The Ghawar oil field in Saudi Arabia is the world's largest. If Ghawar were to vanish tomorrow, civilization would totter -- and, perhaps, topple. In 1975, experts said that the field contained 60 million barrels of recoverable oil. To date, 65 billion barrels have been pumped out. The Saudis don't like to talk about how much is left.
In 2012, Citigroup issued a report which stated that Ghawar could run dry as early as 2030
. That's why Saudi Arabia is investing in solar energy and nuclear power.
The 2012 report reflects a series of earlier pessimistic assessments. Right after these forecasts started to emerge, Saudi Arabia and its allies initiated furious efforts to topple Syria, a Shi'ite government with close ties to Iran. In recent months, the proxy war against Syria morphed into a proxy war against Iraq, another Shi'ite government with ties to Iran.
Both Iraq and Syria happen to have very large Sunni populations.
ISIS and the Nusra Front were funded by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Sunni powers. The goal is to carve out a Sunni superstate, funded by oil and poised to strike Iran.
Why did the Saudis fund ISIS? Most people find motive in the traditional antagonism between Sunni and Shi'ite. But those two factions have been in conflict for centuries. Why has an ancient quarrel suddenly become grounds for a massive regional war?
Syria doesn't have a tremendous amount of oil, although the country may possess reserves that we mere mortals do not know about. Right now, ISIS controls perhaps 11 oil fields, and they are selling the product for cut-rate prices -- as low as $25 a barrel. ISIS-brand oil may be one small reason why you are paying less at the pump. The larger reason: The Saudis have gone on a price-slashing binge, which seems to be a rather desperate -- and temporary -- strategic maneuver
I think that the rulers of Saudi Arabia want a Sunni superstate to emerge out of Syria and Iraq. The Saudis probably think that they can control this new regional power. I'm not sure that they can, but I'm pretty sure they think
In other words, the Saudis needed more territory -- more resources -- so they hired ISIS to function as their proxy army. A Saudi/IS superstate would be well-poised to take on Iran.
Too often, this blog (like many other blogs) has focused on Israel, which has its own reasons for seeking regime change in Syria. Although Israel is a key player in this game, it is not the only