Chicago Boyz

                 
 
 
 
What Are Chicago Boyz Readers Reading?
 

Recommended Photo Store
 
Buy Through Our Amazon Link or Banner to Support This Blog
 
 
 
  •   Enter your email to be notified of new posts:
  •   Problem? Question?
  •   Contact Authors:

  • CB Twitter Feed
  • Lex's Tweets
  • Jonathan's Tweets
  • Blog Posts (RSS 2.0)
  • Blog Posts (Atom 0.3)
  • Incoming Links
  • Recent Comments

    • Loading...
  • Authors

  • Notable Discussions

  • Recent Posts

  • Blogroll

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Energy, oil supply disruptions, and terrorism. The whole of it….

    Posted by onparkstreet on August 13th, 2011 (All posts by )

    AQ has enjoyed mixed success with maritime terror plots, with a notable exception being the October 2000 attack on USS Cole in Aden Harbor which killed seventeen US Navy Sailors. The desire of AQ’s senior leadership to disrupt global oil movement persists though, as revealed in the documents and media recovered from the assault on UBL’s compound. But does AQ have a more coherent maritime strategy? Some historical perspective is helpful in understanding the role of seapower in AQ’s planning and operations.

    Al Qaeda’s Seapower Strategy by Chris Rawley, Small Wars Journal

    Despite its oil wealth, Saudi Arabia faces severe, long-term domestic energy shortages that it plans to address through the development of nuclear power. President George W. Bush agreed in 2008 to help the Saudis do this, and in the past two years the kingdom has reached nuclear consulting agreements with several countries. Now news reports that Saudi Arabia is preparing to begin negotiations with the United States on a formal nuclear cooperation treaty have predictably touched off speculation about the Kingdom’s true intentions and about whether commercial nuclear energy could become a pathway to the development of nuclear weapons. It is widely believed among policymakers and strategic analysts in Washington and in many Middle Eastern capitals that if Iran acquires nuclear weapons, Saudi Arabia will feel compelled to do the same — a belief that was reinforced when King Abdullah, in a WikiLeaks cable, was reported to have told American officials this outcome would be inevitable.

    Saudi Arabia’s Nuclear Policy by Thomas W. Lippman, Saudi-US Relations Information Service

    The following C-SPAN simulation is fascinating:

    Former White House officials, senior retired military officers, and a former oil executive participated in a simulated disruption of the global oil supply. They portrayed members of the president’s cabinet, giving recommendations about how to deal with an attack on a major Saudi oil field.

    Global Oil Disruption Simulation, C-SPAN

    Update: “How Merkel Decided to End Nuclear Power,” Judy Dempsey (New York Times) via SWJ Twitter feed. “Another factor is the likelihood that Germany, which already gets more than one third of its natural gas from Russia, will grow more dependent.”

     

    4 Responses to “Energy, oil supply disruptions, and terrorism. The whole of it….”

    1. onparkstreet Says:

      Since I excerpted the most provocative aspects of the report, I feel compelled to add this cautionary note from the report as well:

      Money is not an issue — if destitute North Korea can develop nuclear weapons, Saudi Arabia surely has the resources to pursue such a program. With oil prices above $90 a barrel, Riyadh is flush with cash. But the acquisition or development of nuclear weapons would be provocative, destabilizing, controversial and extremely difficult for Saudi Arabia, and ultimately would be more likely to weaken the kingdom than strengthen it. The kingdom has committed itself to an industrialization and economic development program that depends on open access to global markets and materials; becoming a nuclear outlaw would be fatal to those plans.

      – Madhu

    2. Michael Kennedy Says:

      Tony Cordesman’s paper on an Israeli-Iranian nuclear exchange also discusses the effect on world oil supply.

    3. dearieme Says:

      It’s interesting that a nuclear-armed Israel hasn’t made the Saudis feel obliged to buy nukes.

    4. onparkstreet Says:

      Thanks MK! You’ve posted that paper before and I keep meaning to read it :)

      BTW, I tried to look for some Alan Drury books at the library after you mentioned how good they were, but the only copies available looked kind of sketchy. It’s a good library and the books in very good condition but this pair were not at all. Like someone dumped coffee on them. Will likely order a copy or two from Amazon.

      Dearieme: Now don’t go pointing out the obvious :) No one is remotely worried that Israel will use nuclear weapons irresponsibly.

      Yet, the Saudis feel obliged because they are in a Sunni-Shia competition throughout the Mideast with Iran. Why do I feel that we are handling this badly and being used by our old Saudi “partners?”

      I am not happy with our foreign policy mandarins at the moment….

      – Madhu

    Leave a Reply

    Comments Policy:  By commenting here you acknowledge that you have read the Chicago Boyz blog Comments Policy, which is posted under the comment entry box below, and agree to its terms.

    A real-time preview of your comment will appear under the comment entry box below.

    Comments Policy

    Chicago Boyz values reader contributions and invites you to comment as long as you accept a few stipulations:

    1) Chicago Boyz authors tend to share a broad outlook on issues but there is no party or company line. Each of us decides what to write and how to respond to comments on his own posts. Occasionally one or another of us will delete a comment as off-topic, excessively rude or otherwise unproductive. You may think that we deleted your comment unjustly, and you may be right, but it is usually best if you can accept it and move on.

    2) If you post a comment and it doesn't show up it was probably blocked by our spam filter. We batch-delete spam comments, typically in the morning. If you email us promptly at we may be able to retrieve and publish your comment.

    3) You may use common HTML tags (italic, bold, etc.). Please use the "href" tag to post long URLs. The spam filter tends to block comments that contain multiple URLs. If you want to post multiple URLs you should either spread them across multiple comments or email us so that we can make sure that your comment gets posted.

    4) This blog is private property. The First Amendment does not apply. We have no obligation to publish your comments, follow your instructions or indulge your arguments. If you are unwilling to operate within these loose constraints you should probably start your own blog and leave us alone.

    5) Comments made on the Chicago Boyz blog are solely the responsibility of the commenter. No comment on any post on Chicago Boyz is to be taken as a statement from or by any contributor to Chicago Boyz, the Chicago Boyz blog, its administrators or owners. Chicago Boyz and its contributors, administrators and owners, by permitting comments, do not thereby endorse any claim or opinion or statement made by any commenter, nor do they represent that any claim or statement made in any comment is true. Further, Chicago Boyz and its contributors, administrators and owners expressly reject and disclaim any association with any comment which suggests any threat of bodily harm to any person, including without limitation any elected official.

    6) Commenters may not post content that infringes intellectual property rights. Comments that violate this rule are subject to deletion or editing to remove the infringing content. Commenters who repeatedly violate this rule may be banned from further commenting on Chicago Boyz. See our DMCA policy for more information.