Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Military Space News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



Analysis: Three crises pileup?

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
By Arnaud De Borchgrave
Washington (UPI) Dec 21, 2006
The year 2006 was the year the Bush administration reluctantly concluded al-Qaida was only a small part of a global challenge, which is as ideologically motivated as communism was against freedom during the 45-year Cold War.

America's enemies took advantage of a quagmired U.S. in Iraq to advance their quest for membership in the nuclear club. North Korea blasted its way into the club to become its ninth member and Iran was well on its way to becoming number ten. Both North Korea and Iran long ago concluded that nuclear power was the only credible deterrent against a U.S. attack. The U.S. predicament also gave Iran a rare opportunity to push its radical Shiite pawns forward in Iraq, Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.

If president Bush decides to dispatch 20,000 to 30,000 additional troops to try to bring insurgents to heel in Baghdad, a move opposed by several top generals, the Vietnamese precedent is worth recalling. Some 16,000 U.S. troops were in-country by the time President Kennedy was assassinated in Nov. 1963. Upon the recommendation of Gen. Maxwell Taylor in the fall of 1961, their status gradually morphed from adviser to South Vietnamese forces to fighting personnel. President Johnson escalated to 546,000 troops. The last U.S. soldier left Vietnam in March 1973. Saigon fell to communist forces two years later.

The Bush administration suspends disbelief that close ally President Musharraf of Pakistan is betting against the U.S. prevailing in Iraq and staying the course in Afghanistan. The appalling truth is Musharraf's geopolitical calculation has given the green light to his Inter-Services Intelligence agency to resume covert assistance to the Taliban, now fighting NATO and the U.S. in Afghanistan.

Husain Haqqani, director of Boston University's Center for International Relations, is a Pakistani scholar who served as adviser to Pakistan's principal political leaders - former Prime Ministers Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto, both now in exile abroad. Writing about Musharraf's apostasy, Haqqani says, "Pakistan's powerful...ISI never liked the idea of removing the Taliban from power in the first place. Instead of ensuring a friendly government in Kabul by working with whoever is in power there, ISI has long been wedded to the idea of installing its clients and allies as Afghanistan's rulers. Unfortunately (ISI) has repeatedly chosen extremists unacceptable to the international community for that role, including the Taliban." Haqqani once worked at the ISI.

Rather than face the consequences of Musharraf's betrayal, the Bush administration has opted for a state of denial. Facing two major foreign crises at a time is already more than the Beltway traffic can bear. A third would risk a major pileup. Bush has recalibrated Iraq from "we're winning" certitude to "not-winning-not-losing" uncertainty.

Israel and the Bush administration still believe they can put an end to Iran's nuclear ambitions before the mullahocracy develops a deliverable nuclear weapon -- either through terrorists or in the nose cone of a Shahab-3 missile with a range of 1,800 kilometers (1,280 miles), which are also flown by North Korea and Pakistan.

Clearly, whatever watered down compromise the U.N. Security Council's five permanent members plus Germany can agree to, Iran won't be deterred. Much has been made of Iran's Achilles' heel, e.g., its limited refining capacity for gasoline to keep almost five million vehicles on the road. Three out of four cars are more than 30 years old or have logged 120,000 miles (President Ahmadinejad drives a battered 20-year-old Peugeot). Even though it pumps 10 percent of the world's oil, Iran still has to import 43 percent of its gasoline,

Iran's staunch ally Venezuela has pledged to make up whatever shortfall occurs. Cars and trucks are being converted to run on natural gas at over 100 conversion centers. The government believes this will save $5 billion a year on gasoline imports. Iran has the world's second largest natural gas reserve after Russia -- 16 percent of the world's total.

Undeterred by university students burning his poster picture in front of him, president Ahmadinejad evidently reckons that whatever economic sanctions are agreed by the world's principal powers won't bite. With a second U.S. carrier task force about to leave for the Gulf, he must be assuming that air strikes -- Israeli and/or U.S. -- may kick in before the end of president Bush's second term. Iran's intensive natural gas preparations are a clear sign it is girding for the possibility of war. Its limited refining capacity will be earmarked for jet fuel to keep its air force and commercial airliners flying and for diesel for its army and navy.

