Are you ready for war?

One of the most significant pieces of information that caught my attention last week was that Hamas was—or is—targeting Israel’s nuclear reactor in Dimona.

Neither side is composed of angels, of course, but that Israel is denounced whenever it kills civilians by accident, even as its opponents deliberately target civilians in such ways, is a hypocrisy I can’t abide. That, however, is not the critical point here; what if the rockets had succeeded?

Blowing up the Dimona reactor would be akin to dropping a nuke on Israel. Perhaps not in the immediate blast effects, but the release of radiation, loss of power, and damage to the economy and lives of noncombatants would be enormous.

This action strikes me as truly insane; sure, they’d kill a lot of their enemies, but the fallout would affect their own people as well. Radiation from Chernobyl was not contained by Ukraine’s borders in 1986, and “success” at Dimona would be the same—self-defeating to a potentially fatal degree.

I don’t expect sanity from people who think that using suicide bombers to kill children in public places is a noble thing, but this action seems exceedingly stupid and evil.

Such insane fanaticism is no surprise to the people of Israel, of course. A former student of mine, Leonid, from Belarus, has moved to Israel and now lives within range of Russian Grad rockets fired from the Gaza Strip. He tells me he has 45 seconds to get to shelter from the moment the air-raid sirens go off. And yet, he feels a calling and hopes to remain in Israel permanently. Leonid has a brilliant financial mind, and I hope to invest in his business ventures some day… if he survives.

A map my friend Leonid sent, showing where he lives and the ranges of various rockets that have been fired his way by the hundreds in recent days.

 

The salient point for investors is the seriousness of this attack, and therefore the seriousness of Israel’s response, which is building towards a major military offensive as I write. Boots have hit the ground, missiles continue flying, casualties are mounting, and neither side seems willing to talk peace.

This is big—and looks poised to get much bigger: The major war the Middle East has been on the brink of for decades could have just been triggered by Hamas.

Ukraine

Meanwhile, Russia is claiming Ukraine fired a shell into Russian territory and killed a man, threatening “irreversible consequences.”

Ukraine’s military says it wasn’t them, but a provocation by Russian-armed separatists trying to pave the road for Russia to invade openly.

Now, I am by nature skeptical of all official announcements, but I find this one easy to believe; the idea that Ukraine would be stupid enough to deliberately and directly antagonize Russia is patently ridiculous. At this stage, it'd be serving Putin just the excuse he needs to mobilize in force on a silver platter.

I have former students in Ukraine as well. I find it horrifying that they are preparing for war—but not really surprising, as I saw the same thing when Russia attacked the Republic of Georgia.

China

Conflict is also brewing on the other side of the world, where China has apparently decided to get physical about its claims to seas claimed by other nations, particularly Japan, Vietnam, and the Philippines. Oil rigs and warships are on the move. North Korea is firing missiles into the sea for fun. The potential for something to boil over in the region seems greater than it has been for decades.

Iraq

Back in the Middle East, Iraq is visibly falling apart, with Sunni insurgents seizing large swaths of land on one side, Kurds seizing oilfields on the other, and the central government on the verge of a no-confidence collapse in the middle.

Economic Fallout

All of this—and more skirmishes around the world—may seem far away to many readers, but in today’s global economy, we are all vulnerable to the fallout from open warfare anywhere in the world.

It’s not just that battles over Iraqi oilfields could impact supply of the global economy’s life blood, but the financial implications of intensifying East-West conflict. There are far-reaching changes afoot that will impact business and lives all around the world. For example, consider the news just out that Putin signed a nuclear cooperation deal with Argentina while there last week. This important straw in the wind is evidence of shifting spheres of influence and power.

It seems clearer than ever to me that the US dollar’s days as reserve currency of the world are numbered—and that number is not very large. Russia seems hell-bent on reducing the number at a rate that could be as suicidal as the Hamas rocket attacks on Dimona. The good news is that the Chinese seem smarter and more careful in their moves to dethrone the already-precarious USD.

The big question then becomes: is anyone really smart enough to play with such fire without getting burnt?

I can’t say I know the answer, but it’s not something I’m comfortable trusting the minions of Putin, Xi, and Obama to get right over time.

The black swans, they are a-swirlin’, closer and closer… It's time to prepare, financially, if not physically, for war.

This is exactly the sort of situation Doug Casey predicted we'd be seeing more of, and it's why we've chosen protect our wealth with gold and silver—and to speculate on related stocks for profit.

That’s been a tough position to defend the last couple years, but our market sector does seem to have turned this year. We’ve had excellent opportunities to take profits in March and June, and we expect more and better ones before the end of 2014.

I hope you will join me, in so doing, whether on your own, or by subscribing to my monthly newsletter, the International Speculator. I’ll be sure to highlight the 5-bagger I mentioned above, so you know which stock I’m talking about.

If you’re not sure if a subscription is the right move for you, I encourage you to come meet me in San Antonio. Ask me any questions you like and then decide for yourself. I’m confident you’ll find great value in our Casey Summit, whatever else you decide.