Alabama World Affairs Council's Archive:
Bret Stephens, key points of speech to AWAC, YouTube, 3'
revised 8 May '08 with new speaker notes by Jeremy Lewis.
CONTENTS:11 September, 2007. Major General USA (Ret) William L. Nash, “The Implications of 9/11 for US Foreign Policy.” Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention at the Council on Foreign Relations.
16 October, 2007. Arthur Herman,“Why Iran Acts the Way it Does.” Author, Coordinator of the Smithsonian's Western Heritage Program.
20 November, 2007. John Pomfret, "The New China." Los Angeles bureau chief for the Washington Post.
15 January 2008, Amb. Chas. Freeman, "The Middle East: U.S. Policy, Oil and Water," President, Middle East Policy Council and Co-Chair of U.S. China Policy Foundation, former Asst. Secretary of Defense for international affairs, and then US ambassador to Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf war.
8 April 2008. Peter Zeihan,"Iraq: From Beginning to End". Director of Global Analysis, Strategic Forecasting, Inc., or Stratfor, a private intelligence agency.
6 May, 2008. Four Air War College senior instructors report on their trips to visit various hotspots around the world as part of the AWC Regional Studies Program.
11 September, 2007. Major General USA (Ret) William L. Nash, “The Implications of 9/11 for US Foreign Policy.” Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention at the Council on Foreign Relations. A West Point graduate, he has a distinguished combat record in two wars and peacekeeping experience in Bosnia and Kosovo. General Nash is a former armored division commander and brigade commander in Desert Storm. After his retirement from the Army, he became the United Nations regional administrator in northern Kosovo.
Maps index | Maps of Middle East | Maps of Asia Introduction: service in Vietnam, Bosnia, Kosovo, Princeton U., Senior Fellow of military affairs, Georgetown U. On occasion of Sixth anniversary of 9/11 attacks. Was in Gen. John Vessey chair at Council on Foreign Relations. Prepared Remarks Full spectrum Conflict Management needs to be considered more in US. Before, during & after war. Help countries to recover after wars. Prevention, mitigation and recovery should be central to US foreign policy. Afghan & Iraq. Gen. Petraeus testimony to Congress today, facing tougher questions in Senate than in House, challenged that larger issues obviate his plans. Timetable for withdrawals of troops essentially set by limited resources. Divisions of Shia, Sunni and Kurds. In Kosovo, finding a way for Bosniacs, Serbs to get along, was very difficult progress. Iraqis have had four years of zero sum game, no tradition of compromise. Tactics vs strategy. Strategy requires sense of objectives. Tony Cordesman, examining the assessment. Sectarian cleansing not prevented from top of Iraqi govt. Past failures of Iraqi security forces imply difficult task to develop them. Four years make it appropriate to assess the progress. Progress not always visible through media: e.g. During sandstorm in Iraqi invasion, press did not realize there was not a pause – artillery and aviation were pounding enemy during the lull on the ground. Nash told BBC then that needed to assume victory and prepare for the peace. George Marshall example: 90 days after Pearl Harbor he was already preparing for consequences of future victory. Must change the conversation about American foreign policy: US must be seen as a force for justice and development. OBL is talking about global warming and mortgage rates, AIDS – and gathers more support. US politicians are good at that domestically, but not in foreign policy. Building permanent bases while talking about temporary surge. Appears locally to be hypocritical. We still tend to define problems in military terms instead of political, economic and social. (US, “DIME”) Question Time: Is even 130,000 troops unsustainable for US army?
At best on the margin, because 30,000 only just home, need at least 12 month turn around. There will be 100,000 troops there even on election day 2008. When did Nash change his view of Iraq? Feb. 2003 on CNNI said (even then believing WMD existed) did not see justification for invasion over WMD, or connection to terrorism or 9/11 with Iraq. [i.e. questioned administration’s casus belli]. US is at a strategic disadvantage because of the attack on Iraq. How to stop flow of weapons across Iraqi border? In Bosnia, IDEAM: Isolate, Dominate problem. In Iraq, need to use technology to isolate the problem from outside forces. Distances are vast, British & US zones, Syria on other side. Relations with Iran? Broaden focus. Clarity of objectives, intentions, towards Iran. Permanent bases cloud this. What would Nash do today? We will leave Iraq in a deliberate, planned way, down to zero. Any forces remaining would have to be negotiated by agreement with Iraq. Must make progress in other areas as even handed, honest broker in Israel and Palestine. Open up dialog to chop out the knees of OBL. At present the envoy speaking to Iran is the amb. To Iraq – not a high level engagement. How have we handled post conflict in Iraq & Afghan, generally? In Afghan: never committed sufficient forces. Politics come first, security forces only there to support political process. Is it a mistake to arm Anbar’s tribes currently? Sunni tribes only committed against AQ, and does leave potential for conflict with central government. One state with three nations. Tribes run on consensus, hence not an unknown art in arab world. In Saudi, battalions trained from tribes for national army. Iran: Ahmadinejad is a trouble maker but also a flake; we should not bolster his support. AQ in Anbar province, Iraq overplayed their hand with [brutal] enforcement of shariat.
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16 October, 2007. Arthur Herman,“Why Iran Acts the Way it Does” coordinator of the Smithsonian's Western Heritage Program. Successful author, college professor, and conservative commentator on current issues. Books include "How the Scots Invented the Western World."
