World On The Brink


 

The world today has not been in a state of flux this great since the collapse of the Soviet Union about 20 years ago.  The difference between now and then was unquestioned American power militarily, economically, and politically.  Today that is no longer the case and the world is worse off for it.  In reality the danger to the world has not been this great since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1963. 

Threats Of War

1.  From the Iranian pursuit of nuclear weapons to near civil war in Syria the middle east could explode in a major war drawing in outside powers like the US that could have disastrous consequences for the entire globe.

2.  The Arab Spring has resulted in a change of leadership in key countries that have left many guessing what those nations (think Egypt) strategic direction will become.  This level of doubt has added a new twist to the problems of thinking through a potential crisis in the region.  Just like a free market economy despises uncertainty in policy so does the strategic thinker.  Uncertainty in a country’s geo-political thinking leaves its neighbors only able to guess and make assumptions with all the consequences that entails.

3.  Mexico is fighting an insurgency every bit as lethal as that in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The only difference is that we share a large unguarded border with this failed state.  The threat from the flow of illegal drugs and possible terrorist infiltration cannot be underestimated.  The www.latimes.com did a story in June of 2011 (over a year ago) that said 34,000 had already died as a result of the military crack down against drug gangs, it hasn’t gotten any better since then either.  Although the mexican economy is doing well the possibility that this violence will ultimately collapse Mexican authority over large parts of their own territory cannot be ruled out.

4.  Tensions in Asia continue to rise as China begins to flex its muscles by attempting to enforce its disputed territorial claims throughout the region.

5.  Iraq today still struggles with severe violence as the government attempts to finish off the insurgency there.

6.  Afghanistan at best can only be described as a long work in progress.  Which, oh by the way, has to be finished off by Afghans.  Who wants to wager what the outcome will be once US troops leave by 2o14.

7.  Nations like China, Russia, Iran, and Syria seem to be working in informal cooperation against the United States.  Although the US could counter each country individually or even in groups of two, when they all align against America it would be near impossible for America to impose its will on a situation like the insurgency in Syria.  Right now you have China and Russia actively working against the US administration via the UN Security Council to prevent Washington from resolving the situation.  With Europe consumed by the Euro nightmare the United States now truly stands alone against a powerful informal alliance of countries that do not share western values, and are actively working to undermine western strategic goals in the middle east and beyond. 

Economic Collapse

1.  All eyes towards Europe for in spite of continued European attempts to blame America the Europeans have managed to design and implement the biggest threat to the global economy since communism.  They did such a bad job engineering the institutions and laws governing the Euro that its collapse seems all but guaranteed, and it almost makes you wonder if they intended for this to happen from the beginning.  An outright collapse of the Euro would throw the global economy in turmoil and set off a chain of events so destructive that it would take a generation for the world to recover.

2.  Unfortuanately the problems facing the Euro also weigh on the UK, US, and Japan among others.  The difference at least for now is that these countries have the proper institutions and laws in place to attempt to deal with the problem in a reasonable manner.

3.  The entire global economy appears to slowing down all at the same time including the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) which were partly responsible for helping to prop up the global economy during the 2008 meltdown.  If everybody slows down at once where will the help come from this time?

Conclusion

As the world hurdles towards darkness one has to wonder if this madness can be stopped?  I am sure that many of the situations can be managed to outcomes that are not so catastrophic, but the original idea in the first paragraph of massive change and imminent danger to global order should not be underestimated.  The challenges are as great as they are numerous, although some challenges (perhaps Afghanistan) will appear as less important if others play out in dire fashion.  The two that I feel are the most worrisome; the Euro, and Iran are also the two most likely to come to a head in the near future.  Both of these situations are real and will be resolved one way or another.  The Euro will either collapse dragging down the world economy with it or the Europeans will take the necessary steps in fixing the Euro.  Iran will either get the bomb and begin to act even more belligerent, or the US and Israel will strike Iran to try to prevent this.  The problem is that a strike will only delay Iran, the only way to prevent them from getting the bomb is to end the regime.  Unfortunately after the debacle in Iraq no one has the stomach for that kind of action so it will be interesting to see what happens.  Either way both of these issues will be resolved in the near future for better or worse.  

