakistan, and China have all publicly stated that should Iran be attacked, they will come to its aid militarily. This means that we are looking at a potential global, thermonuclear war over an alleged Iranian nuclear weapons program which cannot, to date, be proven to exist.
So, to those in the bowels of power in Tel Aviv and DC, PLEASE: be careful what you wish for. Such a scenario is fraught with horrific unintended consequences from which human civilization itself may well never recover.