Maps of Middle East Introduction
Prepared Remarks: (Outlined by Chanley Rainey) “Why Iran Acts the Way it Does”
The Three ThemesI. Imperial Destiny – Iran sees itself as the “Middle Empire”Question Time- 5th century BCE Great Persian Prince Kuzra I ruled over vast empireII. Constant Struggle – deeply rooted sense of being on the “good” side of a constant cosmic battle b/w good & evil
- Throne room had 3 empty chairs below it in – 1 for Emperor of China, 1 for Controller of the Golden Horde (Mongol army), and 1 for Emperor of Rome – in case these “vassals” came to pay tribute
- Empire vast, even larger under predecessors (Xerces & Darius)- Problem w/ imperial destiny is that Iran has been constantly thwartedIII. The Shah v Clergy – both claim sacred authority/duty to be sole ruler of Iran- Envision a great foreign conspiracy that must be opposed vigilantly
Kuzra’s son saw empire collapse, later taken by Arab invaders 1st conquered by Byzantine Empire (Iraq), then Arabs (who assimilated them into Muslim culture) Later, dominated by Turks, Mongols, Russia, Europeans We are the latest in a long list of “foreign oppressors”
- Cast in terms of Zoroastrian concepts of constant struggle between forces of good & evil
- The tendency to perceive history in the terms of this cosmic battle is the reason Iran is drawn to Shi’a Islam
Shiites were oppressed by Sunni; Sunni was religion of Arab invaders Shi’a sect claims to follow original, true Islam Saffarid Dynasty made Shi’a state religion- These internal struggles contributed to Iranian vulnerability“How’d We Get in this Mess?”
- Also rooted in the cosmic struggle of Zoroastrianism, the Shah (often considered secular) constantly vies with the Faqi (leader of the Olima, the clerics)
- Both consider themselves divinely sanctioned; debate is over legitimacy, not secular or sacred
- Clerics & Faqi- Shah
Claim a Mandate from Heaven to lead & direct the Shi’a community to defeat the enemies of good (which includes the Shah) An actual title of the Shah is “Shadow of God on Earth” Leader must be 1 man strong enough to suppress internal factions & to fight foreign oppressors• 18th & 19th century imperialism brought European powers into Middle East“What to do About It?”
• Iran was a mess – few roads, 1 in 4 Iranians was a nomad in 1890
• Afraid that the weak state would be taken over by one of them, Europeans agreed to share power over Iran but to leave it ostensibly independent
• 1906 – group of Iranians stuck an alliance w/ clergy to force the Shah to summon a constitutional assemblyo Purpose was to address internal problems & foreign encroachment• 1908 – Australian William Knox Darcy struck oil in Southern Iran
o Created the Majlis – the 1st representative democracy of the Middle Easto Ignored Shah, dealing directly w/ local chiefs from the beginning• The Majlis contacted US for help b/c they saw us as neutral & not imperial
o Brought in large numbers of foreign investors
o Iranian population got fed upo Under Taft Administration, Morgan Schuster was sent to take over the Iranian Treasury• Britain pulled support for Schuster; Russia sent in army (seized parliament & killed Faqi
o reformed regressive tax laws, opened land ownership to poor
o revoked special tax privileges of British & Russian citizens; cancelled oil agreements
• 1911 – Schuster sent back to US
• 1921 – Mohamed Reza becomes shaho mistake of getting too friendly w/ Adolf Hitler• 1953 – US deposed Prime Minister Mosadegh and replaced him w/ new Shah
o British find out & have him removed in 1941
o Britain replaced him with his son, seen as puppeto British convinced US that he was a dangerous Soviet ally b/c of their oil interests• 1979 – Iranian Revolution
o Clerics didn’t support new shah; Faqi Kastani led opposition
o Iran lost trust in US & event became a symbol of the struggle of the clergy against a puppet shah of conspiring democracies
o US was really the puppet; the new Shah got away w/ a lot by threatening us with the idea that if not him, the Sovietso Shah abdicated to Ayatollah Khomeini (an admirer of Kastani)• Cleric Regime & Imperial Ambitions
o Public opinion was that Khomeini would lead to a liberal democracyo Far more oppressive, totalitarian, & corrupt than the Shah had been• Iran hopes US will be defeated in Iraq
o mafia state w/ Shi’a Islam as veneer
o Moving toward imperial goalso attacking Israel
push for nuclear weapons; a Shi’a Bomb (distinct from Pakistan’s Muslim Bomb) turning Syria & Lebanon into client states supporting insurgencies in Afghanistan & Pakistano Iraq is the Sunni counterpart of Shia Iran
o Iran has held itself up as the only hope for the oppressed Shi’a population of Iraq
o If a democracy leads them to liberation, threatens imperial destinyDon’t do what we’ve been doing since CarterExample:
• Carter made 2 terrible mistakeso Carter went to Iran & toasted the Shah for the great job he was doing• After Carter came Pacifism, the Hostage Crisis, and Rose Garden Diplomacyo When Shah was facing the Revolution, Carter advised him to shoot protestors in the street
Iranian public was outraged Am. Politicians cannot be trusted to uphold their own ideals He wouldn’t do it without written approval from Carter Carter backed down & we appeared hypocritical
• Iran realized they were just a political issue in a political gameo decided they too could play
o Began to appear as what we wanted them to be when they saw an opportunity to have sanctions lifted, etc.In 1995 Clinton began putting huge pressure on Russia to stop aiding Iran’s nuclear development. Then Khatami came to power in 1997 and persuaded Clinton that he was trying to build a democracy. Clinton publicly apologized for supporting the Shah and for the incident in 1953 (blame for which should be at least shared w/ UK). He also lifted the pressure on Russia and shifted US scrutiny to Iraq.Planning Ahead
• GW Bush has used the carrot & stick approacho US providing stick; Europe providing carrots• Herman quoted lines from a poem he felt characterized the world’s stance toward Iran right now:
o Europe is heavily dependent on oil from Iran though“I met a man on the stair yesterday who wasn’t there. I met him there again today. I do hope he’ll go away.”• Bombing campaign approach is ill-advisedo Hard to find nuclear sites, don’t know how many there are• Use navy & air force
o Limited solution, problematic regime still in place
o Our military is overstretched as iso Model is Reagan’s Oil Tanker War: destroyed Iran’s naval power (still no real navy) & ended Iran-Iraq War
o navy to take control of Iranian oil operations in the Gulf to cripple regime
o air force to destroy nuclear sites & others to cripple Revolutionary Guard1) What of Putin’s promise to support Iran if US takes action?- They don’t want Iran to have nuclear weapons either2) What of Iran’s huge army? (possibly 600,000 strong)
- Russia can be persuaded if we can secure their oil interests (with the navy in the Gulf)- Won’t go anywhere without gasoline; Iran has virtually no refining capability & therefore relies on imports & is in midst of a petroleum crisis3) Where does Shi’a Iran stand w/ Sunni al Qaeda?- Many are in both Sunni & Shi’a organizations4) What of Diplomacy?
