Monday, July 26, 2004

Strategic Realignment? Some Hypothetical Ruminations
One thing that should be extremely evident to anyone that paid attention in the run up and the conclusion to the Iraq war is that certain 'Traditional Allies' are now anything but. France now shrilly opposes everything an anything we do, almost reflexively. Germany plays along. Spain seems to be lost due to the dilution of any sort of Spanish spirit in a sea of Hyper-pacifism. While I can understand Frances stand on thing (they are the masters of 'enlightened self-interest, and screw everyone else), I'm not quite certain what Germany and Spain gain from their positions. But more importantly, there are significant indications that the 'cornerstone nations of NATO' may be effectively no longer relevant in todays world.

So who are our 'logical' allies? Well first and foremost would be most of the nations of the 'Anglo-sphere', namely England and Australia. (Canada is an interesting special case. They are in many ways our best friend on the world state. But their self impost inability to do anything on the world stage effectively removes them from any equation other than trade. I'd love to see the Maple Leaf next to the Stars-and stripes out there in the world. But it just isn't going to happen at any significant level barring significant changes in Ottawa).

Next would naturally be Japan and the new members of NATO, the Eastern Europeans. Japan will, wither they want to or not, have their hand be forced by both North Korea and China into a more active posture of defense. Let's face it. The Greater Middle East Project is going to absorb much of our attention, perhaps at the expense of out ability to defend Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. However, Summer Surge 04 discounts this in a significant way. This doesn't change the fact that I feel Japan will soon be called on to shoulder a more active 'defense' of the Pacific.

As to the Eastern Europeans, they remember tyranny. Their support and friendship is a no brainier.

The same can be said for Israel.

Hopefully Iraq will evolve along these lines as well.

But all of these are sidelines. I think the coming months will reveal a closer relationship between the United States and two nations of note: Russia and India.

Russia has a strategic need to defend against two extreme threats: China and militant Islam. The short term thread is continued subversion in Chechnya and terrorist acts throughout Russia. But one thing I've pointed out in other conversations is that in many ways Russia has been shaped by her fear of foreigners conquering and wreaking havoc.

Anyway, the other reason for Russia's alignment with the US is Siberia. China has one of the worlds largest growing demands for oil on the planet. How long until their One - Party regime realizes that there are large quantities of it just a hop, skip and jump away from the PLA?

One of the more significant signs of this developing relationship was when Putin warned the US of Iraq's intent to persecute terrorist acts against the US. Another is the potential arrival of several Russian divisions in Iraq.

And then there is India. Unfortunately due to historical baggage from the cold war there is still some nervousness between the US and India. But as our two democracies achieve closer economic integration (explain to me how 'outsourcing' is bad again?) and as both nations continue to strive against Islamic extremism, I feel that cooperation and friendship will be unavoidable. Especially if Musharrif fails in his role of 'Attaturk' and falls to Taliban sympathizers.

In any event, none of these predictions have come to fruition. In fact there is only sketchy evidence for any of it. But it will be interesting to see what the next quarter century brings to the geo-political landscape. And making assumptions about out 'traditional allies' may be foolhardy in the extreme.


Post a Comment

<< Home