The next American war will likely be with Iran or Syria. Beyond that, most future American wars likely could be considered oil wars, although they may not be called oil wars. ." American wars will not end with Iraq and Afghanistan, and the involvement of the US in conflicts for the security of oil supplies may be just a matter of time.
The easing of the energy crisis because of the discovery and development of huge shale formation deposits of oil and natural gas in the U.S., has reduced the likelihood of the next American war breaking out in the immediate future. A possible war with Iran or Syria is the exception and some sort of clash between the US and Iran or Syria could soon occur.
Three American war possibilities - with Syria, with Iran, and with North Korea - will be examined. Some time will also be spent on a potential American conflict with the combined forces of Iran and Syria. Potential clashes wih Venezuela, Cuba, China, and Russia will also be briefly examined.
Although the Afghanistan War is not exactly over, an alert citizen senses that the next conflict involving the United States, or our close US ally, Israel, could begin some time in the near future.
Possibilities for a war involving the US and/or Israel include a a missile or air force attack on the nuclear facilities of Iran. A quick-hitting, land-based, commando attack on Iranian nuclear facilities is not out of the question, although this is a less likely scenario since Iran, vis-a-vis - Hezbollah - has showed it can fight and that it has good weapons to fight with .
Iran would defend itself against localized attacks but is unlikely to attempt massive counterattacks over such limited forays. A full-scale war that might bring other combatants into the clash would thus likely be prevented. I also project, at this time, that all military actions will be performed by the US US action would be more acceptable to the world community in general and Israeli involvement might bring other Muslim countries into the fray. Also, since the 2006 Hezbollah-Israel War in Lebanon which has shown that they are no longer invincible, Israel needs to be selective who they tangle with.
A possible full-scale war directly involving the US could occur with Iran. However, Iran is big and tough as the Hezbollah - Israel war showed. In regards to Syria, America is less likely to get directly involved in a future Syrian war with the war in Afghanistan far from finished although Syria would also be a soft touch, militarily. Additionally, a bloody revolution (Arab spring?) is going on in Syria and the political system there may soon drastically change (for good or bad!).
In discussing America's next and future wars, it must be noted that a grim new weapon of war has emerged. Namely, drones. Although, drones appeared a few years ago, recent and ruthless application of these weapons scares the Hell out of me! Unfortunately, the U.S. is way out front in promoting drone warfare. Are the drones really something to be proud of?
Americans finally began some anti-drone activity recently after an American teenager was targeted and killed in Yemen without any sort of trial as American law requires. Before that incident, our leaders appeared proud that our drone warriors could launch a drone from Missouri, wipe out undesirables in Pakistan, and make it home in time for a late dinner with the family.
Drone war technology is not exactly high tecnology.The terrorists and others who don't like us will, no doubt, soon be able to send drones towards us and then have dinner with their families. And then, we will have to retaliate. And on & on & on. And the US is unleashing this violent new weapon on the world?
End Drone Wars______________________________________________________________________________________________________
Venezuela. Venezuela has lots and lots of oil. Even if you discount Venezuela's difficult-to-recover tar sand deposits, there is lots of oil in that country. And the gargantuan tar sand deposits themselves may some day be a tempting target to a nation like the US which will eventually run out of conventional crude oil and which should be able to develop the technology to handle the tar sands, particularly with all the research and development work underway on the somewhat similar oil sand deposits in Canada.
In addition to oil, Venezuela also had a leftist president - Hugo Chavez until he recently died. Chavez had a big mouth. He had constantly smart-mouthed the US over the past few years.
But Chavez is dead now and the Energy Crisis is not as serious. The US, under President Obama is not going to attack Venezuela.
Cuba. There are reports that Cuba has found a huge offshore oil deposit (5 billion barrels or more of valuable light oil). I can just see the eyes of the American oil men glisten at the very thought of getting their hands on that size of light oil deposit close to the US There are reports that China might help Cuba develop the deposit. If the tale of the oil deposit is true, it should be interesting to watch the US, Cuba, and China maneuver around each other. But we can probably be confident that no serious clash between the involved countries will occur!
