"This book does not seek to challenge the prevailing consensus that large-scale conflict among developed states has become unlikely. Its aim is rather to reflect upon conditions in the one area of international life where serious observers still regard it as possible: energy security. It is in the energy sector that strategic planners now find it easiest to imagine major states reconsidering their reluctance to use force against each other. 'Energy security' is now deemed so central to 'national security' that threats to the former are liable to be reflexively interpreted as threats to the latter. In a world in which territorial disputes, ideological competition, ethnic irredentism, and even nuclear proliferation all seem capable of being normalized in ways that constrain the actual use of military force, a crisis in global energy supply stands out as the last all-weather casus belli when the moment comes to hypothesize worst-case scenarios."
Naval Postgraduate School, Center for Contemporary Conflict: http://www.ccc.nps.navy.mil
Strategic Insights (February 2008), v.7 no.1