Testimony for the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats
This testimony was originally published by the U.S. House of Representatives. Read the full report here.
In broad terms, Central Asian energy is the playing field for two major forces. China, in its global quest for the raw materials necessary to fuel economic growth, uses its financial clout to access Central Asia's natural gas. Russia wants power of a different type. It seeks to maintain its dominance over export routes for Central Asian oil and gas in order to maintain political influence in the region and in Europe. My friend Ed Chow will address the China question in discussing eastern export routes from the region, so I will focus on dynamics to the west and with Russia.First, however, I will give some context to changing energy market dynamics and ways in which energy translates into conflict.
Since the 1970s, Americans have been conditioned to understand their vulnerability to oil-driven threats. Energy has an imposing presence in diverse national security concerns around the globe. In the extreme, the United States can be compelled into military action to ensure steady supply lines. More commonly, energy fuels challenges ranging from Iran's nuclear program, to anti-American propaganda in Venezuela, to deepening corruption as just a few examples.
Read the full testimony here.
Neil Brown is a non-resident fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the U.S.