Thursday, February 2, 2006
Roger Stern argues in an open access article published January 31, 2006 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science that oil is abundant, but for the monopoly power of OPEC, and that fear of the "Oil Weapon" has led us to a counterproductive policy of appeasement of OPEC and Arab States -- heightening tensions in the region and funding terrorism:
oil market power, not oil per se, creates instability in the Persian Gulf. More simply, each firmstate's monopoly proceeds are a potential war prize to another. This intrinsic threat latent in monopoly price remains obscure to U.S. policymakers but is clear enough to Gulf states themselves. Their rents at risk of capture both allow and compel them to sustain some of the world's highest military spending per capita. Iran's nuclear weapons program and Iraq's assembly of the world's fourth-largest armed forces in 1990 exemplify this association of hypermilitarization and market power.