Resource Wars The New Landscape of Global Conflict

Michael T. Klare

Holt Paperbacks



Trade Paperback

304 Pages



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From the oilfields of Saudi Arabia to the Nile delta, from the shipping lanes of the South China Sea to the pipelines of Central Asia, Resource Wars looks at the impact of intensified resource competition on the military policies of nations. Klare argues that in the early decades of the new millennium, wars will be fought not over ideology but natural commodities, as states battle to control dwindling precious supplies. The political divisions of the Cold War, Klare asserts, are giving way to a global scramble for essential materials, such as oil, timber, minerals, and water. And as armies throughout the world redefine resource security as their primary mission, widespread instability is bound to follow, especially in areas where mounting demand, due to population growth and industrialization, collides with long-standing territorial and religious disputes.

Drawing on a wealth of sources, including internal government documents and specialized industrial and military publications not available to the general reader, Klare provides the first analysis to make sense of the new convergence of seemingly disparate concerns—ecological, economic, and military. A much-needed assessment of a changed world, Resource Wars is a compelling look at the changing nature of warfare in an era of rampant globalization, heightened environmental stress, and intense economic competition.


Praise for Resource Wars

"Brilliantly researched, ably argued . . . Resource Wars shows a new geography of conflict based on looming scarcities. Klare's analysis is indisputable."—David Rieff, Los Angeles Times Book Review

"As he has done on rogue states and on light weapons, Michael Klare has written a pathbreaking book, alerting us to the role of resources in conflicts in the post-Cold War world. While others have focused on the ethnic or ideological roots of wars in Central Asia, Africa, and Latin America, Klare argues that the real roots are often underground, though the consequences for those living above ground are appalling."—Robert A. Pastor, author of Whirlpool and Not Condemned to Repetition

"Must reading for policy makers and analysts . . . Michael Klare demonstrates clearly and cogently that resource scarcity will be a growing source of conflict among nations."—Lawrence Korb, author of American National Security

"Klare's is a rigorous and coolly executed work with sobering implications for the next several decades of life on earth . . . his scholarship cannot be faulted." —Mike Newirth, In These Times

"Enlightening . . . Klare's work is of great value to anyone who hopes to understand the U.S. role in world affairs in the years ahead."—Noam Chomsky

"The 'resource scarcity' doctrine seems destined to replace the 'rogue state' doctrine . . . Klare provides a valuable summary of the issues involved in each potential conflict."—Arthur Lowrie, The Tampa Tribune

"Timely, superb . . . Should be required reading for those in the national security community."—Gary Anderson, Washington Times

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Michael T. Klare

  • Michael T. Klare is the director of the Five College Program in Peace and World Security Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He is also the author of Low-Intensity Warfare, World Security, and Rogue States and Nuclear Outlaws. Klare lives in Northampton, Massachusetts.

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    Michael Klare

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