Some of the «readings» advised
by the IAGS

While the oil price reached its highest level, a new “nonpartisan” initiative just came up to review the problem of the United States’ dependence upon oil imports, in the midst of an amazing media silence. This new think tank, however, which is called Institute for the Analysis of Global Security (IAGS), has all the persons who count among the neoconservatives.

The IAGS drafted a report that was intended to clarify the public, a month before the US presidential elections in 2004, and especially the American leaders, about the challenges that the country would be facing within the next four years and thereafter.
The members of the group “urged the US leaders to adopt the plan to quickly diversify the range of fuel, not just oil, through the use of technologies and infrastructures available for the US transportation sector”.

They stated that if the whole plan is adopted, «the reduction of oil imports by the United States could be a fall of 50%».
The authors of the document estimated that it was the best solution to ensure global security, prosperity and freedom. Actually, the report was supposed to become the energy program of Bush’s second term.

The Crème of the Military-Strategic Institutes

This “Open Letter to the Americans”, accompanied by a project for energy security ambitiously called “Free America”, was approved by a number of think tanks (Center or institute for investigation and dissemination of ideas, generally of political nature)) specialized in highly strategic matters, namely:

 The Center for Security Policy [1];

 The Foundation for Defense of Democracies;

 The Hudson Institute;

 The Committee for Present Danger;

 The Foundation of the Defense National Council

The IAGS is codirected by three persons:

 Dr. Gal Luft, specialist in strategy, geopolitics, terror, issues pertaining to Middle East and energy security. He has published several articles in magazines like Foreign Affairs, Commentary Magazine or the Middle East Review of International Affairs; and obtained the PhD degree in strategic studies at H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of John Hopkins University.

 Anne Korin, editor in chief of the Energy Security Biweekly, specialist in energy security supply, OPEC, African continent, maritime terrorism, energy security, energy strategy and technological innovation. Her articles have been published in Foreign Affairs, Commentary Magazine and Journal of International Security Affairs.

She has worked especially for Exxon International (Esso), KPMG and Goldman Sachs. Anne Korin is an engineer graduated from John Hopkins University and is pursuing PhD studies in Stanford.

 Donald M. Wallach, president of Wallah Associates, Inc., has done an outstanding job in recruitments for the high tech industry. He is a specialist in defense and intelligence and pursued studies at Case Technological Institute and the School of Commerce of Harvard.

The associate members are Dr. Christopher Fettweis, author of a thesis on petroleum as a source of important armed conflicts in the 21st Century; Adnan Vatansever, consultant of the energy industry, specialist in Russia and recent independent States, works currently on the role played by the Russian energy sources in the transition of Russia to democracy; Dr. Cyril Widdershoven, owner of the association Mediterranean Energy Political Risk Consultancy, specialist in Middle East, analyst of military strategy, consultant in investments in the energy sector. He has worked for the magazines Jane’s Pointer and Intelligence Review, and finally Richard A. Giragosian, analyst of the private association of consultancy Abt Associates Inc., specialized in evaluation of policies and federal programs as well as federal security. He has collaborated with radio Free Europe (RFE/RL), with Jane’s Information Group, the Research Institute on Central Asian and Caucasus of John Hopkins University, the Foundation Eurasia Insight of George Soros, Bertelsmann Foundation, CSIS, Economic Commission under the US Congress as a liaison expert between CIA and DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency), the U.S. Army, NATO, UN, World Bank, OSCE, etc.He was also professor of conferences invited to John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center & School de Fort Bragg [2].

The main advisor to the IAGS was R. James Woolsey, former CIA director and vice-president of Booz Allen Hamilton, an international consulting company on management issues where he specialized in protection against threats and potential vulnerabilities.Neoconservative democrat, he has served in two Democrat and two Republican administrations; conducted the Iraqi National Congress of Ahmed Chalabi, who is considered his puppet. Currently, he plays an important role in the constitution of the next Bush administration through the «Committee for the Present Danger» which has been revived.

