Once, the roads of Empire were the straight tracks of the Roman armies. Later, in turn, came the sea trade routes of the British, the railroads of the colonial European powers, the autobhans and freeways of the Twentieth Century's great military powers. Now, says the very bright and prolific Ken Anderson, if you want to know the routes to hegemony, follow the pipelines. What you will find isn't very pleasant or altogether surprising.
With Putin's overbearing direction, the Kremlin continues to assert control over Eurasia's energy supplies. The new and emerging markets of China, India and Southeast Asia will only grow more dependent on the supplies that we can see are now being planned as a cartel wherein Iran -- if it is not bombed "back to the stone age" -- and Moscow are destined to become the main players in the world's future energy markets. It is with this view in mind that continued US military posturing in the regions of both the Middle East and Europe can have no good or useful outcome. Both Tehran and Moscow know they've got a lock on the vast new energy markets throughout Eurasia and there is little the US can do about it other than threaten military action. Ultimately, this is why we have seen Moscow and Tehran in a firm embrace, with China indicating that it, too, will not find further US military aggression in the Middle East at all tolerable.Worth a read.
None of this is meant to indicate that the volatile admixture of Muscovite monopolistic authoritarianism and Iranian mullahocracy is going to have beneficent results for world markets. At this point, no ones knows what such a blend might bring. But while it is almost certainly unlikely under this sabre-rattling administration, the US needs to recognize that there are ways that such collusion might have been addressed, and could be addressed now, to the benefit of all. In fact, the current collaboration between Moscow and Tehran (and China) might have never arisen had it not been for the utterly misguided fantasies of those who imagined the US as the agent of a "benevolent global hegemony," especially when that "benevolence" is to be delivered by 500 lb bombs, white phosphorous and 20mm cannon rounds.