Greetings and Good Day,
“ In failure to address climate and population issues, leaders can converge on geopolitics”
There is no best expression of “Pax Romana” than the “Amfiteatro Flavio” at the Colosseum, while “Pax Americana” can be described in ongoing high education, international aid, off-shoring, outsourcing, bailing out and adjusted recoveries.
In a continuous rational effort to aid the US administration, to finalize, put in place, and refine its strategy in the geographic area stretching from China to Portugal, one have only the embarrassment of choice how to contribute and where to start from.
It is evident that after the US federal state confronted the severe financial and economic crisis, now is the turn of the private sector to ensure job creation and sustainable growth, and for lawmakers to empower the FED to monitor markets better and a US collective effort must generate a policy to stop the waste and reduce the huge debt by one third within 3 fiscal years.
Expanding exports in goods and services is an effective policy as much as relying on alternative energy development, openness of US markets to international trade and to skilled immigration.
US success will be measured also when it will manage to transform its currency from a funding tool to a long term investment preference, where this indicator will represent a final stage of reached balance in international relations and trade.
The priority in 2010 becomes relevant on how the sequence of events will unfold in the Eurasian theater. An immediate pole position will lead us to forecast the Chinese decision in front of a vote for targeted sanctions against the IRGC at the UNSC. But nonetheless it is wise to realize that managing the social conflict in Iran opposing a wide array of the population against the totalitarian regime, will need time to deliver. Tightened and targeted sanctions approved or not, may and may not be consequential. A turning point can be the natural clock (succession to the ailing supreme leader) or the emergence of a young charismatic opposition leader capable to gather momentum and rally the populace behind the change of the national formula, to become a democratic and righteous republic.
We can agree however that the best policy for the US in the GULF is to display an offensive/defensive build up, to set encircling bases to Iran and to pursue enforced and targeted sanctions, or to waiver other tech sanctions and introduce the Haystack as suggested by the valuable opinionated Roger Cohen. Even though destined to heavily curb the IRGC, this course can not alone close an expectation gap existing on other fronts, expressly the Israeli/Syrian/Lebanese.
From above and from the failure of consequent Lebanese administrations to reform and to gather an Arab policy to trace a peace route with Israel that will diversify the touristic marketing mix of the cedar nation, I will start my contribute from the intelligent yet insufficient Golan formula announced by Frederic Hoff.
Mr Hoff basically proposes Syrian control of the lands of Golan while benefiting from passage to the waters of Kinnereth and simultaneously Israeli control over the waters of Tiberiade while benefiting from passage to the plateau. But what lacks in this clever proposal in my view is a Lebanese link. In fact Israel will never cede Golan unless it will secure an open border with Lebanon, and Syria will never change its attitude in Lebanon unless it will regain control over occupied lands in a formal peace treaty with Israel.
Many issues are at stake and correlated, water, security, trade, stability, tolerance, universal rights, borders and acceptance. Considering that the US will pursue a smart action in forming a coalition to apply or waive targeted sanctions with or without UN resolution, coupled to an offensive/defensive build up and setting of encircling bases, we need to expect that this will generate a flare-up sooner rather than later at the Lebanese/Syrian / Israeli border. It matters less if the draft at the UN will be approved or if sanctions will succeed, as a matter of fact the IRGC tentacles will form a counter axis and hit to alleviate the octopus entrapment. An apparent trigger for the 2010 war can be either a covert operation by Israel or Hizb or Hamas to kill or poison one or another officer here or there. But the trigger might not be required as the sequence of ascendant rhetoric can lead alone to a preemptive action.
From above it is understood that the policy with Iran can not stabilize Lebanon, but it will destabilize it.
So if the unpredictable consequences are considered to bomb Iran, the calculated risk is to hit preemptively with overwhelming force to cut the IRGC tentacles and reach strategic objectives.
Think tanks are short of ideas to imagine a scenario where applying a smart action and waiting on the Iranian front for the turning point, will be met by a reprisal of hostilities between Israel and Hizb. Some offered the “ Dahyieh Doctrine “ as a possible outcome, but we all know that only destruction will put both contenders on the same immoral level. Therefore Gen. Ashkenazi must adjust his objectives, if he wants to become the general that won the war in Lebanon, and reserved a future place to run for the prime minister of the normalization with the Arabs.
Trying to identify a line of common interests between the US, EU, Japan, Israel, Syria, Arab moderates, Turkey, Iraq, Russia, Lebanon, China, India, Pakistan and the Masters of the Universe, in my perception the only possible exit is to have a strong , reformed Lebanese state in peace with its neighbors Syria and Israel. A Lebanese state having control of its skies and lands following up on Russian choppers, by purchasing adequate aircrafts such as Cessna’s with missiles equipment and surveillance gears and by acquiring special surface vehicles enabling its army to contend any smuggling on its porous borders, becomes pivotal to international peace. Lebanese emptiness and stupidity must become full cooperation with the marching humanity. The entire political class must renovate and regenerate itself to guide a nation into playing an active role in the theater of world nations. An extensive rehabilitation is on demand.