Things did not go well for the Bush Administration in Latin America. Although democracy has spread and free-market economies are now the rule, the democratic governments the people of various countries have elected are not what the Bush people would have wanted. Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Ecuador have all freely elected left-leaning or left of center governments. A slap in the face to former President Bush and his right-wing concept of democratization which involved new democracies becoming US allies!
All of these countries have weak militaries which would be easy meat for the US
The Latin American countries are not in any great danger of attack from the US at this time; Public opinion in this country would be too much against it. And President Obama is not the type president who carelessly starts new wars.
Syria has a weak military (about 200,000 poorly trained men) and could offer little resistance in either a war with the US or Israel. But, also important, Syria does not have excess oil unlike their brothers in Iraq and Iran. So, why should they be in any danger?
However, Syria has apparently a mutual defense pact with Iran. This could,conceivably, draw Syria into an unplanned war if Israel and/or the US decide to attack Iran's nuclear facilities.
Syria is certain to have closely observed how effective the unconventional Hezbollah fighters were in the Lebanese war with Israel. Syria probably needs to forget about a large conventional military and organize Hezbollah-style. But smaller dictator-controlled countries like Syria, for political reasons, love to have a conventional military of large size to impress their neighbors and it is unlikely they will drop their conventional military for a smaller, more flexible, force similar to that of Hezbollah. Syria's conventional forces will likely be quickly slaughtered in any showdown with Israel or the US
Most important, a very serious revolution has broken out in Syria and a change of government is very possible. Syria will not be looking to go to war with anyone.
The U.S. immediate concern with Iran is over the nuclear enrichment program that Iran is developing. The fear is that Iran might use the enriched uranium to develop nuclear weapons. They would still be no threat to the US with its 10 to 20 thousand nuclear weapons or Israel with its hundreds of nuclear weapons, but, the expressed concern is that Iran might turn a bomb over to terrorists.
If war breaks out, Iran won't be an easy US target though!
When Iran fought Iraq back in the eighties, the Iranian military was not in good shape. The Ayatollah Khomeini had taken over Iran and purged the military, slaughtering anyone he thought might be a threat to his regime. Practically the entire officer corps was wiped out. This included the Iran's well-trained air force pilots. (Iran's air force was one of the best in the world and had been trained and equipped by the US) So the air force practically ceased to exist.
Against Iraq, the Iranians resorted to letting religious leaders lead the military. The results were crude human wave attacks wherein tens of thousands (if not hundreds of thousands) of Iranian youths were slaughtered. Still, even with all their problems, the Iranians held their own against an Iraqi military that was large but also incompetent. The US and many oil-rich Arab countries poured billions of dollars and aid into Iraq to bolster them.
Iran is unlikely to fight so stupidly again!
Iran's conventional forces are no match for the US in a war, and, possibly, not Israel, but they are improving their conventional forces as time goes by. They have a significant rocket and missile force that they are enlarging and this would pose a threat to Israel in the highly unlikely event that Israel would, alone, attack Iran. The rocket and missile force could also pose a threat to US naval ships in the essentially land-locked Persian Gulf, and, more seriously, in the event of a future major war, could enable the Iranians to shut down oil shipments from the Persian Gulf. This could create a Persian Gulf oil disaster. The resulting world oil shortage would put a tremendous amount of pressure on the US
The relatively large Iranian economy (heavily based on oil exports) is also a problem for either the US or Israel. Although sanctions are definitely a problem, Iran probably has ample funds to continue improving their military and, several years from now, an attack on them will be even more dangerous than at present. The Iranians have not rushed pell-mell into buying foreign weapons although they have purchased a substantial amount. Instead, they have been more intent on building up a strong weapons production industry within Iran. This defense industry infrastructure was not present during their war with Iraq and they suffered because of that lack and they are trying to remedy that situation.
