Sunday, July 09, 2006

A strengthening Anti-American coalition

The response to the terror attack on New York in 2001 was the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Both countries were not able to resist the US military superiority and succumbed to occupation.

Both however are massive liabilities to the US, eating away resources.

The ruling elites of Non-Western nations looked on in initial alarm at the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. Their fear was for their own hides in case the US might try something similar with their own nations, removing the elites from power and bringing Iraq-style disorder to their nations.

Already before the war in the Middle East there was concern in China and Russia about US-hegemonism. In order to strengthen themselves these nations, which are growing in economic and societal power and centeredness started to improve their co-operation.

Initially the co-operation took the form of weapons sales by the cash-starved Russians to the Chinese, plus the transfer of military technology to the Chinese military. Later the co-operation was solidified in the form of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO), a formal alliance with a permanent secretariat and staff, based in the capital of China. Kazakhastan, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan also became members of the alliance.

Important goals of the alliance is furthering trade between the member states and the fight against terrorism against the member states. China is a dynamic economic and monetary powerhouse and an increasingly strong competitor of Western Nations. Russia is also becoming economically stronger, while it also has technological and military production strength. It furthermore has vast oil reserves, which are increasingly becoming scarce, hence the rising price of oil. The other nations in the alliance are also strong in oil and commodities, underwriting the economic expansion of the more prosperous members of SCO.

Recently Iran, India, Mongolia and Pakistan became members of SCO. This means that the alliance now borders on US occupied Afghanistan and Iraq. Four members of SCO have nuclear weapons (Russia, China, Pakistan and India). The alliance gives Iran enormous strategic depth.

The US is under pressure of the Taliban in Afghanistan. And under pressure of Sunni nationalist and Islamic groups of fighters. These groups are fighting in a highly dispersed pattern, in order to nullify the US lead in firepower.

The US forces fighting the Sunnis in and around Bagdad, the core of the Sunni demographic in Iraq are depending on a long supply line to the port city of Basra on the Persian Gulf. Astride the supply line lie the Shia villages, towns and cities. The Shias thus control US logistics. Weapons, food, spare parts, re-inforcements, fuel, medical evacuation can be turned of if the Shia Mullahs. The Shia Mullahs have been put in power by the US organised elections. And by the dismantling of the old Iraqi Army and the nationalist Baath party, which left religious and tribal groupings as the only forms of social and political organisation in Iraq.

Iran is also able to cut off oil supplies to the rest of the world due to their ability to interdict shipping when it travels through the Hormus Straits, the bottleneck for transporting Iraqi, Kuwaiti, Iranian and most of Saudi Arabia's and Gulf State oil deliveries. Just threatening the flow of oil to Asia and the West would send the oil price sky high, slowing down investment in the US economy and hurting the US labour market, which is already under pressure from out of control Mexican immigration.

The US has a technological edge over Iran, militarily. It will be able to destroy Iranian air defense easily and defeat the Iranian Army in the field. However it will run in far greater trouble than it is currently in when it tries to occupy Iran's population centres and faces a new urban guerrilla from its 68 million population.

And then the Iranians will be able to pull the plug on the US Army in Iraq's logistics lifeline and deny the world economy of its oil in a market that has no swing capacity, as in 1973.

The threats that the US have uttered against Iran on Israel's behalf are essentially empty.


GayLikeAFox said...

Hey Snouck. You have such a good blog here, and you provide such an important window on European affairs to us Americans, I gotta ask why you don't blog more often. When I read that the Dutch government collapsed, I immediately headed on over here to read your take on it, but it took three days for you to post about it. Bastard. :)

Snouck said...

Hello GayFox,

I was quite lost. I did not have a take on it initially. Not until I realised that I was looking through the prism of political raison and there was little political raison in the actions of the politico's. Just a fight of personalities. That became the angle of the piece.

I am just too thick and slow (but I get there in the end).

I also wanted to write about the murdered girls in Liége, but Paul Belien of Brussels Journal did such a good job that it was superfluous.

GayLikeAFox said...

"I also wanted to write about the murdered girls in Liége, but Paul Belien of Brussels Journal did such a good job that it was superfluous."

Ok, and did it not occur to you to link to this article in the Brussels Journal? ;)

Snouck said...

"Ok, and did it not occur to you to link to this article in the Brussels Journal? ;) "

Must I do everything for you, my child? :-)

Wiag said...

Snouck, have you seen this?

It's a disturbing piece, raising a lot of questions which don't have an answer. An interesting part is about flight 93 and another about the alleged perpetrators.

911 Cover Up