This NYT article distils five powerful threads but misses its own flawed assumption. Firstly, the five points:
- This isn’t over yet. It’s just the beginning
- Israel alone can’t stop Iran in Syria
- The US is focused elsewhere
- Russia can’t stay neutral for long
- Israeli jets aren’t invincible
As for the flawed assumption, perhaps it’s bias with the NYT editorial pen? But the headline assumes Israel as the aggressor, when the factual evidence is that Iran’s the aggressor, with it’s military build-up in Syria. Of the five takeaway points, the most important relates to Russia. If Russia wants to leverage her own enhanced position in the Middle East, surely it’s not in Russia’s interests for Iran through her proxies to threaten Israel?
I can agree with the five takeaways, cited by Dr Alf but there are other dangers, complexities and developments which must be decision treed and carefully considered.
The PNAC website lists the countries whose regimes are to be “taken down” and whose territories are to be Balkanised. These are China, Russia, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, North Korea and Iraq. Iraq has already gone and is now Balkanised, Syria is about to suffer the same fate but still has Assad in power. To the north we have Turkey, whose president Erdogan wants to recreate the Ottoman Empire. He has said to Turks living in Europe r they should have at least five children and Europe will fall into their laps. In the area of China where the Uighurs live, he has stirred or attempted to stir the people there into sullen insurrection and in Turkey he has built a golden palace fou times the size of Versailles. We (the UK) have sold the Saudis billions of pounds worth of weaponry, so that they can wage war on Yemen, and now there is a danger of cholera and other diseases killing off innocent people there. We want the Gulf States to wage war on Iran which then risks a much wider war or even World War III.
Calmer heads must prevail, whereby Iran is persuaded to look westwards, by getting the young educated Iranians to peacefully get rid of the Mullahs, so that the process of aggression beyond Iran’s borders ceases and neighbours are left alone. There is a further complication in that the Gulf states are increasingly warming to Xi Jin Ping’s overtures re economic development rather than to the West.
As things stand, we risk larger conflicts which would engulf Israel and bring in the bigger powers, so containment and a balance of power is the rational course of action, rather than the sorts of conflict that letting things get out of control will cause. Those possible future wars are made possible by the economies that underpin the various war machines and all of them require chromium, 70% of which comes from Russia and South Africa, where Vladimir Putin holds enough influence to tell that government which ministers to keep and fire. America has financial and governance problems of its own and cannot be in 20 places at once and it has a President who does not “do complexity”. The time is fast approaching when America is not able to deliver as much money and assistance as it currently does to Israel and meet all its other obligations, so in line with Dr Alf’s takeaways, rapprochement and realpolitik must prevail.