2012/01/14

Wait, what? Are you trying to piss Europe off?

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The United States has an interest in promoting a NATO-like political and military alliance among its Sunni Arab allies in the region as a balancing force to Iran. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), composed of Saudi Arabia and the other smaller Sunni countries on the western side of the Persian Gulf, would ideally be the basis of this balancing force.
by Robert Haddick

So this sick obsession with Iran leads the U.S. to promote a new alliance in the vicinity of Europe which could turn into a threat to Europe in the long run? Are they trying to prove ultimate recklessness and disregard for allies' national security or what?

I hope European politicians and intelligence agencies haven't totally lost sight of the long term and are going to sabotage this.

The disunited Arabs are fine as they are. Buy some diaper if you cannot cope with the idea of a weak and backward country thousands of miles away from yours not being friendly.

S Ortmann


edit 2012-05-18: He, for sure, keeps pissing me off:

www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2012/05/18/the_persian_gulf_needs_its_own_nato

smallwarsjournal.com/blog/this-week-at-war-the-persian-gulf-needs-its-own-nato

Right now I rate this guy a greater problem to the long-term national security of my country than Ahmadinedjad, Kim, Chavez and even Putin combined.
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16 comments:

  1. For anyone who wants to think of American policy towards Iran as a glass half full, at least the U.S. Government isn’t overreacting as badly as they did/do in regards to al-Qaeda.

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  2. A moment last night from the seemingly endless series of debates between the contenders for the Republican nomination to run against Obama was telling: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HGpXHYtkOS8

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  3. I'm not sure how these audiences are being generated.
    Can't be normal that such audiences cheer warmongering, executions and the like on a regular basis.

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  4. Ahhh, South Carolina, it is a form of political correctness to cheer for such things. Must be a type of geographic hysteria. Maybe it is something in the water. South Carolina was first to secede from the Union and they started the Civil War where over a million including civilians died. They are proud of it, go figure! During our revolutionary war against England they were the worst of the original 13 colonies in atrocities against civilians both rebels and royalists.

    But back to your original point on allies in the mideast: not sure I understand why Europe should feel threatened and get pissed off. Please explain more so that I can comprehend your post. I would think that Europe would be happy to keep the oil lines open. Please leave out the rhetoric about diapers. The only Americans that need diapers when thinking about Iran are right wingers being stirred up deliberately by their politicians who know better during an election year.

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  5. ...and they were the ones I was thinking about; the loud ones.
    Again; buy a diaper if you're being frightened by Iran from thousands of miles away. Everyone who feels I thought of him/her when I wrote this description deserves this proposal fully.


    Right now Europe faces the lone Russians in the East (seriously allied only with weak Belarus), the still allied Turks in the Southeast and the disunited Arabs/Berbers in the South.

    None of them are strong enough to be a real threat to us (possibly excluding the special case of Estonians).

    To set up an alliance in our South (and a Gulf alliance of Arab-only countries could sprawl to the Atlantic Ocean!) would be a step into the wrong direction for us since it's chipping away the "disunited" from the favourable description of Europe's security situation.
    It should be taken seriously by anyone who thinks in long term, and I certainly do so because of my long-time interest in history.


    The idea that such a Gulf alliance might be in our interest and thus possibly overcome the long-term disadvantage is in my opinion without foundation.

    Iran is not aggressive, but somewhat loud-mouthed. Their conventional military strength is 'moderate' at most. They lack amphibious, air assault, armour spearhead, integrated air campaign and many other skills as well as modern equipment.

    Plus: The Arabs could unite in an alliance if it's in their national security interests; there's absolutely no need to push them towards it.

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  6. You are still losing me on this, Svenn. I agree that Iran is not a serious threat and is not worth worrying about. And I myself think that America should stay away from entangling alliances (especially permanent ones). But what does that have to do with Europe being nervous of an Arab alliance? Isn't the Arab League already a federation of 20-plus(?) Arab speaking countries that coordinates policies and promotes common interests? I believe there is also an immense amount of military coordination in that League already. What kind of menace would a separate alliance of the Saudis and the three midget gulf states pose to Europe? I would bet that some European countries may also join in that alliance.

    You mention Turkey also. I like history too, but are you suggesting Turkey is a modern day threat to Europe? Perhaps to some Euro economic interests. But I don't see them at the gates of Austria in this next 100 years.

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  7. In times of tno threats, you can lower your guard, but should still know which direction to look for future threats. For Europe, that's only East, Southeast and South.
    Europeans worst enemeies are of course Europeans themselves, but that's been kinda organised away for the time being.

    What would U.S.Americans think if Frnace worked on turning Latin America into a military alliance because of a boogey Cuba threat?
    The mil-ind-congressional complex would probably cheer, but the nation's long-term national security prospects would deteriorate.