Geography is less favorable for an American invasion of Iran than it was for the Iraq invasion. The capital city, Tehran, is located far inland. Unlike the Iraqi campaign where Baghdad lay fairly close to the border, a US invasion force would not be in Tehran in two weeks and probably not for two or three months. Such a long campaign would entail many more casualties than the US suffered in the Iraqi campaign.
It should also be noted that Iran closely watched the next-door war in Iraq and has, no doubt, planned accordingly if their turn comes. They will not go down easily in a future war with the US!
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Of course, the elected president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has not helped matters with the US and Israel by publicly stating that Israel should be wiped off the face of the earth. He also repeatedly insults the US Is he asking for war or what?
Ahmadinejad is an educated leader (civil engineer) and, with Iran's massive natural resources and relatively large population, could easily lead Iran into the upper ranks of the developed nations of the earth. But he can't do that by adopting the concepts of the extreme Islamic movements. Hopefully, he is just placating these extremist groups while he gets the country up and running. And then again, maybe I am just giving him the benefit of the doubt which he may not deserve.
Although Hezbollah is an unofficial Iranian terrorist organization, it needs to be carefully noted that their terrorism appears to be directed solely towards Israel....and not towards the US. Hezbollah is a well-led organization with a multitude of well-armed fighters based largely in Lebanon. According to reports, Hezbollah was being supplied with weapons shipped through Syria. These supply routes were recently attacked by Israeli air strikes.
Although Israel is the closest US ally, I think the US should not directly get involved in conflict with Hezbollah. This could result in substantial casualties and, worse, could lead to further tension with Iran. Hezbollah has not shown any inclination to attack us. Let Israel handle the Hezbollah problem by themselves.
If Israel were also involved in a two front war involving Israel, the US, Syria, and Iran, Syria would not be much of a factor since Israel would likely quickly knock them out of the war. However, Israel would probably be asked by the US to stay out of such a war to avoid drawing in other Muslim nations.
Syria's cooperation with Iran in a future war against the US would not be a major factor because of Syria's weak military. The same basic strategy as discussed above regarding a US struggle with Iran would still apply.
A US-North Korea war is always possible, but because of North Korea's large conventional army and nuclear capability, the US is acting with great restraint with North Korea. If war does break out, the North Korean army would probably occupy South Korea quickly, forcing the small "trip-wire" force of Americans there to withdraw. A long campaign with huge American casualties, would be necessary to reoccupy South Korea. No wonder the US moves delicately with North Korea.
A US war with North Korea would not be an "oil war" as defined earlier.
It should be noted that relations between the US and North Korea have improved recently.
An American - China conflict over Taiwan is possible but very unlikely. China is very possessive about Taiwan but doesn't want a confrontation with the US and the US certainly does not want a war with China, a strong nuclear power. If China does decide to occupy Taiwan, it will probably be with the US's reluctant OK - US tough-talk to the contrary.
Taiwan, you are probably on your own! At some point, you may want to make a deal with China for a peaceful merger.
Fortunately, relations between mainland China and Taiwan appear to have improved recently so there appears little chance that a conflict between the two countries will occur anytime soon.
An American - Soviet war is equally unlikely because the two countries are not competing as much as they formerly did. In fact, in many ways, they are slowly becoming allies although Putin is making some noise as if he wants to restore the old Russian empire. However, accidents can happen between two countries and the tens of thousands of nuclear weapons possessed by the two countries scares hell out of me. I'm not ready to move to Mars yet.
No other major US conflict are foreseen at this time. But if and when Peak Oil hits in the future, look out! This country may flail out in all directions to obtain fuel to keep the SUVs and giant pickups rolling. And China and other oil-deficient countries are not going to sit still, either.
Other possible wars of the future that are being just now being hinted at include Cyber Wars which might be massive Pearl Harbor-cyber attacks on US computer systems.
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The Next American War could be against Iran or Syria and could be considered an oil war although the main issue at present is Iran's nuclear capability development. Other possible US wars could be against North Korea or, much less likely, against China or Russia. America appears likely to be periodically engaged in some sort of war for the foreseeable future. These wars include the ongoing drone wars and oil wars.
Last Updated: 05/22/13