Turkmenistan in chaos
Adding to the worsening crisis across the Middle East (Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia) and Central Asia (Afghanistan), and continued chaos from Anglo-American occupation, Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov has suddenly died, leaving a gaping and dangerous power vacuum in gas-rich Turkmenistan---and throwing a key part of the "Grand Chessboard" into doubt.
Turkmenistan, under Niyazov, has been one of the central strategic player in the continuous resource war over the Caspian Sea region and Central Asia that has unfolded in bloody fashion since the late 1990s.
Ahmed Rashid’s Taliban, Michel Chossudovsky’s America’s "War on Terrorism", and Michael C. Ruppert’s Crossing the Rubicon are three books that detail Turkmenistan’s war and oil connections. (So does Zbigniew Brzezinski’s Grand Chessboard, from the elite point of view.)
Turkmenistan is central in the continuing militarization of the Eurasian corridor, and the struggle over strategic Eurasian pipeline and transport routes, and involved in years of interconnected policies and operations related to 9/11 (see Afghanistan, the Taliban and the Bush Oil Team). It is for this reason that the vitally important Caspian Sea/Black Sea/Central Asian region as a whole is known as "Pipelinestan".
US policy in the region has remained consistent for the past decade. As written by Chossudovsky in America’s "War on Terrorism", "US foreign policy consists in undermining and eventually destabilizing its competitors in the oil business including Russia and China", and "excluding Russia from the westbound oil and gas pipeline routes out of the Caspian Sea basin, but also in securing Anglo-American control over strategic southbound and eastbound routes".
According to the coverage of Pepe Escobar and other analysts tracking energy warfare at Asia Times, Iran and Russia have become the more dominant regional pipeline players over the past few years, gaining serious advantage over the West and its consortiums. The increasing hostility on the part of the Bush administration (including its conquest of Iraq and violence aimed at Iran) is no surprise against a backdrop of failure.
It is a virtual certainty that covert operations, as well as "high level negotiations", will intensify in the wake of Niyazov’s death, setting the stage for yet another political battle in Turkmenistan between the West (led by the US and the Bush-Blair administrations), and Russia, China and regional competitors.
War in Somalia
At the same time, in key energy-rich theatres further south, across the Red Sea and Persian Gulf, Somalia is on the brink of war, bracing for an invasion by Ethiopia. This genuine crisis has received scant coverage in American media.
Somalia, and the greater horn of Africa region, has been a site of simmering geostrategic conflict and rapacious foreign interests for many years, and in earnest since the spring of 2006. The energy wealth of Sudan is a key driver of recent military-intelligence operations, which now include plans by Bush-Blair for the establishment of a no-fly zone over the area.
If and when Western interests finally do turn to this war, the "war on terrorism" will be evoked as the cause of the violence (the need to crush "Islamic radicals" and "Al Qaeda") and the likely pretext for military interventions. Similarly, a military intervention into Darfur will be conducted under the now familiar humanitarian pretext of stopping genocide and warlordism, masking the true and hidden objective: oil.
Energy wars hot and cold
With the crippling systemic impact of Peak Oil and Gas making itself felt in increasing intensity, the world’s competing superpowers, as well as smaller strategic players, will engage in more violent, frenzied and bizarre actions, all over the world.
As noted by Mike Ruppert in Crossing the Rubicon, "it comes to this: first, in order to prevent the extinction of the human race, the world’s population must be reduced by as many as four billion people. Second, especially since 9/11, this reality has been secretly accepted and is being acted upon by world leaders."