- Line blurs when they have common enemy in US- Only works when we have credibility; we have none because we keep shaking the stick instead of using it
- Our goals are to make Iran give up its nuclear weapons and comply w/ UN
- Sunni Middle East is our unspoken ally – they don’t want Shi’a uprisings backed by Iran & they really don’t want an Iran hegemony
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20 November, 2007. John Pomfret, "The New China." Currently the editor of the Outlook section of the Washington Post and the author of the acclaimed book, "Chinese Lessons." Educated at Stanford University and Nanjing University, he was the chief of the Chinese Bureau of the Washington Post during the Tiananmen Square incident. He speaks Mandarin plus four other languages and is married to a Chinese entrepreneur.
Maps of Asia Introduction
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- Study in China, 1980:
- Pomfret’s application to teach English in Taiwan having been rejected, he left for China in 1980, a 21 year old from Stanford University.
- In 1979, relations with China had been normalized.
- He arrived in Sep. 1980 in Beijing language institute, studying Chinese alongside a group of Scots.
- The Nanjing University’s president allowed foreigners to live with Chinese in the dormitories, an attraction.
- 7 guys shared an unheated, 10x15’ room in four bunks. Chinese, he found, wore only blue or green clothes, ate garlic vegetables, washed their feet before bed and took their weekly showers at night.
- Pomfret left in 1982 to work for the Associated Press in New York and elsewhere.
- Return to China, 1988.
- He returned to China in 1988 as it was opening and interested in western democracy, holding the first modern art exhibit.
- When the General Secretary died, and troops attacked the demonstrators in Tiananmen Square, he found himself reporting on the west side, among PLA troops – and was expelled for allegedly stealing state secrets and violating martial law.
- Pomfret served AP in Bosnia, Sri Lanka and Zaire, among other places.
- Return (recently) to China.
- Then the Washington Post publisher Martha Graham worked to return him to China.
- He was still in touch with his old roommates via seasonal greetings cards, but found lives totally changed. Five dollar a month incomes had swelled to a hundred. Half of the 63 classmates had cars and owned apartments – a huge change.
- There was also unease about the future.
- Four bets on the future:
- 1. Globalizing the economy while retaining the old political system
- 2. Demographics are depressing
- 3. Growing out of the environmental problems
- 4. To become a great country without a belief system.
- 1. Political Economy:
- His former roommate “Big Bluffer” (a gin rummy ace) turned Hunan Rd into a commercial district, sending in anti-pirating police until the shopkeepers relented. Residents reluctantly agreed to hide the laundry on their roofs.
- Inspired by Las Vegas, he installed a neon art tunnel.
- He drove out the street pedlars, and shoppers flocked to the zone, generating $100 M revenue.
- Lesson: the CP picks winners & losers, CP friends are winners, but the economy is too complex to work this way.
- 2. Demographics:
- Many women are in factories, but the one child policy will lead by 2040 to an older population than in the US – without a health care system.
- PRC will become the first country to age before it gets rich.
- 3. Environment:
- Roommate “Book Idiot” Joe was Red Guard in his village, having had at 11 yrs to “struggle” his mother aloud for being a part-time seamstress and hence a capitalist roader.
- Now he’s a capitalist – extracting pharmacy products for bloodclots from urine.
- Hwai river is badly polluted, with barge like scabs floating, a sick population hurt by heavy metal residues.
- The Bumboo workforce was shut down to stop pollution, by a very efficient command and control system.
- However, by 2005 it had informally reopened without pollution controls.
- CP’s commands only work for a time, until crowd behavior overcomes the system.
- 25 million new workers arrive annually, so the economy will always take priority over the environment.
- 4. World Power without a Moral Compass:
- Lucy Doo is now in a NJ suburb, materially OK – but as an evangelistic Christian, is envied because she has something to believe.
- 1949-76, Mao destroyed the old feudal culture.
- 1976- Deng destroyed the belief in communism, and society now seeks riches.
