Following our discussion this week about the global food-energy-water-environment nexus (see here), this post shares a summary of research by Robert Babak Madadi Howard which he presented at the BSUFN Symposium earlier this year. Bob Howard is a visiting researcher at the University of Brighton.
NATO and the Challenges of Food Security in the Gulf States (GCC)
The countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) provide approximately 60% of the essential, cheap to produce (a.k.a. high Energy Return On Invested EROI) oil and a significant portion of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) exports on which modern civilisation and much of NATO depends.
The GCC is increasingly suffering from worsening long term structural food and water security challenges. The New England Complex Systems Institute (NECSI) has shown the link between food price and Middle East North Africa (MENA) social unrest. At the same time the NATO/OECD countries are responsible for >60% of global food exports. Russia’s relative food and water security compared to the GCC, may either hinder or help NATO, depending on NATO’s level of preparedness.
There may also be significant regional rebalancing, as the more food and water secure countries of Iran and Turkey may take the opportunity to reestablish their historically dominant regional positions. These structural changes may have a potentially far reaching impact on the regional and global balance of power. The extent to which various participants can prepare for these changes may decide the winners and losers in a global rebalancing of economic and military power.