Middle East Roundup

After finishing four years fighting a phony war in Iraq, which is going nowhere for America despite the 'surge' and five years of quagmire in Afghanistan which though looks winnable but for the lack of interest by NATO and U.S. We now have Iran and America barrelling towards inevitable war even though no sides want it. America is not in the pink of health militarily while Iran despite the dire warning of rising Shiite influence is still a minnows in normal times if it comes to the inevitable. But one thing we must remember that we are not living in normal times. Here is a quick lie down of major players in this new Gulf and Persian confrontation.

Iran and Saudi Arabia - Keepers Of The Faith : Both don't go along well due to theological differences over interpretation over Islam, but these differences are more superficial in the face of common enemy (read U.S.) .The house of Saud is worried over Iran's rising role and nuclear ambitions besides the sizeable restless Shiite population in Eastern Arabia. There were rumours going round that Saudi are purposefully pumping more oil in the market to depress the prices do decrease Iran's bargaining power. So it means Saudi & US go along well, that not the case exactly. Saudi king terms Iraq invasion as illegal (?) maybe its a ploy to be not seen very close to Americans as in the Arab streets Israel/Palestine have greater mind share than some shady allegations over Iran. But the anxiety over rising Shiite power in capitals of Arabia, Egypt and Jordan is a genuine, as Iran and Saudi Arabia both vie to be the beacon of Muslim world.

Iraq - Extended Battleground : Its early days yet but the surge hasn't worked, despite all the optimism. Iran now has another front where it can slowly bleed american forces without it getting visibly involved. The Iraqi police and army has been entrenched by Iranian agencies that can defect to Iranian side in case of future conflict. Besides Iran has a spiritual, economic, military influence in Iraq that would make life hell for Americans if it wants to.

Afghanistan - The Great Game -II : Taliban are back with a bang with there promised summer offensive and hordes of suicide bombers. NATO though looks promising but things may go downhill if tension with Iran flares up. Iran still has quite a influence in eastern especially in Herat region. Besides I don't think america can fight in three theatres of war simultaneously.

Pakistan - The Pimp : Pakistan looks shaky as if it may collapse any-time, Musharaff has touched a honeycomb by sacking chief justice, the fundamentalist are gaining ground. The supposed 'peace deals' in Waziristan/FATA and continued Taliban violence shows lack of federal control outside the settled areas. Besides Pakistan is being used to launch covert operations in Iran's restive Sistan Baluchistan.

Turkey - The Dark Horse : Everybody seems to forgets Turkey when they discuss middle east.Turkey and Iran are close partly because they share the Kurdish problem. In case of any future conflict, one can rest assured that Turkey is going to stay neutral. But same can not be said in Iraq's case where a planned vote in Kurdish areas is keeping Turkey on the boil for the fear that it may empower Turkish Kurds.

Israel - The Last Piece : Any conflict in middle east is incomplete without the usual baiting targets, but Iran now has power projection in form of Hizballa and Hamas (remember last year Lebanon war and the beating Israel's IDF got). Also Syria has its Golan Heights, Lebanon, Hizballa plus the close friendship with Iran on the platter.

Rest Of The World - Iran? Who: Apart from the rabble rousing Sunni trio (Arabia, Egypt & Jordan), rest of the Arab world is pretty much neutral or themselves messed up to contribute to America's war effort. Same is the case with NATO, where even genuine causes like Afghanistan are not getting much help from its contributing members.

Non State Player (Osama) - Smiling On T.V : (in case he decides to release a video) They have a new sanctuary now, in Pakistan's FATA areas. Who needs Afghanistan now ?

I 'm surprised by the influence Cheney's camp have over american establishment, with so many pressure points and militarily already thinly stretched, attacking Iran seems so unfathomable and downright foolish.

No comments:

Post a Comment