Monday, November 21, 2016

Why is Syria such a "YUUUUUGE" deal!

During the campaign - President Elect Donald Trump made a number of statements about Syria. Most of these were highly confusing and he claimed he knew better than most of the US generals and national security leadership.

I don't know what President Elect Trump knows but I can share with you why Syria is important. (Hint Hint - it has nothing to do with the "culturally threatening" refugees as some other might make you want to believe).

All the complaints about coal have largely resulted in awareness of the effects of sulfur pollution from coal use. This is inducing people to shift from coal to natural gas. The effect is highly pronounced in crowded places like Europe and Asia. Given the rising demand for natural gas, a global struggle has broken out over its supply and Syria finds itself in the middle of that conflict.

Two groups of natural gas producers are vying for pipeline access across Syria. Known popularly as the Iran backed Shia-Gas and the Saudi/Qatari backed Sunni Gas [1] , these guys are the main players in the actual conflict. The Russians and the Turks want to see the transit through Syria blocked or at-least gated by people receptive to their points of view. This is because both Russia and Turkey have their own plans to supply natural gas to the European region.

An related/unrelated conflict is over the Eastern Mediterranean Levant Basin [2]. A variety of groups want to control the exploitation of gas reserves in that region. Specifically the Turks and Israelis see this as a window of opportunity for energy independence. The Russians want to be gatekeepers to this region and prevent it from becoming an unacceptable threat to their northern access routes to Europe. The Egyptians and other Mediterranean states see this region as a possible revenue generator.

A number of US, Chinese and Indian investors have gotten mixed up in this highly complex picture.

As every such transaction is filled with the potential for a very big return. People are getting aggressive and desperate.

That is why the violence levels are escalating.

That is why I think Syria is important.

I really don't know what President Elect Donald Trump wants to do there. I guess it depends on his actual exposure in any investments he has in the region.

Personally I feel there is nothing to do but help the refugees, but I think President Elect Trump promised his mid-western voters that he was not going to accept any refugees and that all those refugees were terrorists, so I think he is going to have to backpedal from that if the US policy is to make any sense in the region. I guess he could do that - but then it would upset Ann Coulter and I don't know if he can afford that politically.

I suppose he could just "bomb the sh*t out of them" as he told his supporters, but  firstly the Russians are kind of doing that already and all that seems to do is increasing the level of refugees - not reducing them.


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