Tuesday, August 28, 2007
From Iraq to Sudan
Enterprise Resilience Management Blog, written by Stephen DeAnglis and edited by Bradd Hayes, links to a recent article in The Economist thatlooks forward to New Sudan. Both The Economist and the ERMB articles are worth reading, but I want to use this opportunity to extend my comparison of Palestine to Iraq.
Within a decade of 9/11, the world may see the division of the Palestinian territories into Fatah and Hamas states, the division of Iraq into Shia, Kurdish, and Sunni Arab regions, and the division of Sudan into "New Sudan" in the south, Darfur in the west, and a rump Khartoum government in the north.
This is exactly what is needed. 9/11 was a sympton of a malfunctioning Sunni Arab civilization combined with the Sunni Arab's world to divert feedback from itself onto others. Our responses to 9/11 have served to redirect that feedback back to the source, destabilizing a Sunni Arab system already out of kilter instead of accepting a "stability" which generates violence for us.
That's a good thing.
Update: Tom adds his thoughts.
One worrisome similarity between Iraq and Sudan; a powerful outside country that doesn't want to see the plucky underdog gain independence. In the former case, it's Turkey against Kurdistan. In the latter, it's Egypt against the South. More precisely, the Egyptians worry that a breakup of Sudan could threaten their water supply.
Posted by: Michael | Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Ultimately Egypt's demands are more technocratic, and probably can be handles with less drama. That said, destabilizing nationalist secularist Sunni Arab regimes like Egypt is probably a good thing.
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Tuesday, August 28, 2007
There is good reason to doubt hopes for a peaceful independence for a "south Sudan". I highly doubt the US or NATO will do much in the way of defending them from the Khartoum based onslaught sure to come their way in the wake of a move towards independence. Not saying I don't think it wouldn't be a nice outcome, but its entirely too fanciful at this time to seriously consider unless we are to change our position on arming, training and aligning with the forces of South Sudan.
Posted by: Eddie | Thursday, August 30, 2007
Good points. Certainly we don't want another "Western Sahara" in international limbo.
That said, my assumption is the reason New Sudan has autonomy now is that Khartoum is unable to impose her will. If she can't prevent a pseudo-state from forming in her south, can she prevent an actual state doing likewise?
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Thursday, August 30, 2007
Most of Sudan's army conscripts actually come from Darfur - were this to happen, Khartoum might not have the power to crush any South Sudan state.
Posted by: Adrian | Thursday, August 30, 2007
Superior weaponry, tactics and willingness to use brute force will overcome all but the most significant of manpower problems Sudan's army could presently have. Remember that Dar Fur's rebellion was partly due to some tribes feeling left out of the power and interest loop primarily because of the concessions made to the South in the CPA.
This is nothing but a cold peace, which will give Sudan time to further integrate itself with China, Russia and the Arab states for all the economic, political and military cover they need to finish the civil war in the manner they desire. Even today, they continue to destablize the region on their terms in a manner productive to their interests and goals. They have already violated the CPA on a consistent basis since its inception.
Does anyone really think the Sudanese will allow their crown jewel (resource wise, which is essentially all they have) to just strut away in 2011?
Posted by: Eddie | Thursday, August 30, 2007
Yes and no, Eddie. Remember that America got its independence in large part by outflanking Britain diplomatically; what if a Ben Franklin or John Adams rose in South Sudan?
China's interest is the oil; what if they came to think that an independent South will give it fewer headaches?
What if Russia's Orthodox community came to sympathise with their fellow Christians?
As I mentioned earlier, Egypt's interest is its water supply; what if they could be conviced that it water is safer in Southern hands than Northern?
What if the rest of the Arab world thought Khartoum's policies of genocide against fellow Muslims was un-Islamic (or at least bad publicity)?
Posted by: Michael | Thursday, August 30, 2007