Monday, July 24, 2006

A Symposium: After Hizbullah, What?

Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah

If I were paranoid, I’d say, “The fix is in.”

Look at the news stories today. First, from The Baltimore Sun:

International pressure mounted on the Bush administration yesterday to call for an immediate cease-fire in the hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice headed to the region in search of a long-term solution to the 12-day-old conflict.

With civilian casualties in Lebanon mounting, the United States’ Arab allies added their voices to the calls for a truce. Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal, met with President Bush in the Oval Office and delivered a letter from King Abdullah II asking him to intervene.

And then there’s this one, from CBS News:

Oil prices dropped Monday after the Saudi oil minister said OPEC wanted to avoid an economically disruptive increase in oil prices and as U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice traveled to the Mideast to try to find a diplomatic solution to the violence in Lebanon and Israel.

Occam’s razor on rare occasions supports the paranoid explanation for events, and this is one of them. In terms of American policy towards Saudi Arabia, the paranoid theory multiplies the fewest needless entities.

The Despot of the Desert, with a mere flick of a finger, can make Americans pay $10 for a gallon of gas. So, when he yanks the chain of the Bush Administration, Condi goes to Israel to yank Ehud Olmert’s chain, stopping off in Lebanon on the way to pick up the terms of the deal she is required to “craft” with Israel in order to “jump-start the peace process.” Or some similar wording from the State Department Middle East Style Book.

It’s an effective protection racket the Saudis have going. Hizbullah and Iran get too big for their britches: fine, let Israel kneecap them. But don’t whack ’em! No, they come in handy from time to time, so Israel must “show restraint.”

And so the message goes out: Nice little economy you’ve got there. Wouldn’t want anything to happen to it. And then the obedient diplomatic helicopters start landing in the capitals of the Middle East.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

All right, that’s the paranoid explanation. I hope it’s wrong.

And, for the sake of argument in this symposium I’m going to assume it’s wrong.

I’m a neophyte in matters of military strategy, weaponry, and intelligence, so I try to stay informed by reading the Belmont Club, Chester, the Counterterrorism Blog, and Kingdom of Chaos, among other blogs. Those guys know much more than I’ll ever learn; I recommend daily visits to them if you want to keep up to speed on the current crisis.

Assuming that Israel’s chain does not get yanked; here is a general outline of events as they are likely to unfold, drawn from the above sources:

  • Israel will continue to do battlefield prep by air in southern Lebanon, while operating across the border against dug-in Hizbullah assets.
  • The IAF will continue to target the supply lines from Syria to Hizbullah, and the IDF will eventually mount a major incursion to completely cut off the route through the Bekaa Valley to the border with Israel.
  • The major Hizbullah infrastructure in the Bekaa Valley will have to be destroyed in a ground assault. Depending on the military necessities, this may involve some air operations against targets in Syria.
  • Israel will plant forces north of the Litani river, either by airborne drop or via an amphibious landing (the latter a very intriguing suggestion put forth in several blogs).
  • With Hizbullah completely cut off by land, sea, and air, a massive ground operation, taking at least several weeks, will pound the terrorists, their weapons, and their installations into dust.

Just for the sake of argument, let’s assume that something like the above will in fact happen.

What happens next? What will the Middle East look like after Hizbullah?

Sheikh Hassan NasrallahWhat happens to Syria? What does Syria have besides Hizbullah? It’s got some of Saddam’s old WMDs, a lot of sand, and presumably some olive trees and date palms. But on a “Principal Products” map of the Middle East, Syria’s main product icon would be a little picture of Sheik Hassan Nasrallah. Take that away, and what does Syria do to hold its head up in the honor-sensitive Arab world?

What happens to Iran? How do they respond to having their best boy whipped? How will they bring their influence to bear in the Maghreb after Hizbullah is gone? Will they drop Boy Assad as an ally once he has outlived his Hizbullah-related usefulness? How will it affect their nuclear efforts?

I’m too ignorant to venture any answers to these questions myself. I invite readers to respond, either here or on their own blogs, and thereby help make up for my lack of expertise.


DanMyers said...


You're right on about Syria. Their number 1 (non-Iranian) currency was Black Market income from Lebanon. Now their Black Market has moved in-country as a refugee drawing down currency instead of generating it. The refugee situation in Syria should be interesting from a political point-of-view. Pressure on Syria is not only measured in weapons payload. May be a time for that incessant drum-beat from the left (diplomacy) to save the Eye Doc's "bacon". Nothing like taking a country without firing a shot.