The Imminent Unprecedented Energy Crisis was Officially Recognized

To “Free America”, the IAGS suggested a solution that was in two antipodes of the current policy of the administration of George W. Bush.
The later, whose philosophy -politically acceptable - was set out in the report of Cheney Commission on energy [3] could be summed up, in practical terms, in the attempt to diversify the supply through the overthrow or destabilization of the government of oil producing States or strategically important (Equatorial Guinea, Sao Tome, Georgia, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia) and military colonization of Iraq (second world oil reserve).

This strategy has clearly shown its practical limits: outrage of the international community, aborted or failed coup d’états and disastrous military adventures carried out in the last four years.

It may be added to this sad episode some aggravating factors, in terms of the urgency to solve the situation, like the increase of global production that today was officially recognized by the IAGS publications and the unexpected high rise - followed by a brutal fall that just started - of the production of natural gas in North America with serious economic consequences.

Therefore, relinquishing or leaving the scenario, or the production expectations which are extremely optimistic by the International Energy Agency or the World Energy Council: the IAGS relies now on the figures of the Association for the Study of the Peak of Global Oil Production (ASPO) and verifies the decrease of production of the countries which are not members of OPEC.

The concentration of 60% of the remaining world reserves in five countries of the Middle East, etc [4]. It was suspected, with the presence of Matt Simmons among the advisors to Dick Cheney and nature, at least aggressive, the US energy policy, that those who made the decision in Washington took seriously the imminent reduction of oil production. Now it is something official: it was even found among the suggestions of the IAGS readings the book that was passed on hand to hand in the most informed areas of the energy sector since a year ago: The Party’s over: oil, war and the fate of industrial societies [5] .

The book is a condensed ASPO work that advocated, graphically, the imminent drop of the global oil production and its worrying global consequences.

Thus, the IAGS followed exactly the issue pertaining to the exhaustion of sources and indicated in its report: «we are facing what could described as a [perfect cataclysm [6] ] among strategic, economic and environmental conditions that, if they are properly understood, we are obliged to impose, within the next four years, a reduction of imported oil coming from unstable and hostile regions to the world».

The Institute continued recalling the figures of dependency of the US, namely, 65% of the oil for domestic consumption is imported, China’s competition in a market in which supply decreases; the 27 000 jobs which have been downsized, according to the estimates, out of 1 billion dollars of import, to complete its alarming introduction of the necessary term for the conversion of the transport sector: from 15 to 20 years.

Therefore, it was imperative to get started. Unlike previous reports, this one emphasized on domestic measures to reduce consumption and left out the alternative of diversifying supply sources due to the reduction of production of the countries which are not members of OPEC.

Will science save us from this situation?

According to IAGS reports, the problem lies on the scientific validity of the solutions suggested to reduce oil domestic consumption which account today for the 25% of world consumption. If IAGS vision seems to be realistic regarding the world situation in terms of resources, the submitted proposals are not convincing.
As may be recalled, during the State of the Union speech of George W. Bush in 2003, he promised the advent of the “hydrogen economy” to limit the climatic changes and for the “country to reduce its dependency on foreign energy sources”.

These statements raised the hilarity of the independent scientific community, since hydrogen, which is not an energy source, but a vector, will never be economically feasible [7] .

The IAGS recognized the fanciful aspect of the hydrogen economy and urged to find “realistic solutions” since “there was no time to wait for the commercialization of undeveloped technologies. The United States should deploy existing technologies which are available for an extended use”.

But what was suggested as a substitute? The diversification of fuel and the conversion of engines at a much modest cost. It should be possible to alternate between the conventional fuel, ethanol (fuel produced from cereals and mixed with liquid natural gas “for more energy effectiveness” [sic], methanol (fuel produced from coal or wastes) and electric energy stored in batteries with which the “hybrid” vehicles are equipped.