But to reach this goal a clean up is required and is highly likely to happen soon after the World CUP, where a major military operation will bring Israel in a strong action to achieve long awaited political objectives in Lebanon and all the region.
In a clean-up brokered by regional and international powers, Israeli military forces will clean Lebanon from all militias and obtain as recompense a final status at its northern borders, stated in formal peace treaties with Syria and Lebanon, even if it will cede Golan as per Hoff. An added value will be also normalization with Arab Gulf States.
The IRGC may come up with an occupation of western embassies to further isolate itself, or it can worsen the geopolitical scenario by opening salvos of missiles that will be countered by proportional measures only. The Hormuz strait closure is not envisaged as it will hit back the vested interests of the IRGC. Ahmadinajad after offering a ridiculous scene in Damascus last week, should better read a printed copy of this post, and prepare to work in tandem with other powers to stabilize rather than aggressively seek dominance and power. Iran could become the first supplier of energy to Europe, while simultaneously developing many civil nuclear projects with the rest of the world if not for its aggressive and destabilizing expansion.
Now Time is over for Iran to be engaged, and it is its turn now to demonstrate and convince other powers of its course change.
Lebanon will obtain once again the possibility to work for reformed and modern state, and must grasp this unique opportunity to form a functional new government, expressing a policy of clarity, peace and openness. It will adopt transparency as opposed to the Ethiopian plane case. It will escape the fate of total destruction (the option of disturbed minds), permanent illness (management by proxies) and will build its dams and develop a prosperous regional economy.
Syria will obtain Golan, become an energy conduit, boost its economy, reduce unemployment, pacify eternally with Israel, Lebanon, the West, and Arab moderates. Bashar will instate the state laic centrality on top of his agenda to guide his country towards shores of amenity and development.
Gulf States will finally accept Israel and create with it a joint effort to declare the state of Palestine and define the best accommodation for Jerusalem. They will see a nascent Palestine and have liberty to travel to the Holy land.
Turkey will benefit muchly, as it will increase its trade in wider markets, will acquire a new status of middle power, extending security to a bigger economy. It will share water, control energy hubs, and eventually help transform the Great Game opposing competing powers, into a unison orchestra playing a global opera.
Russia will feel comfortable to start opening its borders to intelligent immigration to reverse its demographic trend; it will adjust to Ukrainian needs for democracy by facilitating cohabitation, and exert an illuminated role in the CIS. It can also play a leading role inserting actively Aeroflot in the Sky Team and guiding the integration of the skies. Leaders can converge on global skies more rapidly than on global land borders.
Iraq will achieve the upcoming elections and be inserted again in the club of peaceful nations after a long struggle to overcome internal conflict and establish democratic stability.
The clean up success in Lebanon and the counterinsurgency positive results in Afghanistan will entice China to concert with the US and this will weaken further the IRGC until its defeat by the Iranian mainstream. China will realize that in this defining decade it can only concert with the recovering US and work towards expanding its internal market and give access to an always major number of Chinese to become global citizens.
The US will demonstrate once again its global leadership and will have reached unprecedented results in world affairs and strategy.
India and Pakistan projected to dialog again can only smile to this outcome.
The Masters of the Universe will humbly admit they exceeded.
Israel will undoubtedly opt for the Global Opera as a final, winning strategy, where it will eject into Lebanon full human and fire power only against targets of nihilist militants and will clean-up the terrain once and for all. This will be possible by preemptively striking from air and ground, followed by a stabilizing force of 70/90 000 troops on ground in secure areas for at least 10 months. It will sign a peace treaty with Lebanon within 5 months and another with Syria and the Arabs within 8 months. Finally it will achieve a unilateral withdrawal while ceding gradually to the UNIFIL/NATO and then to the LAF. “Pax Israeliana” will be the expression of completion of treaties with all Arab countries. The alternative to global opera in a strategy for peace is destruction that will widen the existing gap with the Arabs and will distance peace centuries away. Ehud Barak who was in the US will easily realize which option is fitting more the project of the state of Israel to become an enforcing power for final peace and justice.
Palestine will be born.
Japan will honor a tradition of entrepreneurs from past Idemitsu to present Toyoda, and be ready to develop projects in the region.
The EU will move forward with integration and open its borders for further tourism and education and eventually overcome the actual Greek/Spanish/Portuguese debacle, by strengthening the political will to form a solid multilingual entity with different states, one parliament, one president one government and one currency.
As for the actual Greek default perhaps we can transform a problem into an opportunity, a DOROMBI (dollar, Euro, Renmimbi) can be introduced where special guaranteed bonds in USD will be issued by the European Central bank to bail out Greece, Spain and others, based on an 8 years period, and bought by the Chinese government through a special offer of evaluated Yuan’s by 15 % on the USD, possible to be converted even in euros after 3 years.
This can become a gradual solution of European state debt, Chinese cash and undervalued currency, and help the Germans to mobilize a stalled situation, and exit Europe from a destabilizing momentum where the Franco/German entente could deliver the Euro but not deal with its consequences.
“ If unpredictable consequences suggest smart action, calculated risk is key for strong action”