Or, if the scenario doesn't play out - Isreal can't tolerate a region-player proxy like HizbAllah supported by a neighbor nation-state - Syria. They will eventually take away their only military asset - Tanks. Then, let the civil war tear the country apart while maintaining a buffer zone > 20 miles on all sides. The Kurds would be a nice interim government for the area.... Redraw lines and Iran is isolated, but even more dangerous. A few billion spread around the opposition would just light thqt place up - as long as another few billion buys some top military brass.

And if you believe this will play out, I have a br... :-)

Fellow Peacekeeper said...

My ten cents :

Very optimistic to write Hezbollah off. Remember - that organization rose to power during the previous Israeli incursion into Lebanon. Tho' their sites may be destroyed, and weapons caches found, and many fighters slain, that is unlikely to do more than set Hezbollah back some years. The source of their power is support from Iran and Syria, and the shiite people of Lebanon. Israel is striking at the head, but the roots are currently inaccesibile. Indeed, like trimming the grass, it may actually grow back more vigorously afterwards. The Israeli actions are hardly endearing them to the players mentioned (not that they have any good will to win, but that it may be spurring them to make efforts they would not make otherwise)

And Hezbollah - do not underestimate it. It is scary. It has been THE premier terrorist organization the last ten years - an innovator with near regular military planning and coordination skills. Driving it out of its homeland into international exile may be more than a little bad for everyone else.

We can only hope they play it dumb, and the IDF wastes them in a stand up fight ..... but Hezbollah has been in that trap before and came out stronger than ever.

I go with William Lind's On war #175 - this is all bad karma.

Scott said...

Market Economics (nore Suadi Royal Greed) don't work on Paranoia Theory.

The Russians have been outproducing the Saudis 3 to 1 since the mid 1970's.

Add in every tinpot dictator with oil, and the now, domestic concerns for drilling, They would all LOVE to get ahold of $5 per gallon gasoline and drill like hell.

Saudi Arabia Oil ministers now, were alive in the kingdom the last two "World Oil Shortage Crisises" 1979 and 1985 and weren't really happy with the three stage outcome, a) retooling to more fuel efficient automotive/transport fleets by 250% b) Near unrestrained oil drilling wildcatting worldwide that more than doubled output/reserves c) switching to other fuels, coal, wood, co-generation, bio as in the case of Brazil, and the west & east diversifies its fuels and become less dependant.

DanMyers said...


Agree with your Karma statement.

I only disagree with Mr. Lind's assessment of the destruction of our force in Iraq. He posits that it will be destroyed. I posit that we will destroy Iraq and Iran before we let that happen. Posit may be too strong... How about I believe...

Cogitatus Incognito said...


Check out Spengler's thoughts at the Asia Times:

Some folks think he's bashing Bush, but I think he's saying we're finally fighting this war as it ought to be fought and the resulting chaos will benefit the West in the long run.

DanMyers said...


You have stated the Final Solution. Starve them in the desert. Or, as one much brighter than I said - "Faster, please".

DanMyers said...

Not trying to hog the thread.....

Mark, Spengler is a great read.

My only issue with him is that he rarely references anyone other than himself. That's OK if your always correct....

Baron Bodissey said...

Thanks for the responses, everybody, & for helping to educate me.

Fellow Peacekeeper --

I tend to agree that Hizbullah will not be wiped out. But for the sake of analysis, I want ideas for what the region would look like if Hizbullah were exterminated.

This is a "what-if" proposition. Like "What if we destroyed all the yellow jackets? Would the stinging stop, or would hornets emerge to take their place?" That kind of thing.

Fellow Peacekeeper said...

If Hezbollah was wiped out that would be a major bonus of course. Iran would have lost its favorite catspaw, and Syria would have to back off or show its hand openly. When all is said and done the relationship Israel has with Egypt and Jordan is relatively calm and stable, a similar relationship with Lebanon would be a blessing. It would keep Iran at arms length and Syria may be forced to rexamine its position.

But I think that Hezbollah is merely the most poisonous of a basket of vipers, while zapping it is good (because it is very poisonous indeed), it doesn't solve the root problem or necessarily deter the others (more likely to enrage them). It would allow breathing room while a new (presumably less venemous) viper is grown to take its place.

