Friday, December 21, 2007
The New Core as Loyalty Militias
Shelby Steel's recent column in the Wall Street Journal, "Obama is right on Iran: Talking with Tehran may help us wage the wars we need to fight" is so-so. A good conceptualization is muddied by tired talk of moral authority. A great start is swamped by a lousy finish.
The same is not true of Tom's summary of the (best of the) article, which is brilliant:
In my strategic vernacular, then, here’s the key difference between the Old Core and the New Core WRT the long war against radical extremism: despite the wobbly types in Europe, the long war is a war of discipline for the Old Core. We enjoy the current world order and dealing with the radical jihadists is simply a matter of preserving our advantages. Over time, globalization makes the problem go away in the variety of ways I’ve long described here (e.g., various reformations, demographics, moving beyond oil).
In contrast, for the New Core and for Seam States in general (like Turkey, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia), the long war IS a war of survival, just as it is for the jihadists themselves, doomed as they are.
This is why the West, and the U.S. in particular, will never wage—and should never wage—an all-out or total war, nor should we put America on a war footing. It’s unnecessary and unsustainable and unwise. So all that gibberish about “America’s getting the war it deserves” is all wrong. America is getting the war that’s appropriate for the risks entailed.
Just as "loyalty militias" make natural allies in a sub-national sense (we need someone who will provide security and kill our enemies -- loyalty militias exist to do just that), the New care is comprised of "loyalty countries" -- states that want the same basic goals as we do, but are more willing to kill to get there.
Allying with the New Core is as much part of our effort to shrink the Gap as is building a Military-Industrial-Complex for nation building: it makes the "correct" answer of what to do (build the Sysadmin! support the New Core!) a natural given rather than a policy decision that has to be made every time.
We should only talk to Iran when we can do it on our terms. Iran's position leaves it both with the ability to dominate the gulf and Arabian peninsula as well as be dominated from Asia (for instance from Russia).
That is why that although Iran is a semi-client of Russia now, they fear becoming a true client of Russia because of her proximity and history of territorial grabs. Thus, outside powers have always made good partners, first Great Britain, then the United States.
Event  are recreating the Great Game of yore has Russia is consolidating its control over energy resources in Central Asia, particularly in the transportation routes to it's primary customer, Europe.
Europe is definitely in a fix now, it has tied itself to Russia and it's main alternative, Iran, is in close partnership.
Now is the time to talk to Iran. We have much to offer them to the east and to the west and in development aid an, despite our troop presence, we are much further way than Russia. Russia knows this and will be trying to woo them.
Critical will be the elections this spring the 'reasonable' Rafsanjani and Khatami vs. the legions of Ahmedinijad. 
Posted by: ElamBend | Friday, December 21, 2007
I don't know that Steele's article was that muddled. After several years of nutcases acting as if diplomacy was a dirty word, a reminder of why it's important is overdue.
Posted by: Michael | Friday, December 21, 2007
"After several years of nutcases acting as if diplomacy was a dirty word, a reminder of why it's important is overdue."
Perhaps, but it doesn't make the article any less muddled.
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Friday, December 21, 2007
I disagree that the New Core will be willing to kill for us and for themselves.
I believe this goes against their grain and against their conscience.
They may, however, be very willing and very able to get things done without killing -- much as China has shown us.
Posted by: Bill C. | Saturday, December 22, 2007
Not sure that China is a good example of non-lethal globalization [1,2]....
Posted by: Dan tdaxp | Saturday, December 22, 2007