World War III will be a hybrid war, at least prior to whatever apocalyptic end it promises, as new and non-military arenas of battle rise to the forefront.
For instance, the cyber-space, where we’ve already witnessed a number of government-sanctioned hack attacks crippling key pieces of enemy infrastructure, or parts of the international banking apparatus.
And then there’s the economic war that acts as an undercurrent to whatever bloodshed exists on the surface. In this case, it appears as though Saudi Arabia and Russia have just fired one of the first joint shots of WWIII.
OPEC and non-OPEC allies, a group often referred to as OPEC+, decided at their first face-to-face gathering in Vienna since 2020 to reduce production by 2 million barrels per day from November.
Energy market participants had expected OPEC+, which includes Saudi Arabia and Russia, to impose output cuts of somewhere between 500,000 barrels and 2 million barrels.
The move represents a major reversal in production policy for the alliance, which slashed output by a record 10 million barrels per day in early 2020 when demand plummeted due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The oil cartel has since gradually unwound those record cuts, albeit with several OPEC+ countries struggling to fulfill their quotas.
Dig a little deeper, and some motivation for the move could be found.
The production cut for November is an attempt to reverse this slide, despite repeated pressure from U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration for the group to pump more to lower fuel prices ahead of midterm elections next month.
International benchmark Brent crude futures traded at $92.82 a barrel during Wednesday afternoon deals in London, up around 1.1%. U.S. West Texas Intermediate futures, meanwhile, stood at $87.37, almost 1% higher.
Saudi Arabia’s alliance with Russia, (and the larger China/Iran/North Korea axis as well), has been seen by many as just the latest indication that the world at large is dividing itself down political and ideological lines, with the aforementioned authoritarians amassing their resources to make a push against freedom and democracy.