@DanMyers : Lind needs to be read with a grain of salt sometimes, he has become a prophet of doom since the invasion of Iraq. But IMHO he has consistently got the best read on the murky future consequences of current military actions.

DanMyers said...


Nothing murky about military actions....... right?

If your handle is any indication, you also know of the seemingly infinite number of variables undertaken in military action. I'm definitely not against them, as long as all parties know the score. It seems few have either educated themselves or served. Or, maybe they have bought off on the "sunny side of life".


A post-Hez world..... I see them only in the past tense after Newts WWIII. That world is sans Autocrat Syria and sans Mullochracy. Pick your boundaries, buy oil.

Scott said...

I've read before that Iran has some
2000 suicide bombers 'trained' and
ready to go.

Today a British tabloid reports (ok
its a tabloid) that some have been
dispatched to 'conduct martyrdom
operations' should Israel invade

They even now have a name now, The
Martyrs of Islam World Movement or
MIWM. Anyone ever hear of this

So, whatever the outcome on the
battlefield, Hezbollah started the
modern 'suicide bomber' campaign
and may resume it with a vengeance
if it is militarily crushed in

The big problem I see is who will
police South Lebanon after Israel
finishes its military operations?

Hezbollah owns the place and will
make life hell for any army willing
to deploy into this area if they
actually try and prevent Hezbollah
from reforming itself there. Israel
says it won't stay so who has the
wherewithal and the willingness to
take on a terrorist onslaught?

Baron Bodissey said...


I read the Spengler -- very cogent, and I mostly agree with him.

Baron Bodissey said...

Scott --

I hope Starling shows up on this thread to lend his expertise. But...

If I understand economics correctly, the Saudis don't have to cut production massively to have a major effect on the price of oil. If they have sufficient cash reserves to support their actions (and I don't know if they do or not), they can cut production significantly, and it may lower world production by -- say -- 4%.

But the price of oil is controlled at the margin, and that could be enough to treble the price of crude.

Or maybe not. Let's hope Starling is lurking.

Anyway, if I'm right, the Iranians and the Russians could do the same kind of thing. But the Russians, of course, wouldn't have the cash reserves to pull it off.

Joel said...

As I've been saying over at Pournelle's website, I don't think an IDF occupation of the south is in the cards; I do think that a multilateral force, with a NATO command structure, may well be -- if the IDF punches through to the Litani. If not, I think the perceived urgency to rescue the Arabs is lowered, although it shouldn't be, and the most that happens is UNIFIL II: Hezbollah Boogaloo. Not useful. Whining to the contrary, Arab pride can tolerate IDF activity along Lebanon's border indefinitely; it can't tolerate Israel using northern south Lebanon -- so to speak -- as an artillery platform.

I don't think that the IDF has to put ground forces north of the Litani, nor airdrop, nor an amphibious invasion -- the need is to put artillery on the ground, with infantry and armor to put it there and protect it.

Not quite everybody is missing the point about Iran, but a lot are: everything else they do, at present, is a sideshow, playing for time. Yes, they want to expand their influence, but it's fragile, until they've got their bomb. And they know it. If they have to trade of Hezbollah or the Chinless One, in order to buy time to get the bomb done, they will -- and that's true whether or not they plan to use the bomb to annihilate Israel, or as a threat to prevent a conventional attack.

Hizbollah delenda est, sure -- but if the Iranian nuclear program is not stopped, it's all a sideshow for them, and a distraction.

As to Syria, it's a house of cards that can be kicked over easily, the moment that bigger powers (the US, Israel, Iran) decide that that's useful.

We're at a strange moment in history: the most useful force that can be deployed, longterm in Lebanon is owned by the French: the Foreign Legion. Good infantrymen (useful in rathole clearing) if indifferent tankers and artillerymen. And, to a man, utterly expendable.

Thanos said...

Heads up, you might want to check this out:
Warning: Turn on pop up blocker first, the times of India pumps an average of three adds per hit, but you want to see this.

lostlakehiker said...

Nothing so dramatic as air drops. Israel can put troops 20 miles deep into Lebanon the old fashioned way, over land.

Their problem is that Hizbollah has extensive fortified zones all over South Lebanon. These cannot safely be left in the rear, because Hizbollah fighters would emerge from them to attack the Israeli supply lines. So it comes down to a straight fight, along the lines of Iwo Jima or Verdun, for these fortified areas.

