BY GAREN YEGPARIAN
You probably read that the United States Geological Survey has come out with a report that says there might be a million barrels of oil and 6 billion cubic feet of natural gas recoverable from the innards of the current Republic of Armenia.
This report has been pending for a while. But let’s be clear. The USGS found four possible sources of hydrocarbons, but didn’t even evaluate three of them because the chances that anything might ACTUALLY be found were very low. Even the reported oil and gas has only a 10% chance of existing.
You might be wondering how this is possible. Realize that this report is not based on even a single test-well being drilled. It simply studied the geology of the area and based on what was there, projected the possibility that oil and natural gas might exist.
And, if this rings vague bells, as though you’ve heard something like this before, it could be because the study was based on data from a 1974 publication in Russian. Someone else might have made similar guesses in the past.
Why, you’re probably wondering, is this news another example of being screwed? Think of it. Given the corruption in the Republic of Armenia (RoA), all it will take is for some connected crook to get the notion that there’s oil/gas underground, and somehow get the money to start looking for it. This could well destroy underground water and above-ground agricultural resources because the area in which these hydrocarbons are thought to lie under is… you guessed it, the Ararat plain, Armenia’s agricultural heart!
As if this isn’t enough, news came out the same day that the U.S. State Department had cleared a $320-million medium-range air-to-air missile sale to Turkey. This is happening, it is explained by those in power, in the context of increasing security risks in the region, and, of course, the NATO alliance. We’re also told this won’t alter the basic military balance in the region. These two points seem contradictory. If the balance isn’t altered in Turkey’s favor, what’s the point of selling them the equipment?
We’re also told that these will help Turkey defend its extensive coastline and borders. I’m really curious as to what airborne threat could possibly assail Turkey. Would it come (in alphabetical order) from Armenia? Black Sea (maybe flight capable monsters inhabit these waters…)? Bulgaria? Greece? Iran? Iraq? Kurdistan? Syria? Each of these is more preposterous a proposition than the rest! It’s not at all possible that Turkey might use these weapons against the RoA and Artsakh should Azerbaijan’s bellicosity lead to another shooting war on that front, right?
It turns out that this sale could have been prevented if a hold had been put on it within two weeks by a U.S. senator. It didn’t happen. Why? Could it be that our elected Senators have a guilty conscience, knowing that one or more U.S. government agencies may have been quietly supporting Turkey’s indiscriminate support of anti-Syrian-regime rebels?
Write to your Senators and ask for an explanation about this foolhardy sale to an ever more regionally destabilizing country, Turkey.