By Peter Maass

The catastrophic oil spill within the Gulf of Mexico has introduced new realization to the massive expenses of our oil dependence. during this lovely and revealing ebook, Peter Maass examines the social, political, and environmental effect of petroleum at the nations that produce it.

Every unsatisfied oil-producing kingdom is gloomy in its personal manner, yet all are touched by means of the “resource curse”—the energy of oil to exacerbate present difficulties and create new ones. Peter Maass provides a bright portrait of the stricken international oil has created. From Saudi Arabia to Equatorial Guinea, from Venezuela to Iraq, the tales of rebels, royalty, middlemen, environmentalists, indigenous activists, and CEOs—all deftly and sensitively presented—come jointly during this startling and crucial account of the implications of our habit to oil.

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Extra info for Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil

Sample text

The Soviet High Command made a serious initial error. At first, the majority of the Soviet personnel in 24 THE SOVIET-AFGHAN WAR the units that entered Afghanistan were Soviet Central Asians. The High Command felt that Soviet soldiers from these nationalities would be better accepted by their ethnically linked peoples of Afghanistan. However, the presence of Soviet Central Asians had the opposite effect. 19 The appearance of Uzbeks, Tadjiks, and Turkmens served as the final irritant, which the counter-revolutionary agitators and propagandists exploited.

The opposition, having suffered significant military casualties in the first phase of the war, moved their main forces into the mountain region, which is difficult to enter and where it is practically impossible to use modern combat equipment. Further, they managed to blend into the local population. The Mujahideen were able to employ various tactical techniques. Thus, when they would encounter a superior Soviet force, they, as a rule, would withdraw from battle. At the same time, the Mujahideen would never miss an opportunity to launch a surprise strike, usually with a small force.

11 Toward the close of the nineteenth century and in the early part of the twentieth century, Afghanistan established a relatively centralized government with a standing regular army and defined economic and political relations with neighboring countries, including Russia. Afghanistan remained neutral during World War I (1914 to 1918), despite the efforts of the German and Austrian missions, sent to Kabul in 1915 and 1916, to bring Afghanistan into the war on their side. In February 1919, Emir Amanullah Khan decided to take advantage of the results of the Great October Socialist Revolution and the civil war in Russia.

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