They cannot be "cut off", because Hizbollah has had years to lay in supplies, and Israel will not have whole seasons to devote to starving out Hizbollah.

Voyager said...

When the Soviets placed SS-20, SS-21, SS-23 missiles in Europe to intimidate the aim was to detach US strategic missiles from European regional security, and the Loony Left tried to stop the deployment of Pershing II mobile missiles to check the Soviet action.

In the same way the use of Iranian mobile missile launchers in Lebanon is trying to play a strategic game through tactical weapons; unfortunately by firing them Lebanon becomes a battlezone and nowhere in Lebanon can be considered a DMZ within range of one of those missiles

Scott said...

Lostlatehiker I think you do not
fully appreciate the problem both
Israel and and follow on force will
face in South Lebanon.

Currently the place can be compared
to Okinawa in 1945. Hezbollah has
build a network of defensive lines
and positions that interlock. Like
Okinawa, Hezbollah can draw on the
local population for cannon fodder.

Israel isn't going to be willing to
spend the lives of its soldiers the
way the US Army and Marines did on
Okinawa to push straight through to
the Litani river only to then hand
their hard fought gains over to a
NATO or UN led force that will lead
them right back to the status quo

As to using the French to establish
a cordon sanitaire. Yes, it sounds
nice in theory but what will be the
reaction in France if and when the
suicide bombings begin? Hezbollah
or Iran is almost guaranteed to try
a terrorist campaign against any
foreign military as it did in 1982
and may well send its bombers into
the homeland of nations providing

How many subway bombings etc would
French public opinion accept to
keep South Lebanon Hezbollah free?

El Jefe Maximo said...

The issue of what the constellation of power will be in the Middle East if Hezbollah (or Hizbollah, pick your poison spelling) really is destroyed itself is built around a ginormous “if.” Based on what I’ve seen so far, I tend to doubt whether we can get to the desired end-state of that “if,” that is “Hezbollah being destroyed.” I would love to be wrong.

Most of the photography I have seen from the Israeli side of the conflict is coverage from the cities. Until yesterday, I had not seen, much, coverage of the fighting that actually got beyond the Israeli gunline behind the border in northern Israel. I’ve seen a lot of photos of M-109 155 mm guns firing support or counterbattery on targets someplace in Lebanon, but precious little of what the Israeli ground troops are actually doing. I’m not a big TV watcher, so maybe I’m missing some. Point is, that the Israeli Defense Force has a very efficient censorship operation. We don’t have a lot of the information we need to evaluate whether the Israelis are REALLY out to wreck Hezbollah, or just spank ‘em pretty good.

If the plan is really to wipe out Hezbollah, I am troubled by the apparent slowness of ground operations in terms of getting troops into Lebanon to clean out the Hezbollah lairs south of the Litani. Bush cannot hold up the diplomats for ever. The Israelis have another week to ten days to play with, and then the diplomats are really going to put the brakes on. The Israelis seem to be relying on air power to do most of the heavy lifting

At bottom, I question whether “destroying” Hezbullah is even possible, given that organization’s political power over the Shiite population in Lebanon and its efforts to enlist the powers of the whole Shiite population. The Israelis can draw the teeth of the snake, but cannot kill it, short of driving the Shiite population north of the Litani, and over a long period of time, building up a rival Shiite political organization, Hezbollah cannot be destroyed, just weakened for a time.

If south Lebanon is not occupied for an extended period, the danger to Galilee will return. Given that none of the putative suppliers of “peace-keeping” forces want to send forces that will actually fight to keep Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard off the Israeli borders, I don’t see an alternative to occupation. In real terms of course, this will not be tolerated for long, and the Israelis will have to, after a reasonable time, accept some sort of ineffective jumped-up UNIFIL.

I will blog on this myself some more when I have time, but the solution to Israel’s Lebanon problem, and to our problems in Iraq, and with, I believe, the Islamic world generally – is in the destruction of the Iranian Islamic Republican regime that supplies, pays for, trains, arms, and most importantly, inspires the terrorists. Like the French revolutionary regime, the simple existence of this government is the font of endless trouble. Once the mullah government is brought down: all other issues: nukes, terrorism, etc., can be settled. But the root of the problem is the existence of the regime in Tehran.

