Large scale War in the Middle East

by designs 31 Replies latest social current

  • Bobcat

    Is this spreading conflict, War, in Syria and Iraq, inevitable and some argue necessary.

    I agree it is, to some extent, inevitable, as a result of the waning of US military power and economic influence (and by extension, Western influence as a whole). Some of it seems to be the result of US efforts to hold on to the power and position they had. And some of it the result of other nations and factions seeing an opportunity opening up for them.

    The order of the world is changing. The post-WWII pax-Americana may be coming to an end. I don't see any other nation (at the moment, China included) that is interested (or capable - at this time) in becoming the world's 'policeman' (or that even wants to be).

    Focusing on the Middle East, some of the conflict may be related to the US' effort to hold on to the 'petro-dollar,' and some on religious aspirations.

  • Frazzled UBM
    Frazzled UBM

    designs - the answer to your OP is a resounding 'No'. There will not be another World War like WWI and WWII. We live in the age of civil wars and small regional skirmishes. That is all that is happening in Iraq and Syria. And even those civil conflicts are minor when compared to many others since WWII (Korea, Vietnam, Rwanda, Bosnia, Afghanistan etc.). Iraq may be heading towards some form of partition with the Kurds peeling off but it will be more difficult to separate the Sunnis and Shia and eventually the Shia majority will prevail (with Iran's help). The Islamicists causing trouble in Iraq are Sunnis and this has created an interesting alliance of conveience between the US and Iran. In Syria, Assad will hang on and gradually reassert control and the West's criticism of Assad has dulled as the West has realised that the Syrian rebels are mostly Islamicists. Tit for tat violence between Israel and the Palestinians is an old story and no worse than over the past 65 years. These conflicts are containable but if Iraq does start to break-up it will certainly increase tension as the neighbouring countries jockey for position and seek to protect their interests. George W created this geo-strategic crisis when he got rid of Saddam but the US will remain sufficiently engaged to make sure it doesn't spiral out of control. Your anxiety reflects your lack of a deep understanding of the region and the causes and history of the current conflicts. The best way to ease this anxiety is to learn more so you can put these events in context. Fraz

  • Vidiot

    villagegirl - "China has its tentacles crawling silently all over the planet, aquiring resources, securing footholds, ingratiating nations, handing out money, securing ports, building a canal across South America, isolating all manufacturing within its borders, gobbling up Africa, buying real estate all over North America and Europe."

    Micheal Bay will save us:

    Frazzled UBM - "There will not be another World War..."

    But... but... that means Star Trek will never come true:

  • villagegirl

    designs - Go to your library, journals : The Economist

    Read back issues and subscribe to this magazine if you are

    serious about International analysis. The New York Times Magazine

    had an article on the economic takeover of Nicaragua by the Chinese.

  • metatron

    I think some of these violent events trend towards long term peace. Why?

    First, Iraq needs to break up - it is a colonial invention and the Kurds need their own nation. Set up borders and stop the civil war.

    Second, the ISIS people might help 'drain the swamp' all across the world. Wanna be a jihadist? Wanna be a subject of a 14th century caliphate? Head to Iraq right away ( and leave nice countries without your violent/idiotic influence).

    Third, China would probably not be an active world hegemon such as the US. In other words, they would be likely to mind their own damn business and not interfere with nations. Bring it on.

    Also, China is helping Africa in ways that Western nations have never bothered with. Like rail lines and roads and infrastructure.


  • jgnat

    Appreciate the analysis, frazzled. I am reading "The Better Angels..." by Pinker and by patient (statistical) analysis, he's about convinced me that a smart nation disdains war.

    Village Girl, "Ni Hao Ma?"

  • fulltimestudent

    The Canal in Nicaragua is last year's news (grin):


    convinced me that a smart nation disdains war.

    That's essentially what Chinese strategists advised rulers to do. The smart thing, was to outwit your enemy in some other way.

    And, if you had to fight a war, then try to make it short, or else you'll finish up poor.

    Sun Zi's, The Art of War advises: "Anyone who excels in defeating his enemies triumphs before his enemy's threats become real".

    Having said that, there's some excellent examples of military stupidity in Chinese History.

  • designs

    Interesting comments. China, of what we know, is taking a nonaggressive tactic. They supply arms, technology, spies, but seem to refrain from direct military intervention in these regional wars. Our President has fortunatley taken historical readings and like China supplies other means to these conflicts, although the US has plenty of spies on the ground like most major powers.

    How many people are in refugee camps in the region.

    The Economist`

  • villagegirl

    (A few "highlights" from the "Bible" still used and taught in China)

    Strategy 1 "瞒天过海" - Deceive the sky to cross the ocean.

    To lower an enemy's guard you must act in the open hiding your true intentions

    under the guise of common every day activities.

    Strategy 2 "围魏救赵" - Surround Wei to rescue Zhao.
    When the enemy is too strong to attack directly, then attack something he holds dear.
    In other words, you may try to attack the relatives or dear ones of the enemy to weaken him psychologically.

    Strategy 3 "借刀杀人" - Borrow one's hand to kill. (Kill with a borrowed knife.)

    Attack using the strength of another Trick an ally into attacking him,

    bribe an official to turn traitor, or use the enemy's own strength against him.

    Strategy 4 "以逸待劳" -
    Encourage your enemy to expend his energy in futile quests while

    you conserve your strength. When he is exhausted and confused,

    you attack with energy and purpose.

    Strategy 5 "趁火打劫" - Use the opportunity of fire to rob others.

    (Loot a burning house.) When your neighbors house is burning, this is a good time

    to steal his belongings. When a country is beset by internal conflicts,

    when disease and famine ravage the population, when corruption and crime

    are rampant, then it will be unable to deal with an outside threat.

    This is the time to attack.

    Strategy 6 "声东击西" - Feign an attack in the east and attack in the west.
    In any battle the element of surprise can provide an overwhelming advantage.

    Chapter 2 - Enemy Dealing Strategies
    Strategy 7 "无中生有" - Create something from nothing.
    You use the same feint twice. Having reacted to the first and often the second feint as well, the enemy will be hesitant to react to a third feint. Therefore the third feint is the actual attack catching your enemy with his guard down.

    Strategy 8 "暗渡陈仓" - Secretly utilize the Chen Chang passage.
    Attack the enemy with two convergent forces. The first is the direct attack, one that is obvious and for which the enemy prepares his defense. The second is the indirect, the attack sinister, that the enemy does not expect and which causes him to divide his forces at the last minute leading to confusion and disaster.

    Strategy 9 "隔岸观火" - Watch the fires burning across the river.

    Delay entering the field of battle until all the other players have become exhausted

    fighting amongst themselves. Then go in full strength and pick up the pieces.

    Strategy 10 "笑里藏刀" - Knife sheathed in a smile.

    Charm and ingratiate yourself to your enemy.

    When you have gained his trust, you move against him in secret

    There are 36 Strategies , everyone should read them all.

  • designs

    What is different about ISIS than its mother Al Qaeda. What have its leaders changed in policy and practice.

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