Our analysis differs somewhat.
- I don't think the world has (relatively speaking) yet realized any significant supply problems and probably will not for some time particularly if the economies stay sluggish. There is, however, some political utility in making mountains out of the current mole hills...invented or real.
Yes, the political incentives are heinous at best. We do differ on the idea regarding stagnation, though. Even a reduced level of consumption from recent highs remains elevated on a maintenance basis. I think that sluggish economies will very soon hasten shortages rather than delay them, especially in combination with other cyclic events like weather and developing nation growth.
- I expect that the US and a few other Western societies are much less dependent on oil for 'legacy infrastructure' reasons than most. Particularly the large developing BRICs countries. In the most optimistic circumstances it takes a great deal of time and wealth make semi-significant infrastructure shifts, and would be much more challenging for countries fighting a rear-guard action just keeping their populations fed.
You may be right on this, especially regarding the military sector.
I don't count the BRICs as western - my delineation is focused on perspective: wealth extractive vs. mutual benefit. That has the west mainly as North America and Western Europe, with a wavering stance on Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. Just about everything else for me is either eastern or oriented in that direction.
- I expect China to be run out of most of the other countries you mention as easily as they were run out of Libya and Iraq as needed. Absent some pretty significant shifts in power structures and modes of political and military operations, that is. China can buy any resource they want and their stake is effectively nullified when we install some new puppet to head things up.
This is something I can't say for certain either way. I'm not really sure how China would be run out of any countries when they don't have forces established the way the US does. It seems that each stage of instituting a friendly puppet is become progressively more difficult, requiring greater investment and protracted direct involvement. Resistance to western influence looks to be inversely correlated with voluntary association with the east. Maybe things would be different if western powers didn't attach so many wealth extractive strings to "assistance" efforts.
From what I can tell, neither Iraq nor Libya are foregone conclusions as yet. Unless cultural histories are eradicated, I don't see lasting effects without persistent efforts from an already thinly spread force. Whether that means another decade or five, I don't know. I'm not sure western forces can even maintain for that long, let alone the next 3 years. I'm sure that if Chinese were driven out or left to avoid the turmoil, they'll flow right back in after things settle down - the west does all the churning and burning, and the east reaps the benefits either way - again.
It would not surprise me if China did not feel that the planets were aligned enough to make their move for some time. Perhaps not in my lifetime. My best hope is that there will come a point when the the West has something of an organic collapse in the West and China steps into their place with minimal fuss and loss of life.
Right there. In other words: time is against the Anglosphere
. An unpleasant transitionary phase, but probably not Armageddon.
Instead of maneuvering for domination, it's possible that dynastic wealth and leadership legacies are playing good cop, bad cop. The west as the bad guy, the east as the good guy. Regardless of what games the uber heavyweights may be playing, the results are the same: opportunities abound!