Russian Bear

If you asked most people on the street which nation produces the most oil most of them would say that the answer is Saudi Arabia of course.  But they would be dead wrong.  The truth is that Russia is the number one oil producer in the world.  Not only that, but Russia is also the number one natural gas exporter in the world.

So what does that mean?

It means that Russia is the top energy superpower on the globe. 

Russia pumped more than 10 million barrels of oil per day during November, and now they have done something which will give them even more power over energy.

Russia has just finished a new oil pipeline and port complex that enables them to export more oil than Saudi Arabia.  On December 28th, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was on hand to celebrate the opening of Russia’s first modern Pacific-based oil export facilities.  The Pacific port of Kozmino is a project that Putin is extremely proud of, and it promises to literally change the world.

So what makes this port so significant?

The new Kozmino complex promises to be a gate through which Russia’s vast East Siberian oilfields will supply oil for Asia’s energy-hungry economies.

Notice that the Middle East and the West are not part of that equation.

According to Reuters, the first oil transport will load at Kozmino on January 15th.  Hong Kong is scheduled to receive that first shipment.

But this is just the latest sign that Russia has more than recovered from their past economic woes.

In fact, the Russian Bear is back.

Not only is Russia the number one energy superpower in the world, but their economy has been rocking over the past decade.  Russia ended 2008 with GDP growth of 6.0%, and that followed 10 straight years of growth averaging 7% annually.

Moscow is now one of the most expensive cities in the world in which to live.  The economic turmoil of the 90s is a long-forgotten memory.

Russia has been using this new economic power to modernize and strengthen both its conventional military forces and its strategic military assets.

The truth is that Russia is not as strong as they were at the end of the Cold War.

They are now far stronger.

In early 2010, Russia is now a greater strategic threat to the United States than it ever has been before, but the U.S. is still treating Russia as though the Cold War just ended and Russia was the loser.

In fact, Barack Obama is pushing for a plan which would reduce the size of the U.S. strategic nuclear arsenal to about 10 percent of what it was during the Cold War.

Fortunately, some in the Pentagon are quite upset about Barack Obama’s plan to start phasing out America’s nuclear weapons.

But the vast majority of the American people seem unconcerned.

But they should be.

The number of threats and the number of potential targets is multiplying at a time when Obama wants to dramatically reduce our nuclear capability.

Back during the Cold War, the Soviet Union was basically the only “real” nuclear threat out there.  Today the situation has fundamentally changed.

But Obama believes that in order for the U.S. to have the right preach to other nations that they should not have nuclear weapons, we need to start getting rid of our own. 

So he is dismantling the protective nuclear deterrent that has protected the United States for generations.

With the Russian Bear back and stronger than ever, someday Americans will realize what a massive mistake that was.

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