How many have died in Mexico’s drug war? – latimes.com

 

Obama Lectured By Putin


 

Apparently Russian President Vladimir Putin lectured American President Obama in a tense meeting recently at the G20 summit in Mexico.  The lecture had to do with Russian resistance to American pressure on Syria.  America wants Syrian leader Assad gone but Syria is a client state of Russia and home to a Russian naval base.  Recently there had been reports that the Russians were sending in marines to bolster the naval base.  What is really interesting is that Obama had put so much effort into “Resetting” relations with Russia but as many tried to warn at the beginning of his term it has proven futile so far.  If Obama begins to realize that he cannot hope to sway Russian opinion on Syria and Iran it will be interesting to see if he will decide to bypass the UN in confronting either problem.  Or will Israel take Russian resistance as a sign that diplomacy is hopeless in dealing with Iran and go ahead and strike?  This much can be certain the world is in a critical stage where at any time a large war could break out in the middle east with uncertain outcomes.

‘The Two Men Barely Looked at Each Other’

This Is Not A UFO


 

For the second time in a short span people have seen one of the US military’s newest drones being transported by truck and thought they were witnessing a UFO in transit.  No folks it is just the X-47B, a carrier launched stealth drone that is still in the testing phase.  Should it eventually join the fleet on active duty it would mark a milestone finally achieved for the US Navy because while the air force has had stealth capabilities for literally decades the navy has been left with conventional aircraft to get the job done.  This would be a serious upgrade for the navy greatly increasing their reconnaissance and strike capabilities.  Since the US Navy will be in the lead in confronting China this is also something they can’t afford to be without.

X-47B Completes Cali Flight Testing, Moves to th

 

The Aircraft Carrier In The 21st Century


There is no greater symbol of American power and our ability to impose our will on other nations than the aircraft carrier.  It has been this way since World War II when the carrier replaced the battleship as the dominant force in naval warfare.  In a stroke of good fortune, or divine intervention, carrier dominance rose out of the ashes of America’s wrecked battleship fleet at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.   America was forced out of necessity to emphasize carrier borne operations in the fight against Japan.  Fortunately for us the carrier had already become the supreme power of the seas it was just prior to Pearl Harbor no one yet realized it.  Since that time America has used the carrier and its ability to provide a mobile, deep strike capability to police the globe, but will that still be the case in the future?  Robert Haddick points out in an article written for www.foreignpolicy.com that the cost of buying these ever more expensive ships is becoming hard to maintain for the US Navy.  The article entitled Does the U.S. really need more $15 billion boats? acknowledges the fact that US commanders still rely heavily on carriers to signal US resolve to potential adversaries, but he calls for the other services to give commanders more options than just parking $15 billion boats off the coast of threat countries.  The author pushes for the air force to more quickly develop a long-range bomber.  He asks if the army couldn’t develop longer range missiles, the technology is there but up to this point the army hasn’t pursued it because carriers always seemed to make more sense.  Unfortunately that last statement may no longer be the case.  It’s not just the cost of a modern carrier,  they have also become more vulnerable.  Case in point, China’s new “carrier killer missile” could alter the balance of power in the Pacific if it works as advertised.  This is because unlike previous Chinese anti-ship missiles this one can actually hit a moving target from extreme distances.  Perhaps turning Americas vaunted carriers into large floating coffins.  So as the author points out the cost factor, and others point out the vulnerability factor, it’s time America began looking for alternatives to the carrier before it is too late.

China has carrier-killer missile, U.S. admiral says – Washington …

UN Wants To Regulate The Internet, Congress To Consider


According to a story from www.thehill.com several nations including China, Russia, India, and Brazil are pushing for the UN to take control of the internet.  Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are concerned, and the article says that hearings are scheduled next week.  Here is the link to the story below.

Congress mulls letting UN regulate Internet…