Klare analyzes the most likely cause of war in the century just begun: demand by rapidly growing populations for scarce resources. An introductory chapter sets the scene, laying out the complexities of rapidly increasing demand as the world industrializes, the concentration of resources in unstable states and the competing claims to ownership of resources by neighboring states. Succeeding chapters look more closely at the potential for conflict—over oil in the Persian Gulf and in the Caspian and South China Seas, over water in the Nile Basin and other multinational river systems and over timber, gems and minerals from Borneo to Sierra Leone. The strength of Klare's presentation is its concreteness. His analyses of likely conflicts, for example among Syria, Jordan and Israel for the limited water delivered by the Jordan River, are informed by detailed research into projected usage rates, population growth and other relevant trends. As Klare shows, the same pattern is repeated in dozens of other locations throughout the world. Finite resources, escalating demand and the location of resources in regions torn by ethnic and political unrest all combine as preconditions of war. Klare, an expert on warfare and international security (Rogue States and Nuclear Outlaws, etc.), presents a persuasive case for paying serious attention to these impending hostilities and furnishes the basic information needed to understand their danger and the importance of international cooperation in staving off conflict. (May)
Forecast: Klare's message is important, but it probably won't be heard by many beyond readers of the handful of major newspapers that will review it.