The Absent Superpower: The Shale Revolution and a World Without America
Peter Zeihan, author
The world is changing in ways most of us find incomprehensible. Alone among the world's powers, only the United States is geographically wealthy, demographically robust, and energy secure. The American shale revolution does more than sever the largest of the remaining ties that bind America's fate to the wider world. It re-industrializes the United States, accelerates the global order's breakdown, and triggers a series of wide ranging military conflicts that will shape the next two decades. The common theme? Just as the global economy tips into chaos, just as global energy becomes dangerous, just as the world really needs the Americans to be engaged, the United States will be...absent.
Throughout this impressive and sometimes irreverent look at the flow of the world’s energy resources, geopolitical analyst Zeihan (The Accidental Superpower) forecasts the 21st century, with surprising results. He predicts that in a coming “Disorder,” three theaters of war will disrupt the global flow of oil, yet the U.S. will remain uninvolved. The key is the nation’s ability to tap into massive shale reserves, which Zeihan sees leading to energy independence. Add in the U.S.’s capacity for sustained agricultural and economic production and lack of land borders with competent military adversaries, and it can retreat from long-set foreign policy patterns (in which it trades military protection for safe global trade) and return to its case-by-case dollar diplomacy of the early 20th century. Zeihan’s other predictions are even more dramatic. He anticipates Russia starting a war over oil in Eastern Europe, tensions between rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran erupting in the Persian Gulf, and the major nations of Northeast Asia clashing over control of the world’s most-trafficked waterways. Zeihan’s knowledge of current global affairs, regional conflicts, and the energy sector is impressive. (BookLife)