The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Thursday, July 06, 2006

The Oil Wars

The idea that Bush took the country to war to get his hands on more Middle Eastern oil has gained a whole lot of credibility in the last couple of years, and it's no secret that China and Russia are going to great lengths (often through arms deals) to get in the good graces of oil-rich countries. The administration, however, seems committed to deploying the military on behalf of oil corporations.

The U.S. military is stepping up operations in the Gulf of Guinea to enhance security in this strategic and resource-rich region, the commander of U.S. European Command's naval surface combatant warships told the Pentagon Channel.

U.S. military engagement along southwestern Africa's Atlantic coast has increased exponentially, Navy Capt. Tom Rowden, commander of Task Force 65, said during a Pentagon interview last week. It's increased from almost no activity in 2004 to 130 "ship days" in 2005 to even more planned ship days this year, he said. (. . .)

The region faces several potentially destabilizing factors: narcotics trafficking from South America, smuggling of illegal aliens into Europe, about $1 billion a year in illegal fishing, and pollution that threatens the coast and the local food supply, among them.

Oh, wait, I spoke too soon. Apparently we're just trying to be good neighbors.

Maritime security is critical for the region to benefit from its natural resources and prosper economically, he said. Africa provides almost 15 percent of the United States' oil supply, much of which comes from the Gulf of Guinea. In addition, the region is rich in timber, iron ore, copper and other resources.

Or not.