Scott said...

Baron Bodissey -- I have no idea who "Armchair General" Scott is who's posting. But I'll stick to Economics.

Oil Margins are volatile, so are the market economies of the west. Inflation adjusted, we are just getting Back to Market prices for oil we had in the early 1980's $28/bbl in 1983 translates to $68-$70 barrel today.

The price in 1983 supported enormous wildcat exploration and brought known marginal fields BACK into production.

U.S. may have $30 billion in known offshore fields yet to be drilled not to mention what is in the Santa Barbara Channel and the one year supply in Alaska.

Having said that, If the price is right worldwide, IT will be drilled. Adn the push worldwide for energy diviersification would accelerate and cut into oil by up to 30% just that much faster -- ultimately what the Saudi's fear, (expect the 25,000 member Saudi Family to take up residence in the West sometime in the next half century)

Those who fear (the appeasers) an econmic crisis like the early 1980's, the Saudi's included, are mainly the bankers, investment houses, and those who trade in short term fear politically.

A deep recession of about a year, a lot of bankruptcies to squeeze out the record personal and business debt of the west would do alot of good in the long run provided inflation could be held in check.

If Iran's oil Production could be destroyed as new oil fields come online at the end of that shortage, It would be beneficial.

Then Hezbollah get's starved, the Mullah thuggocracy get's starved, and there would likely be a short nasty civil war in Iran between elements of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and the Regular Military for control of the nations internal assets. It might turn out good or bad. The Pasdaran has alot of weapons.

But High Oil prices are not a bad thing, just painful in the short run ... like everything that is ultimately good for you after a hangover, like eating right and regular trips to the gym, it hurts but it does a world of good.

Scott said...

"U.S. may have $30 billion in known offshore fields yet to be drilled "

That's 30 Billion Barrels


Baron Bodissey said...

"Economics" Scott,

I tend to agree with your analysis. The problem for us is that no elected political leader is willing to bear the necessary pain, because it means electoral suicide.

That's why we bend to the will of the Saudis...

Scott said...

Baron Bodissey --

You wrote : " The problem for us is that no elected political leader is willing to bear the necessary pain, because it means electoral suicide.

That's why we bend to the will of the Saudis..."

Maybe in the EU.

Here in the US we tend to Elect either a Texas Oil Man (former Governor) or a Cowboy Actor (former Governor)
... for President every other term or so.

We have one now.

Internationally, it's got to Scare some people that we have a Texas Cowboy Oilman President soon to be a Lameduck President, ah what the hell he can do anything and not worry about re-election, in charge of ten aircraft carrier groups, plus stealth bombers on Diego Garcia, plus 40,000 marines.

Now I'm starting to sound like "Armchair General Scott"

Bush understands oil economics very well, he has a Harvard MBA & used to run Oil & Gas Drilling Partnerships in West Texas. The Saudi's are beginning to react out of fear (and some loathing of the U.S.).

The EU will have to just go along for the ride if High Prices spur drilling,
if so Expect record oil & gas deals with the EU appeasers and Putin, More North Sea Drilling (Britian Norway and Ireland get some more reserves)

and Texas will remain (Houston in particular) the World Capital for Oil Drilling Technology and know - how.

I predict war and high oil prices in the short run, unprecedented world reserve supplies and low oil prices by 2012.

We may get lucky and Iran may get all their Nuclear Infrastructure Bombed as a bonus.

Baron Bodissey said...


If you are right, then why is this administration so embarassingly obsequious towards the Saudis? Why gush over those disgusting thugs? Why does Karen Hughes humiliate herself (and our country) by her supplications? Condi didn't have to call Islam "the religion of peace and love" -- that was optional behavior, and it wouldn't have hurt diplomacy a bit to leave it out.

Why does it take so long to get rid of the Wahhabist chaplains in the military? Why did some of the most odious "charities" retain their White House access long after 9-11? Why no public denunciation of Saudi Wahhabist funding of anti-Semitic and anti-Christian propaganda in mosques in the USA?

Maybe most important: why did the entire bin Laden family get a free ride out of the country on 9/12, with barely a question asked of them?

I know, I know; I'm being paranoid. But this stuff really bothers me. And every time I see Bush holding hands with that murderous *%@!?$#! it sets my teeth on edge.

El Jefe Maximo said...

