History tends to repeat itself for those who lack the intellectual rigor to give attention to its recycled trends. Consider the seminal event that brought the United States into World War II, the Imperial Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Before that event, the world witnessed the expansion of Imperial Japan throughout the Pacific Rim. But there was one thing the Japanese knew stood in their way — the U.S. Pacific fleet based in Hawaii. The Japanese focused their military efforts on their maritime forces. And let’s not forget what the Japanese had become totally dependent upon — energy resources and steel. Now, history is repeating itself right before our eyes in the Pacific Rim, just with a different Asian country.
China is now building man-made islands in the South China Sea and the Pacific region is concerned about its expansionist designs. It’s placing military weaponry on these islands, which flank a major sea lane of commerce transit. We’re watching China build up its maritime forces to include its first aircraft carrier and develop a missile whose purpose is anti-carrier. All across the globe China is seeking raw materials and resources, and now they’ve become the number one importer of one specific resource.
As reported by Forbes.com:
Market observers reported in April that China has surpassed the United States as the world’s largest oil importer.
Keith Johnson wrote in Foreign Policy on May 11, 2015, “… China’s continued and, indeed, deepening reliance on volatile regions for the world for energy supplies, especially the Middle East, points to continued security vulnerabilities for Beijing for decades to come.”
China is increasing its reliance on crude imports from Saudi Arabia and natural gas imports from Russia, and any possible political unrest in the Middle East or Eastern Europe could cause supply interruptions. China is embracing crude oil and natural gas consumption at a rapid pace. Recognizing the need to accommodate domestic lifestyle changes, Chinese leadership is hedging its geopolitical risk by growing a strategic crude oil reserve and increasing its natural gas import ability. Communist party leaders have articulated a vision of reduced economic dependence on exported manufactured products in favor of domestic consumption. Building out its petrochemical refining infrastructure while accommodating consumer demand for gasoline and diesel vehicles presage significant and long-term growth in Chinese demand for imported oil and gas.
I’m a firm believer in the three pillars of security — economic, energy, and national. Energy security is the linchpin between economic growth and enhanced national security. Indeed, China has become what Japan was in the late 1930s: energy dependent. And on the 21st century battlefield, energy resources are critical to empowering states and placing them in a dominant role. Here we are at a time when we should be producing, consuming, and exporting our energy resources in order to build better alliances and undermine the despots, dictators, theocrats, and autocrats of OPEC and Russia who have banned our energy exports. The day must come when we leverage our oil and natural gas production as a means to defeat our enemies on the battlefield. Remember there are four elements to a nation’s power: diplomatic, informational, military, and economic. And surely we must realize our energy security and resources are a positive weapon for our economic growth. The Obama administration placed sanctions on Russia, and what did Putin do? He entered into an agreement with China, who needs energy resources. And you can just imagine who’ll be buying energy resources from Iran if we go and do more stupid s%#t and lift the sanctions on the Islamic republic theocracy.
This is simple geopolitical strategy — then again, that’s something lacking in this current Obama administration. Rather than long-term strategic vision, it prefers short-term politics. Instead, we’re crushing our domestic energy production when we should be assessing every means by which we can form agreements and export those resources, after we have stored up what we need to lower our own costs. We’re pursuing the false gods of climate change when the Chinese are doing more to affect “global warming.”
I believe in a diversified energy portfolio for American energy security. Here we see the Chinese investing in growing its petrochemical refining infrastructure. Here in America, we can’t even get consensus to build out the Keystone XL pipeline. And there’s a self-serving reason why Obama’s buddy Warren Buffet is against the pipeline — his ownership of rail transport.
I’ve not heard too many candidates for president address this issue. Perhaps they will start. The lessons of history are looming like a dark specter. China’s consuming raw materials and energy resources — along with launching massive cyber attacks. It’s time America had leadership that understands how to leverage all elements of its national power. It’s time we come to understand how energy is a powerful weapon on the global stage. It’s time we unleash our indomitable entrepreneurial spirit to build new refineries and expand our energy security — instead of the demonizing and restricting it. If we don’t, we’ll watch ourselves being outpaced, while a noose is placed around our necks by those who wish to destroy our country.
Let’s challenge those who want to be POTUS to articulate how they would develop that energy portfolio. We know very simply that our energy sector was a major contributor to our fragile economic recovery. We need to kick this thing into high gear.
Sadly, the current occupant of 1600 Pennsylvania is more of an intransigent ideologue than an American visionary leader.