$1.3 trillion a year or 11% of GDP in international dollars. This assumes conventional financing and conventional technologies and conventional processes.
Although the oil price has fallen as instability has risen across the Middle East it doesn’t mean the region is less strategically important. The west ignores the region at its peril
So, if the west ignores the Middle East or addresses the region’s problems only through military means (the US has spent $2tn in its Afghan and Iraqi wars, only to create more instability), rather than relying on diplomacy and financial resources to support growth and job creation, the region’s instability will only worsen. Such a choice would haunt the US and Europe – and thus the global economy – for decades to come.
The risk here, however, is that the American neocons and liberal interventionists remain drunk on their dreams of a permanent U.S. global hegemony that doesn’t broach any rivalry from Russia, China or any other potential challenger to America’s “full-spectrum dominance.” If these war hawks don’t sober up – and if Obama remains their reluctant enabler – the chances that the crises in Ukraine or Syria could escalate into a nuclear showdown cannot be ignored. Thus, Russia’s move last week was truly a game-changer; and Putin is no longer playing games. One can only hope Obama can break free from the belligerent neocons and liberal war hawks.
He’s certainly a competent one, as well as tactically unpredictable, even brilliant
The first thing that needs to be stressed is that Putin has no grand strategy, no less one to ‘reestablish the Tsarist or Soviet empire.’ Such claims are delusions, paranoia, and/or well-compensated stratcomm. His goal is to ensure Russia’s status as a global power, one of several great powers in Eurasia writ large, and the indispensable country for any other pursuing a presence in central Eurasia – the former USSR.