And I wish it was still 16 carrier groups and 18 Army divisions for the lame duck cowboy president as it was for Reagan. So many difficult problems would look less difficult with that kind of force structure...

linearthinker said...

note to econ scott:

more please...

you really should activate your blog...

is it just that i so strenuously agree, or do your comments have a resounding ring of truth?

i respect your privacy, but would appreciate more of your observations.

Scott said...

My Good Baron Bodissey --

You wrote:


If you are right, then why is this administration so embarassingly obsequious towards the Saudis? Why gush over those disgusting thugs? Why does Karen Hughes humiliate herself (and our country) by her supplications? Condi didn't have to call Islam "the religion of peace and love" -- that was optional behavior, and it wouldn't have hurt diplomacy a bit to leave it out."

I just know economics, particularly Energy.

Could have something to do with divide & conquer, could mean they had to rush in and "Just say something" after a big political fundraiser took up all their time, Could be ... How the hell should I know why ? They don't call me. I don't advise nor am I an appologist for the administration's political machinations.

I don't advise on the double talk of Diplomacy, I leave that to the professionals.

Starling said...

Hello Baron

This thread was unfolding just as left Dubai and headed back to the states to commence my summer vacation. I do have a few comments to share which I will give separately. The first regards the state of the Syrian economy. There was a very nicely done report which I saw on MEMRI a few months back. Its title is "The Syrian Economy Under Bashar al-Assad." I wrote a post about it entitled The Road to Damascus is the Road to Serfdom

The report indicates, not surprisingly, that the Syrian economy is poorly managed and basically in shambles. What I take away from this is that even without the current spate of hostilities, Syria is in dire economic straits. Unless the country gets subsidies from its benefactor, it's hard to see how dramatic increases in the price of oil wouldn't hurt them more than it would hurt us and the world economy. I am not sure whether and to what degree this factors into the thinking of those who would raise a finger and by doing so hurt the US economy. Or maybe its a two-fer?

Baron Bodissey said...

Eco-Scott --

Sorry I took out my frustrations with the pro-Saudi policies of this administration on you. You didn't deserve it!

I just wonder, if the price of oil doesn't matter, why the Bushies are always doing the salaam to the KSA...

Baron Bodissey said...

Starling --

Thanks for the input and the link.

But am I right -- i.e., is it production at the margin that crucially affects the price of oil? Can a modest drop in production cause a big price spike?

Scott said...

My Good Baron Bodissey--

You are fixated on this year's "Spot Market Price".
Lot's of OIL, most, bbbbbbillions and bbbbillions Will be bought and sold on long term contracts, not month to month, based on today's tight supply price, which could stablize at a higher price yet.

True, quintupling the price of the "Marginal Oil sold outside" longterm price would make it just too costly for those buying at their maximum energy budget to pay.

This would ease demand, prices would stablize or Moderate, find another 20% World reserve in oil supply and Iran is Irrelevant. If you like then Dear Baron, Invade or Bomb them in the short run it won't affect price as long as those Hormuz straights are secure.

But fear not, we lived through the "Peanut Farmer from Hell as President" who fired his whole cabinet in one night, Sheesh ! then the next week ... double digit interest rates, double digit inflation ... and the rousing "Malaise Speech" and his Malaise Index because you weren't feeling guilty enough for being an American. Leadership does matter, it IS the economy stupid.

Fear not ! In four years, Billions and billions of new reserves will have been found, Drilled.

AND even more oil "reserves" engineered, I hear those Japanese hybrid cars are getting 50 mpg and they're selling them to us at a loss, and still putting on a third shifts in that production line.

Here's your back of the napkin Int'l Oil Supply and Demand lesson from Business Week.

World excess capacity at 2% ? no wonder price is high and will stay there (dang that new Chinese Middle Class and Indian Yuppies discovered Toyotas and Hondas and Beemers).

New Drilling will Occur on a MASSIVE basis worldwide, want to get the HIGHEST paying Master of Science in the next five years young man ?
Drill West young man

If you're truely so "werry worrwied", you may want to learn how to farm Forty Acres; get a Draft Horse and a good mule .... as a personal economics go, consider it a long term investment in the Future.

Oh, and be sure to stock up on NATO 7.62 ammunition, a few thousand rounds in your personal wine cellar aught to save you alot of money when DEMAND goes way up.

Economics Scott.