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CriticasIn this profusely documented essay, Klare, an expert in international security and professor at Hampshire College, explains how the struggle for nonrenewable resources has reshaped the nature of international conflicts ever since the Cold War. In a way a response to Samuel Huntington's famous "clash of civilizations" and other global theories by such writers as Robert Kaplan and Thomas Friedman, Klare claims that culture and religion will not be key issues but mere excuses for future wars. He describes a disturbing scenario: As a result of overpopulation and industrialization, the earth's resources will sooner or later become scarce and give way to war. For Klare, this Malthusian premise explains present and past conflicts in the Middle East, and the Persian Gulf wars. He mentions other similarly sensitive regions that he believes could easily become the sites of new clashes over oil (countries surrounding the Caspian and South China seas) and water (the Nile, Indo, Jordan, Tigris, and Euphrates rivers) and other resources like wood and minerals. Interestingly for the American reader, the author's matter-of-fact statements about the necessity of controlling natural resources and their infra- structure provide a comprehensive explanation of U.S. Middle East policy over the past 50 years that is very different from the usual explanations of those interventions by politicians and the media. A readable and enlightening book. Recommended for bookstores and academic libraries.
—Carlos Rodriguez, New York City Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.