In 2025, the combination of these technologies in the engine of all types of vehicles in the United States, would allow, according to the report, to maintain, in the best scenario, the current consumption of 8 million barrels per day against a predicted demand of 20 million barrels per day if no drastic measure is taken.

It should be added to these recommendations, which are more realistic than “hydrogen economy”, the following: since long ago, the scientists have pointed out that the production of all these types of alternative fuel, including coal by-products, implies a great deal of utilization of oil and natural gas. It is all about fuel produced from cereals or coal by-liquids, its production cost will increase in proportion to that of the oil and natural gas.

On the one hand, intensive agriculture is a great consumer of oil and natural gas in the form of fertilizer and pesticide. On the other hand, extraction and transformation of coal into condensed liquid, if not done by the slaves, consumes the same big quantities of oil. The conversion of these engines into a modest cost would be, on the contrary, an effective means to limit the consumption of strategic reserves in case of severe interruption of oil supply to the country.

Towards a “coal economy” or global war?

As a conclusion of the report, several governmental measures were proposed at the national levels, which are summed up in a very strange word when it comes to liberals: subsidy.
Subsidizing automobile manufactures scientific research, public transport, etc.

This is not a surprise if we take into account that ethanol production in France is subsidized 300% simply because is not profitable. However, the estimated cost of this project, which the authors of the report did not hesitate to buy the Manhattan Project or Apollo Project, is 12 billion dollars, a fraction of what has been spent up to now to colonize Iraq.

In order to understand the IAGS document, it is necessary to reveal its apparent internal contradiction. The measures proposed to reduce the domestic consumption could be effective, but just for a short period of time because the energy needs do not change and they are limited to a marginal diversification of fuel.

They could not go further, unless the United States goes back to coal economy. Therefore, its tendency is not, contrary to the announced objectives, to respond to a global energy crisis, but only to a temporary crisis of supply to the United States. It is actually about a contingency plan, prepared with time in advance, to solve a severe temporary crisis caused by a major political development that affects a great exporting country.

The IAGS did not only advise to read technical works on oil issues, but also abundant literature that ensures the Saud (dynasty or monarchy that currently rules Saudi Arabia) that it is the main oil exporting nation. In political terms, the Institute is run by James Woolsey, theoretician and ideologist of the confrontation of the “Fourth World War” and «War on terror [8]».

This former CIA director, who was one of the most ardent promoters of the invasion against Iraq, champions today the overthrow of the Saud, destabilization of Iran and Russian Federation. The IAGS plan would allow the US economy to go through a period of disorganization of oil markets followed by a new military adventure of the neoconservatives.

[1Thierry Meyssan: «The Manipulators of Washington», Voltaire, November 13, 2002

[2Thierry Meyssan: The US Networks of Destabilization and Interference, Voltaire, July 20, 2001

[3Arthur Lepic: “Les ombres du rapport Cheney”, text in French, Voltaire, March 30, 2004

[4Jack Naffair and Arthur Lepic: «Le deplacement du pouvior petrolier», text in French, Voltaire, May 10, 2004

[5Richard Heinberg: New Society, 2003

[6Note of the Translator: We have referred to this kind of barbarism to a literal translation from the perfect storm, which would be inappropriate

[7See translation in French of the report by Michael Ruppert on the ASPO conference in Paris, in May 2003, where a speaker summed up the problem in these terms: «At this point, in the market, we are facing a situation in which we have a conventional fuel, that is, oil, that is burned in a combustion engine that does the work. So what I think I have understood from what the pro-hydrogen people led by Jeremy Rifkin, is a economy based upon consistent hydrogen, to take up again the conventional fuel or produce clean renewable, solar or wind energy in order to produce electricity and divide the water molecules in hydrogen and oxygen to compress then such hydrogen to transport it and store it in a liquid form, and then finally, inject it in a hydrogen engine to produce electricity when starting the machine. Do you really think that this is called effectiveness?»

[8The «Third World War» would have been the Cold War