From Publishers Weekly
Conventional thinking on a possible confrontation
between the U.S. and China assumes that the geography of conflict
will be off of China's coast over the Taiwan issue or as competition
for the Spratly Islands heats up. In his first book, veteran war
correspondent Kleveman makes the intriguing argument that the
challenge to U.S. primacy will in fact take place to the west
of China's hinterland province Xingjiang over the resources of
the energy-rich Caspian Sea and the surrounding Central Asian
republics. The central thesis, that the U.S., China, Russia and
Iran are now engaged in a New Great Game, a power struggle for
control of the region's vast oil and gas reserves, is thinly woven
through the narrative in what is largely a war zone travel diary.
Kleveman, who readily admits his conviction that the recent war
in Iraq was motivated by the interests of Houston oilmen, similarly
treats the war on terrorism as little more than a pretext for
the presence of U.S. troops in the region to secure oil interests
and pipeline routes. Thus, the book gives the impression that
Kleveman has selectively presented interviews with oil ministers
and locals that lend his argument the most weight, while giving
short shrift to those with opposing views. The work draws attention
to a little understood and increasingly important part of the
world where oil, Islam and terrorism converge to create havoc,
but in the end, Kleveman fails to show that competition and not
cooperation will mark the development of the region's resources.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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