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  8. It is not an alliance of " arab countries". The sheiks and kings are not arab countries. Their survival in dependent on US mantaining absolute military control of the Gulf. It's no alliance and no arab coutries involved. Just like in soviet jokes.
    The same about " european allies". NATO was the equivalent of the Warsaw pact. It just had a better marketing so that lots of people really believed it being an hmmmm alliance. But it was just like the oposite block a way of formalising the relationship between the hegemon and the vassal kingdoms, republics whatever.

    Iran is not a threat towards Europe or anyone else except the kinglings and the american absolute military and political control of the oil flow and the corresponding capital flow. And this is the basis of the current political and economic system so actions hae to be taken.

    Of course in general one has to give a reason for whatever actions he might take. Like russian in the Pacific and europeans in the Indian Ocean. Fighting agains piracy. If the reason is valid or not is pretty much irrelevant. Of course there were no viagra induced rapes in Lybia but it made absolutely no difference.

    And right now we are in the mist of a confrontation between UK/US and continental european powers. The fact that US tightens its grip on the Gulf can be seen as a move against any independent action by Europe, China or Iran in that area. That I think is the issue , not that the sheik from Abu Dhabi and the one from Oman formalise their subordinate relation with the US/UK. If they try to cheat like Germany and the rest of european vassals then it is an issue.

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  9. Nice analysis here :

    http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NA20Ak02.html

    http://atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NA19Ak04.html

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  10. if a confidence-building alliance is a sufficient response to a nuclear armed iran, that saudi and others do not 'need' to create their own nuclear programs, then it is a small price to pay.

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  11. They can do so on their own, without foreign encouragement IF and WHEN there's a nuclear-armed Iran. Right now, there's only paranoia about Iran.

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  12. why should the US care about Europes security more than its own?

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  13. I don't see how this could be related t US security, being a topic about something thousands of miles away from the US.
    The US is formally allied with most of Europe and thus expected to not sabotage European security, though.

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  14. The US considers the free flow of oil to be a vital security concern.
    Iran is a threat to that.
    A NATO like Arab alliance would provide a counter to Iran.

    "The US is formally allied with most of Europe and thus expected to not sabotage European security, though."
    Which brings us back to, where is it written that the US must put Europes security above its own?

    A unified Arab alliance would be a serious problem for Europe.
    But why should the US care?

    Given the language spewing from the EU at the moment about "Evil American Ratings Agencies", why shouldnt the US be activly destabilising us?

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  15. The oil argument is bullocks.
    Only stupid people threaten or promote arms races and international tensions with the justification that military power and international tensions might lead to an impediment of maritime trade. That's plain stupid, and the widespread acceptance of this shows how propaganda dumbs down people.

    And why should the US not hurt our interests?
    Because this is no kindergarten yard. Adults are supposed to be able to anticipate the consequences of their actions and factor them into their decision-making.

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  16. "Given the language spewing from the EU at the moment about "Evil American Ratings Agencies", why shouldnt the US be activly destabilising us?"

    This really jumps the shark. Apart from being a blatant generalisation, it also infers a hilarious logic...so polemic ranting from_some_politicians against private corporations makes a good reason for actively destabilizing a security environment concerning ones allies?! Are you kidding me? By those standards Europeans must start supporting Mexican and Colombian drug cartels against the US, what with the Boeing vs Airbus-row, "old Europe", sabotaging European defence exports wherever relevant, spying (!) on European diplomatic channels, corporations etc.

    Anyway, on topic: The US arent really terribly creative here. From what I can see, they primarily try to keep a foot in the door, establishing some sort of apparatus, in which they still have a voice. This may be motivated by at least two factors. First, there already is a somewhat functional mechanism at play between gulf states, which came into force heavily during the Bahrain protests. This is the Peninsula Shield Force, backed by the Sauds, currently a primarily police/paramilitary-based mechanism for supressing internal strife threatening the Sunni rulers, just as the Warsaw Pact-forces were used in similar scenarios. Its not too hard to imagine the Shield Force getting a more military aspect, if Iran is considered meddling in Sunni affairs (as it was accused doing by SA in Bahrain).

    Also, the article touches on this, the Arabs are looking quite a bit at the Chinese, and what they can get there. This is still low-level, what with the US playing BFF there, but US cloud does decrease and Chinese contacts gather a bit of momentum at the moment (UAE just announced some pretty wide-ranging cooperation, economically and in defence matters with China). In the long-term, with all the Arab regimes being more or less authoritarian and under popular pressure, they may well figure that China is a reliable partner, whereas the US just make sh+t up, as they go.

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