- Society lacks beliefs to replace the older systems, so cults and religions flourish.
- Confucius is making a comeback.
- China is the largest recipient of FDI, and language learning is a positive factor for China’s future. We need to help China avoid falling off a cliff.
- Question Time:
- Military? Share of GDP has declined since 1976, and the military has been ordered to exit businesses, but still hefty in politics.
- Dangerous products? Vigorous US agencies are needed, since Chinese regulatory structures are poorer and bribable.
- Islam a problem for China? Large parts do hold Islamic minorities. One Chinese muslim was taken by US forces to G’itmo, found not harmful, and released to Albania [sic]. US also did label one minority group terrorist.
- Tiananmen Square spirit dead? Yes for time being, students now ignorant even of the symbolic man in front of the tank.
- Wealth gaps? Now larger than in US, with a rapid increase in crime and a large underclass. Police precincts often reject crime reports to avoid reporting figures upwards. The elite backs the CP, while the poor is disfranchised and their leaders are jailed.
- President Hu? A transitional figure, he rose by avoiding mistakes – but next two rising leaders are more creative, children of the cultural revolution.
- Taiwan? Optimistic, since they both speak money -- and most on Taiwan want to coexist. Some aggressive mainland voices are found on web, but leaders on both sides are steadier.
- Bush China policy? Actually successful, a rare instance in W. Bush administration. US debt to China is $1 Trillion, but a symbiotic relationship. Should the Chinese dump the bonds, both sides’ economies would crash.
- Pragmatism versus ideology? Important in 1990s after Tiananmen Square. Then the issue was whether to emphasize the market economy or military power? Now the issue is whether to uphold the market economy or balance by aiding the poor? The issues are more subtle, more like the Democrat /Republican debates, and faction based within CP – but it is harder now to read the tea leaves.
- University system? A 7 subject entry test requires of teenagers long study at night, amid intense competition. However, there is rampant plagiarism, universities are less rigorous, and lack teamwork. Primary and secondary education are good but not the universities. Handicapped kids are barred – there is a social Darwinist view.
- US $1 Trillion debt to China? China is overheating and banks have been ordered to stop lending. They will comply, but in a few weeks they return to business. Saying, “Top has a policy – bottom has a way of dealing with it.” (Provinces quietly obstruct Beijing.) Inflation is an issue now, like 1989, but then the government controlled it over several years. The center’s analysis is good, but command and control are used instead of interest rates.
- Global competition for oil? Yes, but no tension yet. Have own coal. Shortage is not of oil – just geopolitical stability.
- Currency undervalued? Should continue to appreciate Yuan and will float it eventually, but they are nervous because of need to export.
- Stock market? Roller coaster ride or casino.
- Navy? Blue water force growing to face Taiwan, and protect trade. Acquiring anti-ship missiles, submarines, landing craft, Russian aircraft, and tested anti-satellite weapon.
- Global warming? Chinese national interest is their lens on future. Did sign Kyoto protocol, since it does not restrict them.
- Cuba blockade contrasting with China trade? Not many Chinese [as interest group] in Florida. Yahoo did give a dissident’s name to Chinese authorities, and he went to jail. So free trade policy within morality.
- Hong Kong? Was expected to become only secondary city – but still has free and fair legal system and press, if not elections.
15 January 2008, Amb. Chas Freeman,"The Middle East: U.S. Policy, Oil and Water," President, Middle East Policy Council and Co-Chair of U.S. China Policy Foundation, former Asst. Secretary of Defense for international affairs, and then US ambassador to Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf war. Amb. Freeman served in the U.S. State Department for 30 years, speaks Chinese, French, Spanish, and Arabic; has written two influential books; and received two Distinguished Public Service Awards. Maps of Middle East Introduction by Jim Nathan Most able diplomat of the last three generations. First meeting with Deng, he managed to get Pres. Taft’s railroad bonds paid off. Excellent linguist and able to translate for presidents including Nixon abroad. Paved way for allied forces into Saudi in Gulf war 1. Marvellous dictionary of diplomacy, recreated from memory after disk was lost. Prepared Remarks Middle East, like China, is accumulating wealth and power at a huge rate, owing to higher oil prices. More fun to talk about uplifting story of China, recovering its place in the world – whereas Middle East is confusing and depressing. Arabs invariably polite to guests, and yet greeted President Bush recently with series of critical public policy comments on middle east, Iran and Afghanistan. [Something is wrong]. German and Japanese forces in Afghan theatre, indicates transcendence of C20th. What are American interests in region? Back to basics. What policies would you expect to advance those interests? What policies being followed, what results expected, how to remedy mistakes? When appointed to Middle East, was assured by Bush (41) nothing happened there [right before Gulf 1]. First US interest is energy, 60% of world’s is located in Middle East. Energy is sold into global market, not a bilateral trade. We actually don’t import much from Middle East, but still dependent on global supply. 1. US needs stability and predictability in Middle East. Carter doctrine, gulf war defended that stability. Avoid introduction of radicalization of region, and conflict of ideologies, that like 1973 war, might lead to interruption of supply. Burden sharing would be good policy, since energy is global trade. China, Japan, Europe expected to contribute rather than taking a free ride. Instead, acting unilaterally we are held accountable. 