Today’s relationship between China and the United States, says Henry Kissinger, “is very similar to that of Germany, a rising country at the turn of the 20th century, and Britain, an established one.” Their conflict over resources “eventually led to war.” Listen to Lieutenant General William Caldwell, who heads the Army’s schools and training centers: “We are in a period of time in the world today where there is a shortage of resources.” Because of this, over the next 10 to 15 years, Army Chief of Staff General George W. Casey Jr. says we will face “an era of persisting conflict.”
I found this incredibly interesting because of a job interview I had five or six years ago. The interview was for a writing and testing position with a very small organization here in town. I quickly saw that I wasn’t a good fit for the position, so the interviewer and I just talked. He said much the same thing as General Casey, though his prediction was more dire. My interviewer said he expected open conflict with China in ten years or so.
While I don’t expect it as soon as four or five years from now, it is coming and anything we can do to ease our reliance on foreign oil will delay the conflict. At the same time, we must also be ready because nothing wil entirely avoid it. Petroleum isn’t the only limited resource that everyone needs. Should we find a way to replace it, another resource will be the cause of friction.