Throughout time, states have fought over resources. They are the bloodline of a state: the more resources a state has, the more likely there is conflict.

State conflicts emerge for land, the primary source for many of the important resources.
State conflicts emerge for land, the primary source for many of the important resources.
Photo by Birmingham Museums Trust on Unsplash

History has witnessed more massacres for resources than for any other reason. Resources are the seed for human survival and conflicts too. If I say one mighty and powerful state with a powerful defense system shares its border with a resourceful state, there are fewer chances for them to be in alliance.

In early ages, it was unlikely to be in an alliance when your neighboring state had more resources. Now the question is, what does that have to do with war? It is simple: when a state or country, even a town, has more resources, like having oil or coal mines, these resources are refined and traded off to other countries. States where they have oil as a rich resource have a trade that will pay off well.

After receiving a stable income from trade, states then focus on their security setup. They purchase armor and weapons while growing their relations with other states, though the neighboring states feel insecure. This is a dilemma and when one state fears the neighboring states because of their rapid gain of power, they also up their own security system.

Resource wars: Oil and Natural Gas

Territories are prone to conquer when they have rich resources.
Territories are prone to conquer when they have rich resources.
Photo by Duncan Kidd on Unsplash

As we know from the famous incident of September 11, the attack on the world trade center, the US became the victim of resource war. Putting it in simple logic, the reason behind this attack was to overthrow the pro-western Saudi monarchy. By doing this, the new Islamic regime took a place that would benefit them, as they would get one-fourth of the global petroleum supply.

Struggles over the control of resources are likely to break out in other parts of the world too. For example, I think Caspian Basin is next. This basin is considered to be the world’s third-largest reserve of petroleum and natural gas. Caspian Basin shares a meeting point with several states including Russia and the western flank of Iran, though some former Soviet states are also included in this region, such as Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and last Uzbekistan.

Although all states want to benefit from resources by simpling making some developments, it is not as simple as it seems. There is going to be ethnic and political turmoil within the region, and the power struggle conflict will take place more likely between Russia and United States. As the demand of energy increases, the more intense conflict becomes, and that will be a threatening warning for the Caspian states.

Fighting for the Riches of Earth-Water Strifes

Protecting your land is like protecting your survival.
Protecting your land is like protecting your survival.
Photo by British Library on Unsplash

Water conflicts exist among many states. The water strife is not anything new and these conflicts rarely come up suddenly or settle early; they can remain for ages, and generation after generation may be left fighting.

Water strifes have occurred in the Indus River Basins, South China Sea, East China Sea, Tigris and Euphrates, and Kashmir. All these states sharing these strifes are suffering from the threat of being taken under other states if they lose control of the water resources. Specifically, in Kashmir, this issue has never been about the sovereignty or people of Kashmir, but the water. In Kashmir, there’s the head of 5 rivers that cross the entire country (Pakistan).

If India takes control of Kashmir, that means they will control 200 million people’s life. Since Pakistan is an agricultural country, water is like the blood of their country. When the blood clots in a body or stops somewhere, the body stops working and lasts no longer than a week. So it all starts and ends with resources.


The geography of a state, and whether it has rich resources in it, matters. States get occupied and conquered just for the sake of resources, and resources are the key to gaining power. Massacres and genocides, even civil wars, emerge because of resources.