Thursday, May 12, 2005

Asymmetric MADness

Daniel Pipes is claiming that the Saudis prevent us from using force on them by wiring their oil infrastructure with explosives. He gets his information from a book by investigative reporter Gerald Posner. Pipes is concerned that Wahabi fanatics might take over Saudi Arabia and push the plunger just for the fun of it, basically destroying the world economy. I think it's more than likely this will happen, and I think we have been very irresponsible about the whole thing.

Presumably this started with Kissinger pushing the Saudis just a little too hard. So we should have known about this and planned for it since 1975. Who is red-teaming our national defense? We do have a strategic oil reserve, but it is basically a military supply only. We need to reduce our dependence of foreign oil and reduce our dependence on oil period. The only way to do it is to manipulate the price. We should have been taxing it heavily for many years, but we lack the will and we are slow to recognize that we are in a war for the future of civilization.

If you include global warming, we have two ropes around our collective neck. We need to start building nuclear power plants as quickly as possible. We need to mandate stricter CAFE standards, and we need a carbon tax, or at least an oil tax. Don't let the lights go out on Broadway.

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Related to this tactic of the Saudis, I have often wondered whether Taiwan has the same sort of semi-MAD policy. When the Chinese invade, I expect to see every valuable economic resource, computer plants, chip factories, etc., go up in smoke, and critical personnel will leave the country. The PRC will lose a lot of business. Will knowledge of that be enough to stop them?

5/12/2005 11:26 PM

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