Peter Zeihan lists problems around the world. I disagree with his conclusions and his claims of inevitability.
The demographic problems identified in the age pyramids in different countries range from challenging to severe.
The non-performing loans in Italy and Italy’s extremely poor demographics make for very bad scenarios for Italy’s financial crisis.
Zeihan predicts three wars and massive oil and gas disruptions.
Zeihan is smoking something weird as he thinks just because the US becomes a net exporter of oil that the US would allow Europe and Asia and oil to go to hell while doing almost nothing.
Russia vs. Europe
I agree that Russia has major weaknesses. Russia is an aging petrostate. Zeihan thinks that Russia can roll over the rest of the Ukraine and Poland and Baltic countries. He thinks that it will take pushback from Germany, UK, Sweden etc… to stop it.
He thinks the US will provide only minor support.
He also thinks that Russia will lose its oil and gas exports to Europe and then Russia would have to shut-in its oil.
I think Russia is and will ramp up oil and gas sales to China and India.
Russia will not be allowed to push further into Ukraine or the Baltic States. The US and Trump will meet NATO obligations. It would be politically impossible for Trump and Republicans to allow Russia to take Ukraine, Poland and Baltic states.
Iran vs. Saudi Arabia
He predicts a war between Iran and Saudi Arabia and 11 million barrels of oil goes offline for many years.
Iran is getting squeezed by the US sanctions. The sanctions are having a strong effect. Iran is far weaker economically, militarily and politically. Israel will assist Saudi Arabia. The US will do more to quickly collapse Iran than Zeihan thinks. Russia has been assisting Iran but Russia is weaker than Zeihan thinks.
Asian Tanker War
Zeihan’s third war is dependent on one of the first two. Zeihan thinks China would lose out on not getting oil in a severe oil shortage. He thinks Japan’s Navy could beat China’s.
Gazprom’s Power of Siberia natural gas pipeline from Russia to China is 93 percent complete, the Russian gas giant said in an update on its major projects.
A total of 2,010 kilometers (1,249 miles) of pipes are laid for the Power of Siberia gas pipeline between Yakutia and the Russian-Chinese border, or on 93 percent of the route’s length, Gazprom said in a statement.
The natural gas pipeline is expected to start sending gas to China at the end of 2019 and its completion is among Gazprom’s top priorities.
China will become the world’s largest natural gas importer by 2019. The share of imports in China’s natural gas supply is seen rising from 39 percent to 45 percent by 2023.
A second Sino-Russian oil pipeline began operations on Jan 1, 2018. It doubled China’s capacity to import crude from the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean system. China can now import 30 million tons annually (about 600,000 barrels a day) of Russian ESPO crude via pipeline, up from 15 million tons before the second branch opened. The two lines run parallel to each other between Mohe at the border and Daqing in northeast Heilongjiang Province.