The Geopolitical Impact of Low Oil Prices
May 23 2020
The Geopolitical Impact of Low Oil Prices Table of Contents: 0:00 - 2:20: Introduction 2:21 - 7:56: Dealing with China in a COVID Environment 7:57 - 20:00: Impact on the Middle East and North Africa 20:01 - 25:06: European Union and Russia 25:07 - 28:25: Venezuela 28:26 - End: Final Thoughts and Hong Kong Update Key Points: With oil prices likely to remain low for an extended period of time, our Geopolitical Intelligence Group weighs in on the global implications. We view the effects through the lens of U.S. national security policy and how China (in the COVID environment) will react domestically and internationally. The consensus view is that the U.S. will not pull back on its commitment to its allies, including Israel and Saudi Arabia, but the relationships will evolve. However, the consequences of low oil prices for other nations could be significant and we go around the world to discuss the potential ramifications. In the Middle East, low oil prices will have an impact on nations using oil revenue to help subsidize their local economies. Saudi Arabia, with a very low break even point for production, can sustain lower prices, but its Vision 2030 plan could be at risk. Iran and Iraq will have significant economic issues to contend with as the impact of COVID is taking its toll, particularity on Iran. In North Africa, lower oil prices will impact nations that are budgeting for much higher prices and will have ripple effects. We do not see Turkey backing away from its support of the GNA in Libya. In Russia, we believe that low oil prices, the impact of COVID, and struggling overseas campaigns in Libya, Syria, and Venezuela will not deter Putin or erode his grip on power. In Venezuela, while the U.S. does not intend to interdict Iranian shipping carrying fuel to the country, the stakes are high as the goal is an eventual transfer of power. Major General (Ret.) James A. "Spider" Marks is Head of Geopolitical Strategy and Academy Securities' Senior Advisory Board Member. General Marks is the Founder and President of The Marks Collaborative, an advisory for corporate leader development, education and training and has led entrepreneurial efforts in global primary research and national security. He served over 30 years in the Army holding every command position from infantry platoon leader to commanding general and was the senior intelligence officer in the LA Riots, the Balkans, Korea, and Operation Iraqi Freedom. He culminated his career as the Commanding General of the U.S. Army Intelligence Center and School at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. He has been awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, the Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf cluster, Bronze Star, and multiple combat, expeditionary and service ribbons. General Marks is a Master parachutist, authorized to wear Korean and Canadian Airborne wings, Air Assault qualified, and Honor Graduate of the U.S. Army Ranger School. General Marks is a national security contributor to CNN and member of the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame. Lieutenant General (Ret.) Robert S. Walsh is an Academy Securities' Advisory Board Member. Lieutenant General Walsh served in the Marine Corps for over 35 years, completing his career as the Commanding General of the Marine Corps Combat Development Command and the Deputy Commandant for Combat Development & Integration. In his last assignment, he was responsible for strategic planning and executing the reorganization of the Marine Corps to meet the new National Defense Strategy roles and missions. His responsibilities included integrating multiple warfighting functions and domains across all military services and the Department of Defense. Major General (Ret.) Mastin M. Robeson is an Academy Securities' Advisory Board Member. A native of the Carolinas, Mastin Robeson was commissioned in 1975 and served over 34 years on active duty in the United States Marine Corps, during which time he served in more than 60 countries. He retired from the Marine Corps in February 2010. Major General Robeson served in combat zones in Liberia, Desert Storm, Somalia, Bosnia, Horn of Africa, Southern Philippines, Iraq and Afghanistan. He commanded at every operational level in the Marine Corps, including its Anti-Terrorism unit, an infantry battalion, an infantry regiment, a combined joint task force in combat, two Marine Expeditionary Brigades, two Marine Divisions, and the Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command. He served as Military Assistant to Secretary of Defense William S. 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