Tag Archives | resource wars

The future of Africa looks bleak, here is why

via chycho

Contrary to what some have been hoping for, the future of Africa looks to be bloodier than its past. The reasons for this are as vast and varied as the continent itself, such as resources (oil, water, land, minerals), economic interests of external powers (growth, trade, monetary policy), and ideological differences (structure of governments, corruption, tradition, ethnicity).

One of the main reasons that this scramble for Africa has intensified in the last few years and will most likely continue to escalate for the next few decades is because western nations are losing major battles on multiple other fronts. Just to name a few: the coalition of the willing has lost Iraq as well as Afghanistan; Syria is a stalemate; Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Algeria, Congo, and Mali are a disaster; Bahrain is in lockdown; Latin America is freeing itself from U.S.

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Recolonization of Africa, a Symptom of Our Addiction to Growth: Differential Accumulation, Why GDP Growth Rates Influence Foreign Policy

via chycho

The name of the game when it comes to investing in the markets is that you must not only be ahead of inflation but you must also beat the averages, exceeding the normal rate of return. If you don’t do both then you are neither protecting nor accumulating capital, i.e., in the limit you will lose your wealth. This principle also applies to nations.

Ignoring our need to rely on different economic measures (pdf) other than the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of a nation to indicate progress, wealth and well-being, if a countries GDP growth rate is below the global average, then over time that country will lose influence and be subject to an unstable economy. In essence, how a countries economy performs is relative to how other countries perform – there is a “growth imperative in capitalist economies” (pdf).

But why do capitalist economies need to grow?

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Western Powers Go Full Retard on Africa, Part 1: China vs. AFRICOM, a Resource War

via chycho

In Africa, China has been securing access to resources through lucrative trade agreements while Western powers have decided to take the military option to secure their share of the pie.

“Across Africa, the red flag of China is flying. Lucrative deals are being struck to buy its commodities – oil, platinum, gold and minerals… From Nigeria in the north, to Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Angola in the west, across Chad and Sudan in the east, and south through Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, China has seized a vice-like grip on a continent which officials have decided is crucial to the superpower’s long-term survival.”

China in Africa: New Imperialism?

Chinese world trade has increase over 20-fold in under 20 years and even though Africa represents a minor portion of that growth at present, it is vital for China’s long term security and prosperity. Africa not only contains a vast quantity of the world’s natural resources (more info), it is also the second largest continent with some of the most fertile farmlands (pdf) in the world.

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North Korea Rising: Rare Earth Mineral Reserves Rival China

Picture: Democratic People's Republic of Korea

Via Russia Times:

The impoverished, isolationist nation of North Korea may be on the way to becoming even more of a geo-political hotspot than it already is with the discovery of enormous deposits of rare earth minerals. As demands rise and nations scramble to take their piece of the rare earth pie, Pyongyang might find itself in a position of unheralded economic strength. Or the next war-torn battlefield…

North Korea’s is set to have the world’s second-largest magnesite reserves, and its tungsten deposits are almost the world’s sixth-largest. The country also holds sizeable deposits of coal, iron ore, gold, zinc, copper, limestone, molybdenum, and graphite.

About 40% of the 138 Chinese companies registered as doing business in North Korea in 2010, are engaged in extracting minerals, according to the U.S. Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University.

Rich rare earths deposits are considered the most lucrative piece of the North Korean resource pie.

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As Greenland Ice Melts, A New Front Opens in the Resource Wars

Raw Story

As the world’s supply of precious rare earth minerals continue to dwindle, industrial nations scramble to find – and in some cases, monopolize – new potential sources. Raw Story reports that Greenland’s melting arctic ice could expose new deposits of the precious minerals. However, getting to them could be difficult.

The scramble for the Arctic is part of a bigger pattern, a looming resource crunch that connects commuters delayed by stolen power lines to vanishing manhole covers across Europe – a crunch fuelled by severe pressure on key commodities across the world. Rapid economic growth in large developing nations – China, India, Brazil and others – along with growing urbanisation and a swelling global population set to top 9 billion have made unprecedented demands on natural resources. In the past few years, we have seen a series of food crises, soaring fossil fuel prices and hikes in the cost of key traditional raw materials such as iron, steel and copper, as well as the rare earths.

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