2. Second interest in Middle East is securing Israel and its acceptance in region. Israel is still seen as a scofflaw, colonial implant, threat to others in region. US expected to help make peace, but not pursued vigorously in recent years. Integrate Israel into Middle East, thereby helping democracies & human rights. But Israel is not part of political process in Middle East, or economic system (except Jordan) 3. Access to Asia is via Middle East – 30,000 overflights of Saudi by military to Asia in early 1990s, including those via Qatar. 6th fleet in Bahrain relies on Saudis also. Access to holy places in Middle East, Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem. All three Abrahamic religions seek access. Denial promotes conflict. Access for commercial reasons – Saudi was 50% of trade between Europe and India – and they loved US large cars for many years. Access for cultural reasons. Dean Rusk to Congress, at any time 2/3 of world is awake and some are up to no good. Need to avoid wars of religion. Policies in reality. Have given up on regional balance – unlike in Gulf War 1. Instead now have direct US presence, the most expensive, fatiguing, and aggravating direction. This also makes the US the logical target of blame. We have not pursued burden sharing. Have not made serious effort to make peace, but have supported Israeli effort – now Israeli efforts make Palestinian area a reservation (like US Indians) not a sovereign state. Israel must choose between Jewish state and democracy for all. Carter & Olmert have used term apartheid for this dilemma. This was not envisaged by founders of Israel US has not established rights of access in region, and talk of attacking Iran has led to refusals to cooperate by states in region. Market share has plummeted, in rapidly growing market, raising doubts about the dollar as the currency of region and the currency of oil. Exchange of students and travel is now a small fraction of level pre 2001. The US is misperceived as conducting crusade against Islam, rather than a war against extremists who usurp Islam. What can we do about it? Next administration will inherit mess of poor relations -- from Iraq, Israel, Gaza, gulf Arabs, Palestinians, even Turks. Needs organized forum of equal dialogue with Arabs, lack of this leads to problems at pump. Iraqi groups look to US, not Maliki government, for solutions to local problems – colonial type problem even though we did not seek it. We have gone from 4 ships permanently in Middle East – to hundreds of thousands of troops and contractors. Will need to withdraw over horizon. Time for Americans to ask ourselves what our interests in holy land are, and condition generous assistance to region, especially Israel, on benchmarks – rather than leaving Israel free to pursue course based on hubris rather than viable future for itself. Focus on cooperation, not conflict, with Islam. Religious wars are ugly, violent and peculiarly nasty. Al Qaeda although on the run in Iraq, is growing elsewhere. Has murdered far more Muslims than Christians or Jews. Gitmo detention center is a blight on our country. Should focus on building support against a common enemy of extremists who kill more muslims than others. No-brainer -- but somehow unable to do this. Reconsider garrison state in this country – do not exclude and humiliate at borders, prevent business people and students from coming, need balance of security with open society. W. Bush administration needs to lay the basis for more constructive solutions. Question TimeTop of Page We learned how to conduct foreign policy in bipolar world on cold war, which we won without fighting. Opted since then for diplomacy-free foreign policy, where use of force is first option rather than last resort. In military sphere, do not even know what we spend, since elements are excluded even from large DOD budget: DOE has nuclear energy, intelligence budget, homeland security, health care for veterans, and interest. Over $1Trillion per year is spent on total military effort, but only tens of billions on diplomatic effort. Is Islam inherently against secular government, and dominated by austere movements now? Some Christian dominionists in US also seek end to separation of church & state. Nonetheless, Islam is now undergoing reformation -- and should remember Martin Luther was uncouth reactionary in his time – ideas became revolutionary to church in due course. Some more intense Islamists remind one of Luther, we can still engage in dialogue – have had some with Pope. Islam is misportrayed internationally and in US society – generally peaceable, crime free. But Islam is reacting to many things – see Graham Fuller, current Foreign Policy magazine, what would world be like without Islam? Reactions against US have more to do with invasions than with religion. Cannot impose values on other people – can only work with those in foreign society to advance common ideas. Democratization? Met Iranian professor in Beirut forum with EU – every election in Middle East has turned to Iranian advance – a good idea and we will now pursue it. Historic relation between India and region, well understood in Middle East, because British Raj had to pass through Middle East, now 7-8 million Indians working in region, remitting large sums to India. Chinese are latecomers, their culture is irreligious, a disadvantage – and labeled communist. Hard for Arabs to accept them. Power of economics though is now involving Chinese -- and Dubai has Chinese mall with 4,000 Chinese companies with local representatives. Russia historically has been excluded from region but now has found common interests with its oil production, especially military aircraft. World is becoming more multipolar, regional forces directing events. US has little influence outside military area, and events are being driven by Iran and Saudi. Other powers are reacting to that. Will there ever be a Palestine as pre-1967? Olmert referred to this after Annapolis. 22% of land was available to Palestinians in 1967, much less today – but still not enough for a viable state. Gaza is like the old Warsaw ghetto at present. Some Arabs would prefer to remain in Israel if a secular state – but unlikely because settlers want a Jewish state. The irony of Jewish settlements is that by successfully extending Israel, they have made the Jewish character of the state problematic. Are there Presidential candidates with more constructive foreign policy? No. All are punting on the issue, like the administration of the day. Noone is proposing a new course – they are vague on what change means.
