Thursday, February 4, 2016

Demographics, Oil, Competition for scarce resources and an Unwelcome Surprise for the Developed World?

Demographics is an interesting discipline.  This article with animation shows what the world will gradually look like through 2060.

While most of us grew up in a world where China and India were the massive hordes, take a look at Nigeria in the animated graph.  It is fairly exploding in humanity.  This begs the question of how will Nigeria take care of them all?  That is an interesting question indeed.

Nigeria is a Yugoslavia in the waiting.  Understanding that linguistic groups are an analogue for tribe, the fault lines are clearly drawn.  This is not helped by a north/south division between Islamists and Christians, another layer to this horrific mess.

Consider the ethnic fracturing evident in the map above and then look at the population distribution below

The economic activity indicates that the tribal/ethnic/linguistic lines are built into the country. The red and blue lines show climactic limits for typical crops.  These are roughly associated with the northern Islamic part and the southern Christian part.  As Nigeria climbs in prominence into mid century and becomes one of the largest Christian nations, one will reasonably wonder when the first African Pope will be selected.  I will state that he has probably already been born.

When you consider that the nation is burgeoning in humanity, consider what the extent of infrastructure is.  The area around Lagos and the area around Port Harcourt on the coast has the lion's share today, but as the northern part inevitably increases as well, access to limited resources will spark sharp competition.  It really is amazing that Nigeria functions as a synthetic nation state at all, with all the seams of humanity, resources and infrastructure evident with even a casual glance. The depressed world market price for oil has begun to fray the seams of the fragile social peace within Nigeria; many pundits are prognosticating that this will trigger a torrent of humanity northward to seek refuge and economic resources within Europe.  Whether or not that will continue to be tolerated by the developed Northern Hemisphere remains to be seen.
A closer analysis of the maps show an interesting pattern around the Niger Delta.  Readers may recall the posts about CARVER matrices.  This map is an excellent point to start that analysis, perhaps I can address it another time.  Think about it, though.  If you look into what firms are in Nigeria, this gives you a start on who operates there.


Since many American petroleum firms operate in Nigeria, is it unexpected that if Nigeria explodes in strife, American troops won't get involved?  How will THAT look to an American populace raised on public school common core curricula?  The entirety of the American armed forces would be woefully insufficient to police or even control the Niger Delta.

Opinion piece authored by StopShoutingBlog contributor and #FAB50 Blog Award Winner Partyzantski, coolest cat on teh inner webs, retired Mustang, former FID embedded military Advisor, SASO trainer and scenario developer, Electronic Warfare Aviator, PME instructor, certified Force Protection and Anti-terrorism officer and combat seasoned USMC (0202) field grade intelligence officer. When not blogging or maintaining weapons proficiency at the range, he enjoys cat herding and travel to off-the-beaten-track locales. You can follow him on Twitter @Partyzantski 

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