Many people would be aware of Peak-Oil - the point at which oil demand is greater than supply - but not the serious consequences that will surely follow; such as the collapse of world markets, unemployment, energy shortages, and the eventual starvation and murder of billions of people.
When looking at all the subject matter that has come from world news in recent times it is better understood when realising that each and every country, society and community relies entirely on the constant production of fuel and its many derivatives. It is also helpful to understand that Peak-Oil is here now!
The ramifications implied by this understanding are enormous. Many people who would normally take an anti-militarist position might change their opinion when confronted with the collapse of their societies, including not just the loss of their jobs but the total loss of any way to supply even the most basic of life's needs.
America has more to lose in the short-term than any other nation as it requires not just growth to support its financial markets but also the energy to maintain its current standard of living.
If you become aware of Peak-Oil you will soon be able to read the minds of those who seem to make foolish and inappropriate decisions. You will also see smaller topics that usually wouldn't seem to bear a relationship to other less-noticed current news and views. For instance, in the last week the Australian government has announced a $2,000 rebate to those who modify their vehicles to LPG (propane) as Australia is a net producer of gas but a net importer of oil. When you combine this news with the small item of the Saudi Ghawar field showing an "inexplicable" drop in production of .8% last month (which magnifies into close to the predicted 9% decline in production when a field begins the downside slide on Hubbert's Peak) then other news also becomes easier to follow: Qantas increasing fuel levies to passengers, the downslide in air-traffic world-wide (irregardless of the timely terrorism scare) and the Alaskan pipeline problem.
To ensure America has control of the last known oil reserves it will manufacture any number of implausible reasons to take by force these last drops of liquid wealth.
The best way forward would be to accept the facts and begin to power-down in an orderly fashion but this goes against the very nature of western capitalistic beliefs. Mention austerity measures and you will see an early and sudden collapse of the investment markets, and not just a recession but a depression with no end. And there is no American president, current, previous or future who will want to take on that responsibility "on their watch".
Building large government prison complexes designed to hold vast populations in the event of Martial Law is only the beginning, there aren't enough Halliburton contracts to contain the 99% of Americans who will revolt when the economic realities are finally public knowledge.
Ironically, it is the dictatorships who will survive longest near the end, as austerity measures are more easily applied by them than by democracies who will change their governments regularly as the bite of change sets in.