8 April 2008. Peter Zeihan,"Iraq: From Beginning to End". Director of Global Analysis, Strategic Forecasting, Inc., or Stratfor, a private intelligence agency that has been referred to as "a shadow CIA" and lists as its clients Fortune 500 companies and "Major governmental agencies." Maps of Middle East Introduction: Notes by Emily White, Global Leadership major, Huntingdon College, '08 Zeihan began work at Stratfor, a non-partisan, private intelligence agency, nine years ago when he found a website of political critiques. He wrote in, corrected one of the authors, and then submitted his own article. He was hired one month later. Prepared Remarks
I. Analysis of the United States• 20-Year Law: What is true today will not be true twenty years from now! What you know is not true.• The Bottom Line- We like the all-important underdog. In the case of Iraq, they are a bunch of Shias surrounded by Sunnis.o Example- In the 1950’s and 1960’s, the US was the world’s only superpower. It seemed like nothing could stop us. Twenty years later, in the 1980’s, the US was convinced we would lose the Cold War. It seemed like nothing could save us.• These things will NOT exist twenty years from today:o US-Jihad War• Cycles of History
o Iraq insurgency
o Unified Europeo 1500’s- first real international epoch; phases- Spain, England, Germany, Cold War• Today- the Cold War era is over and the epoch of European domination is over.
o First international System- European rule
o Sudden fall-aparts due to falling out among allies at the end of an erao This is the US’s time of domination.• Key country: United States
o “Mankind’s first interregnum interregnum”
o Will probably not pass peacefullyo Rivers interconnect, oceanic barriers lead to isolation and trade, intrusions are rare and always seen out of context• What NOT to do if you want to peacefully coexist with the US (US’s source of power):
o Mexico is the only nation that is geographically matched with the US. It has a lot of long-term potential.
o Empire by accident
o Result is a manic-depressive culture; we overreact and over compensate (Examples- Sputnik, Vietnam, Oil Shocks, Japanophobia, 1980’s recession, and September 11, 2001)
o New Orleans is the key city. Without New Orleans, the US would crumble.o Secure control of North America• Every US President over the past 200 years has done these things. We are dictated but enabled by our geography.
o Secure strategic depth
o Control sea approaches
o Dominate the oceans
o Keep Eurasia dividedAnalysis of Iraq• Al Qaeda- the US originally helped them form to thwart the Soviet Uniono End goal- recreate the Islamic Caliphate• The Why of Iraq: US
o Method- massive uprising against all secular Middle Eastern powers
o Trigger- outrage at American actions in the Middle East (because we promote secular powers)
o Action- World Trade Center (1993), USS Cole, embassy bombings, September 11 attacks
o Now aim is to provoke the US to work with secular governments in the Middle East so that the umma (Islamic community) will be angered enough to rise up in revolto Proved US power is not limitless• US allies surrounding Iraq:
o Limits of hegemony- time delay
o Chose to attack Iraq over Pakistan because of its location
o Tora Bora decision- caves were used as hideouts, and President Bush chose not to use the necessary 12 nuclear bombs to possibly kill one mano Saudi Arabia- money, recruits• Al Qaeda is no longer an international threat- has moved from September 11 to irrelevance
o Iranian blind eye
o Parking in Baghdad scares them into turning on al Qaeda
o Interrogated Arabs across the US; al Qaeda cuts off communications with members once they are caught; denied al Qaeda access to their own resourceso Now, its only power is in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.• So why are we still there?
o Most Middle Eastern countries are now on US’s side.o Blame Donald Rumsfeld: No follow-up plan, military reorganization, Cold War is over and the new doctrine is power projection.• Iraq’s “Wrinkle”
o Fatal flaw- tried to dramatically increase military technology AND fight a war of occupation at the same time.
o Bush Strategy: Build off what we know, and let others do the heavy lifting.o IRAN!• The US’s Biggest Nightmare:
o Iraq has always invaded Iran after it has become a unified power.
o Iran is worried but has a massive army.
o Iraq is 60% Shia. Iran is mostly Shia as well.
o It all comes down to expectations and terms.o A (really) Persian Gulf and a divided Iraq• Iran’s Biggest Nightmare:o Return of Saddam and the US leaves their equipment with the Sunnis• The Iranian Tool Boxo Shia religious links• Iran’s best tool of all: Sadr
o Power/gas imports to US
o Oil exports
o Control of the Strait of Hormuz
o Afghan links
o Russian helpo Trades on his name• Iran’s New Reality
o Has wide appeal
o Extremely disruptive potential
o Not a religious authority
o Easy to bring backo Beyond Bush- there for the long haul because we have committed resources and alliances; Clinton and Obama have no choice• Sadr Problem
o Reconsolidated West (France is an emergent leader)
o Iran’s annoyance with the UN
o Uncaring China and Japan
o Israeli examples (eager to fight)
o Palestineans are contained
o US-Arab alliance because they are also threatened by al Qaeda
o Opportunistic Russia who will only help Iran to a certain point; they are really just looking out for themselveso Power outside religious authority• Sadr Solution
o Essentially a gang
o Massive power in Basra
o Overreaching Iranian control
o Own power baseo Send him back to school• What’s Next? US-Iranian talks:
o Make the issue about law enforcement
o Religious overhaul
o Disband militia and enter “politics”o Will not be quickly accepted by public of either nation (Nation of Satan and the Axis of Evil)
o Do it all before the Presidential election
o Pray there’s not another Lebanon War
o Finalize details of Iraq armed forces
Question TimeTop of Page China has too much to worry about economically, that it is not a military threat to the US. The US has close ties with too many of the countries that China gets its resources from. The US could shut China down in a week by eliminating its access to the oil pipelines on which it so greatly depends.