Baiting the U.S. and its allies, Ahmadinejad announced Iran "is now a nuclear power" and added the United States and Britain to Israel on the list of countries doomed to disappear. "The Iranian nation will continue on its nuclear path powerfully and will celebrate a nuclear victory soon," said the diminutive president.

Radical Islam is not confined to Iraq and Iran. It is spreading among Europe's 20 million Muslims from Sweden to Spain. Militant minorities reject multiculturalism. And non-Muslim Europeans are beginning to reassess their pre-World War II and post-Cold War doctrine that appeasement is the better part of valor.

In Berlin, Mozart's Idomeneo went forward with a scene that shows the severed head of Prophet Muhammad, along with the heads of Jesus, Buddha and Poseidon, Greek God of the seas, tumbling out of a sack humped by Idomeneo. It was director Hans Neuenfels' idea of a protest against all organized religions.

Pentagon contingency plans for air strikes against Iran's nuclear facilities would be incomplete without an analysis of likely repercussions throughout the Middle East and the rest of the Muslim world. Europe's estimated one percent of violence-prone Muslims, or some 200,000 youths, should also be factored in.

Related Links
Iraq: The first techonology war of the 21st century

Russia Against US Missile Defense Plans For Europe
Lekhtusi, Russia (RIA Novosti) Dec 27, 2006
Russia is opposed to the United States' plans to deploy an anti-missile shield in Central Europe, the defense minister said Friday. Sergei Ivanov, who is also a deputy prime minister, said these plans do not even make "political sense, to say nothing of military sense". He said deployment of a missile defense system will not affect Russia's security in any way.







  • Russia Against US Missile Defense Plans For Europe
  • Analysis: Three crises pileup?
  • Policy Watch: U.S.' adversaries and Iraq
  • Isolation Of Russian Far East Threat To National Security

  • Russia Seeking To Extend Use Of Cold War Missile Stocks
  • US Naval Buildup In Gulf Shows Enduring Presence
  • France Orders Six Barracuda Class Nuclear-Driven Submarines
  • LockMart Delivers Hardware For 3rd Advanced EHF Military CommSat

  • LockMart-Built Trident II D5 Launched In Two-Missile US Navy Test
  • LockMart Announces Firing Of Hellfire II Missile During French Evaluation
  • Raytheon Awarded Contract For Missile Launcher Production
  • Pakistan Test Fires Nuclear-Capable Missile

  • New Radar At Lekhtusi: A Shield Against Missile Attacks
  • South Korea Eyes Independent Missile Defense System
  • BMD Watch: Bob Gates backs BMD
  • BMD Focus: Collision course with Russia

  • IATA Gives Cautious Welcome To EU Emissions Trading Plan
  • EU Proposes CO2 Emission Quotas For Airlines
  • Shoulder Ligament A Linchpin In The Evolution Of Flight
  • EU Compromises On Airlines In Carbon-Trading Scheme

  • Warfare Center To Host Autonomous Unmanned Vehicle Fest 2007
  • Northrop Grumman Lifts US Navy To New Era For Unmanned Flight
  • Boeing Australia To Provide Australia Its First Tactical UAV
  • Boeing, U.S. Air Force Demonstrate UAV Automated Aerial Refueling Capability

  • Outside View: Short-changing Iraq
  • Outside View: Syria must be involved
  • Analysis: Bush's last attempt in Iraq
  • Analysis: Iraq militias run police chiefs

  • New Antenna Begins Testing
  • Crews Test Latest Stryker Vehicle
  • ATK Pioneering Air Bursting Ammunition Technology Selected by US Navy
  • Star-P Uses Supercomputers In Support Of Futuristic Military Vehicles

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2006 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA PortalReports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additionalcopyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement