posted on Jul, 5 2005 @ 05:34 PM
I'm not too sure about Char2c35t's scenario- especially the worst case scenario at the bottom. Some of it seems a little random.
I agree fully with JamesinOz that oil prices are a likely flashpoint for the Pacific. Who attacks where? My feeling is that it's all eyes on
Indonesia, and Japan isn't really even in the running, except where playing defense. Japan is going to have to work with America (and thus with
Australia) to ensure its future oil flow by means other than conquest.
When oil goes through the roof, India and China each have two options. China can go into central Asia, step on Russia's toes a bit, and lock up a
fair chunk of natural gas in the "Stans" and the Caspian Sea. They wouldn't hit Iran, they'd look to make Russia look weak and force Iran to
export to China willingly.
India has roughly the same option but it is far less realistic because they have Pakistan in their way and aren't entirely in a position to mess with
Russia, especially while competing with China.
The Second option, which makes a lot of sense for both of these nations, is Indonesia. Indonesia is exporting significantly more to the US and Japan
than to China or India (they AREN'T exporting to India).
India could theoretically try the amphibious route, but only if they are confident that nobody is going to stop them. They can't risk the US cutting
their supply lines. Otherwise they have to go overland, which is tougher and takes longer, but also takes the fight off of Indian soil if they come to
blows with China. From there they can head down the Malay peninsula and make a couple of very small Island hops through Indonesia- assuming nobody
tries to stop them- I suspect that China and or Australia (with American support) might.
China is in the same boat- they can go the land route, the long ocean route, or the REALLY long ocean route. the long ocean route leaves their supply
lines unsecured against the US Navy. The REALLY long route makes stops in Taiwan and the Phillipines so that they can emplace aircraft to keep the US
Navy hedged out of Indonesia. The problem here is that the battle lines are gong to extend all the way down to the Northern coast of Australia and
really fighting to win would mean invading Australia- which carries a huge risk of this war getting out of hand.
Siberia may constitute a third option, but only if China honestly believes that Russia is a dying old man, unable to fight and afraid to use nukes. I
don't see it happening at this point- unless there's something about the state and maintenance of Russia's nukes that I don't know.
Japan fits into all of this because they have to defend Indonesia (with help from Australia and the USA. They probably will try to to fight on the
home front- unless China comes for them- because their position is relatively weak, strategically speaking. If they have to defend themselves against
China, don't put t past the Japanese to plan on simply nuking an inbound invasion force and double-dog-daring China to retaliate. The thing about
nuking inbound troops is that nobody can really say anything to you about it- they had it coming- and the enemy no longer has the means to take what
it wants from you- so they can either call off the war or let MAD take its course..
This war is still pretty bloody unthinkable, but that doesn't mean that China and or India wouldn't take a shot at it.
My guess, believe it or not, is that the West may actually back down and go get their oil somewhere else- Indonesia is no Saudi Arabia. I figure we'd
arm Australia to the teeth, especially with nukes, and tell the Chinese to enjoy their oil and don't screw with our friend.
Meanwhile, I suspect that Syria and Iran, and quite possibly a few nations on the Arabian Peninsula, including Saudi herself, had better stand by for
a little ruckus
We also have to remember though that as the technology to deal with deeper reserves and oil sand develops, Canada and Australia will each be able to
compete with Saudi Arabia, which reduces the need for America to go hostile in the middle east (which doesn't mean we'll refrain from doing it).