6 May, 2008. Four Air War College senior instructors will report on their trips to visit various hotspots around the world as part of the AWC Regional Studies Program.Maps indexPresenters:
Introduction to Dr. Gentleman, Latin America
- Dr. Judith A. Gentleman, South America
- PhD, SUNY Buffalo. Professor and Dept Chair, Int. Sec. Studies, AWC. Was a Fulbright scholar in Mexco and Colombia. Has held positions at the University of New Hampshire and UC San Diego. Articles and reviews published in PSQ, Journal of InterAmerican Studies & World Affairs; Latin American Research Review; and the APSR. Author or editor of three books on Mexico. Curently adjunct instructor for Latin American studies, USAF Special Operations school.
- Dr. Mark Conversino, Russia & Ukraine
- BA, Eastern KY University, MA & PhD Indiana University. Assoc. Dean of Academic Affairs, overseeing curricula for six core courses and the electives. Has taught at SAAS and USAFA. Former aircraft maintenance officer and squadron commander. Logistics officer at DLA and Deputy Chief of Director's Staff Group. Author of Fighting with the Soviets: The Failure of Operation Frantic, 1944-45 (1997) and many articles and chapters. Research areas are military history (particularly second world war) and the eastern bloc airpower history.
- Dr. Alexander N. Lassner, Central Europe
- MA, PHD Ohio State University, in modern military and central European history. Fulbright scholar in Austria and presidential Fellow at OSU, focussed on Europe in the interwar period. Former consultant to the Mershon Center for International Security, and Asst. Professor at ACSC. Visiting professor at International summer school, Innsbruck, Austria. Numerous articles and essays on modern military history.
- Moderator Kurt Schake: AWC ran 15 regional trips, covering most parts of the world.
Colombian tour was cut owing to last minute events on border. Prepared Remarks Argentina especially challenged. Emphasis on recovery from financial meltdown 2000-01 and depression.. Nearly half population fell into poverty. Political depression stemming from internal war from 1950s thru 1970s, between Peronists and military government. Leading political actor is Peronist party, Justicialist party, in power since end of military dictatorship 1984. President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. Formerly powerful Senator, but succeeded husband. Trying to build credible justice system, build defense sector despite trials ongoing from dirty war. President had granted immunity to those on government side of dirty war, but Kirchners have revisited that decision. Education used to be credible but now in tatters, creates considerable tension. Relations with US C+, difficulty on both sides. Argentina does business with Hugo Chavez – even though is not like Venezuela, does not respond to directives from Venezuela. Energy shortfall, blackouts, not energy sufficiency, problem across Southern America except Brazil. Inflation and food shortages recently. China’s incredible demand for soy has turned farmers toward international market, led to catastrophic downturn in domestic food supply. Using caps on prices now, but that destroys incentives. Tariff on exports of soy now, to turn it back to domestic consumption. Farmers have taken to streets in protest. Chile, somewhat better news. Adapted very well to global market, also a female president Michelle Bachelet. Sustained economic growth, reduced poverty rate. Bolivia refuses export of natural gas because since nineteenth century Chile has refused access to sea. Water shortage from glacier melt. 56% of exports are in copper, where price has been soaring. Chile now uncompetitive as manufacturing center because wages have come up. Macuche Indians now active with land claims, caused cabinet change in government. Successfully reestablished democracy, and Bachelet has restored her approval ratings. Chile also involved in peacekeeping operations -- the mainstay in Haiti, along with Argentina. Joint peacekeeping brigade, contrast with war between C & A in 1978, Rapid response unit for UN requests. Introduction to Dr. Lassner, Central Europe Central Europe had almost disappeared for 60 yrs till fall of wall. Budapest to Krakow, Warsaw, Berlin. All 3 countries are in NATO since 1999 and EU since 2004 – also Schengen [open borders] group includes Poland and Hungary, allows labor to move freely across EU. This is of concern to France and Germany, because labor cheaper. Prepared Remarks
- Hungary is SE border of Schengen.
- Has Leftist socialist government, and about size of IN.
- Market economy and has had several democratic elections.
- Privatization is a difficult road.
- NATO ally of US and in GWOT, 300 men in Iraq since 2005, 270 in Afghan, plus Bosnia and Kosovo. Significant effort from 10 M pop.
- Has had to rework its military, modernizing and bringing in new officer corps.
- Post iron curtain, susceptible to US policies (like Poles); and see US as guarantor of independence. Post WW1, 5 M Hungarians were left in surrounding countries – but now sees repatriation as not practical, so tries to ameliorate conditions within EU.
- Energy issues, reliance on Russia, but now bringing gas from central Asia.
- Poland E border of EU, center right gov for a year, 30 M people, liberalized economy.
- Incomplete electrical and water supplies in countryside – but successful Poles leave Warsaw for countryside, a cultural factor.
- Closer relations with US, seek to bind US to Poland.
- 2000 troops Iraq, plus those in Afghan, plus provincial reconstruction team in Afghan.
- Suspicious of resurgent Russia, see US as first line of defense, willing to host interceptor missiles despite Russian threats.
- Poles use coal, are energy short, and would like energy pipeline through Hungary from Asia. Unhappy with Germans getting energy from sea route.
- Germany 83 M pop, largest in EU.
- Economically largest trade with US after UK.
- In Afghan, largest contingent of troops after UK.
- Can only deploy 15,000 troops at any given time.
- 2.5% Turkish pop, bound up in secularism vs Islamism.
- Angela Merkel has Red-Black coalition (left/ right coalition).
