Friday, September 21, 2007
After an Iran War: China in, Russia out?
Two of the best reasons not spoken for a war with Iran are that it would bring in China and push out Russia.
The latter first: Iran has been transforming into a Russian client state, and this relationship is enormously profitable to Russia. By supporting the Islamic Republic, Moscow is able to distract Washington from more important goals throughout eastern Europe. The fate of the soft revolutions against authoritarianism and the expansion of Europe as far east as possible simple matter to us far more than does the particular fate of Iran, or even the Shia generally. As long as Moscow is able and willing to provide Iran cover, our important work in Ukraine, and Georgia, and beyond that in Belarus and Kazakhstan, is set back. If Iran in chaos is the price that needs to be paid for expanding the European Care and crippling Russia's ability to cause mischief, then those benefits alone mean a positive ROI (return on investment).
The former last: One of the many reasons that America had trouble expanding the coalition of the willing to include Iran and China is that the Asian states are accustomed to free-riding of American efforts in the Gap (the Muslim world and Africa). Unfortunately, much of the hard work in shrinking the Gap relies less on stealth bombers and more on boots on the ground. American labor is simply too expensive to allow Washington to field a 200,000 man army a quick and successful Iraq stabilization may have required, and similarly too expensive to do much good throughout Africa. Critics of strikes on Iran often say that such a war would invite increased attention to the third world from China and India. I say good. We need the powers of the New Core as partners. If the Iran War enables that, then the struggle is worth it.
The problem is that Europeans see Russians as fellow Europeans which the Americans aren't. Has the author spoken with any European, recently?
Posted by: Marc Borg | Friday, September 21, 2007
Thanks for your comment.
You are right that Russia is far closer to Europe than America. This leads to a dynamic that is well known in other areas, as well "The United States will get bored and go away. Russia won't."
The US is capable of exerting pressure on Europe only when she focuses on Europe. Intransigent European regimes can merely wait out American demands until some new crisis occurs somewhere in the world.
Russia, by contrast, is hard-wired into Europe. Her demands are constant, her opportunities are constant, her present is constant.
This is why the only game more popular than anti-Americanism among the European elite is anti-Russianism.
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Saturday, September 22, 2007
I'm European myself. one think you should know is that you don't want to fuck with Russians. just think back at WWII.
Imagine scenario like this: USA and RF (russian federation) declare the state of war. now we talking about world wide global conflict and cold nuclear winter for all of us. my topic about nuke Afganistan might be wrong at this point since that republic lies within RF. but the mutual agreement would be nice.
Posted by: freelancer | Tuesday, September 25, 2007
No need for a hot war. The West merely has to keep Russia on her glidepath from great power to central asian kleptocracy.
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Since 9-11 I've been pondering the feasibility of a federation or confederation or something to replace the impotent UN; something like a Congress of Civilized Nations. Yeah, something of a pipedream, but imagine if you will a strong alliance of of democratic nations - maybe NATO as the seed organization with Russia, Israel, S. and C. American democracies, and whomever else who wants to join - with every nation which is ruled by some despot or theocrat not allowed membership.
More and more it appears that civilized nations have to band together or we all might end up swallowed by a resurgent caliphate. Scary thought, that.
Iran's ruling mullahs and Ahmedinejad might back down from such an organization, or at least it would be nice if they would. Personally I doubt it. But maintain that it needs to be seriously contemplated - an organization of civilized nations - sooner or later.
Posted by: Timothy H. Willis | Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Perhaps the most powerful multinational union -- outisde the United States and European Union -- is the World Trade Organization. The power of the WTO, and the economic growth is enables, will leave the Islamic world further and further behind.
The terror and death that the Middle East exports is a real long term problem that we need to solve. But as long as we don't have suicidally wrong immigration policies (a sure thing for us, not a sure thing for Europe), it won't swallow us.
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Thursday, September 27, 2007