Introduction to Dr. Conversino, The Ukraine and Russia Ukraine and Russia: entry to Kiev, Moscow, train to St. Petersburg and Moscow. Trains relatively comfortable in Russia, whereas flights take you “closer to God.” Prepared Remarks Ukraine: Yevshenko’s wife is an American, and he was a victim of attempted homicide. Yulia Timoshenko anti-Russian and they put her on Interpol wanted list! Russifed E of country and Westernized W of country. Political stalemates when nothing gets accomplished. Ukraine takes part in peacekeeping with NATO and did have contingent in Iraq. Ukrainians historically took opportunities to leave Russia. Western agenda limited by dependency on Russia for energy, and Russia has cut off energy to them. Russia Largest country Nuclear power #2 Major player in space Major source of weapons to developing world Vast oil and gas reserves, #1 producer of oil Putin stepping down tomorrow for handpicked successor. Medvedev. Putin has restored Russia as a great power. Since 1998 GDP tripled, some inflation, paid off foreign debts, Ruble has greatly strengthened. Voters for Medvedev (now President) say they are for Putin (now Premier). Moscow [images] is now like Vegas without the strippers, flashing lights, cars, well stocked stores, well dressed people – but countryside lags behind, of some concern to Govt. Warmly received in Min Def, but Russians presented talking points on missile defense and Kosovo – but if Ukraine into NATO catastrophic effect on relations with US. Looking to be treated as a great power, and want to work with US as equals. Downside to boom. Population is collapsing, death rate 59 year male, 74 women. Worse than Iraq, high suicide, 40% clinical alcoholics, smoking, TB, 143 M pop going down to 115M by 2050 says UN. Russians feel in rough neighborhood, areas of which historically used to be Chinese -- and to Russian nationalists that is an issue of survival. Only population increasing is Muslim minority. 47% of population lives in apartments, very expensive and small. Environmental disaster zone, air does not meet any standards, need $200 BN modernization of water supply. Oil and gas production have peaked and pipelines need repair. Danger of becoming only a petroleum state, with declining resources. Gov has retaken energy sector control. Most Russians do not care about loss of freedom – but 3rd most dangerous country for a journalist after Iraq and Colombia. Better for US to have strong and stable Russia – or unstable nuclear power with stockpiles? Question Time
- Argentina still unhappy at loss of Falklands?
- Yes, very, and President Cristina K, feels although became major non-NATO ally and both Argentina and Brazil closed down WMD plans, nothing has happened in return.
- Would like NATO to extend to South America.
- UK has invested $10 BN in Falklands since war, there to stay.
- Developing bona fides with peacekeepers in order to gain strength for UN resolution of issue.
- Oil prospecting off Falklands – yes, there was hope, but now no longer believed possible.
- Russian stockpile problem, e.g. nuclear subs.
- They do know where, but not in what state.
- Many are rusting in port – though nuclear stockpiles are more secure.
- Nuclear waste and byproducts are in simple pits and they even feared the Chechens getting hands on this stuff.
- Discovered in Moscow park a dirty bomb, in time.
- Pouring money into modernizing nuclear arsenal.
- Relations between Russia and China?
- They used to enjoy playing the China card as we did. Lately reduction of weapons sales to China because of Chinese reverse engineering.
- Russia fears partnership with China because would become junior partners.
- Recently Russia had 80,000 troops on Eastern border with China but Chinese can throw in half a million troops any time.
- Russia needs nuclear arms for Chinese as much as west. Fears long term relations with China.
- Russia-Ukraine relations? Russians refer to those Russians in Ukraine as “Little Russians”. Ukraine sees NATO as guarantee of not being under Russian rule again.
- Russians swallowed loss of Baltic states, but without Ukraine, Russia does not feel she has an Empire.
- Before Clinton, we told Russians we would not push NATO east, but under Clinton we did.
- Ukraine would cross the Russian line in the sand.
- Expansion a thumb in Russians eye for a decade.
- Schake: NATO operates under consensus, so eastern Europeans push to keep US in, Germans down and the Russians out. No state wants to be the eastern boundary.
- Eastern Europe thinks of longue duree of federal state of Europe. But over 100-150 years perhaps could even include Russia.
- Stabilize, democratize, federal state of Europe.
- European leadership more pro-western lately?
- Not necessarily pro-western: France should have got along with US, if so – but Chirac was Gaullist, saw France as center of western civilization.
- Force structure doing fighting in GWOT, it is Europeans, Brits, Germans, France.
- Desire to stabilize Afghan successfully. But deeply unpopular wth populations, almost universally. Don’t want military or even financial commitments, threat to social welfare systems of Europe and will throw out governments if those welfare systems are to be cut back.
- All Europeans are under 2% [floor] of military spending that US has always believed essential.
- Real [source] of European pacifism embedded in schools and universities, even plan for 6 Tornado fighters to be sent to Afghanistan takes Parliamentary debate and vote.
- German foreign ministry is equivalent of Pentagon, the biggest department -- unlike their underfunded military.
- Body bags would lead to end of all German troops in Afghanistan.
- Colombia border issue?
- US deeply involved in Colombia, CIA allegedly has insinuated itself into Gov.
- Losing Monta facility on pacific coast in 2009 when agreement ends.
- Need new base for Pacific surveillance. Serious disruption of substantial investment.
- Colombia moved against FARC and Chavez because US will not give blank check forever. Making progress against FARC.
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