By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
August 19, 2007
What is the lesser of two evils? Or, rather, what is the least likely to occur? A nuclear armed Iran? A confrontation with Russia or China? Al-Qaeda or the Taliban? Civil War in Iraq? Pakistan turned over to the radical Muslims?
These are the kind of question the U.S. and the U.K. have been facing and now face.
Last week, Russia reinstituted long range bomber surveillance patrols of U.S. and U.K. vital areas. These are the first routine bomber patrols since the Cold War.
Last week, Russia announced an intention to again deploy Russian naval forces to the Mediterranean Sea. This activity also is a return to Cold War-like military deployments and operations.
Last week, Russia joined with China and several oil-rich Central Asian former Soviet Republics who are members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), to conduct war game maneuvers.
And last week, Russia was the leader of the SCO annual convention, that included man observer nations such as Iran.Last week the leader of Iran, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, gave an impassioned anti-American and anti-western tirade at that SCO conference and his leader of the Revolutionary Guards said he was preparing to “punch” the U.S.
Last week, the largest death count yet occurred due to terrorist bombings in Iraq.
And last week, the anti-terror government of President General Pervez Musharraf looked like it might eventually fail. Former Prime Minister Bhutto first spoke to Musharraf about sharing the government – then on Saturday blamed Musharraf for the presence of the Taliban in Pakistan.
The list could go on.
The problem is, there is only so much military muscle, skilled diplomats and sharp strategists to deal with such an array of difficulties simulataneously or nearly simultaneously.
Today, The Observer in London said in a commentary-editorial, “Last week’s scrambling of aged bombers to patrol the skies is a desperate bid for international attention and domestic applause. Such posturing is a sign of weakness.”
Maybe so, but what about China, Iran and the rest?
Another London paper, the Sunday Telegraph, included this on the topic in today’s editions: “A source close to the US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, who cut her teeth in government as a Kremlinologist in the Eighties, said that Middle East issues had diverted her attention from a more rigorous engagement with Moscow.”
And there’s the point.
Russia and China have been neglected by the west. And Russia is now stuffed with cash from oil revenue while China holds more U.S. dollars and debt than almost anyone else. Even while American consumers gobble up lawn chairs, Bar-B-Qs and toys for their kids made in China, China says the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and other government agencies have wrongly overblown the summer long season on bad news about China.
You can bet that in China, there are those accusing the U.S. of manufacturing the bad news.
Unfortunately, manufacturing of everything else in the U.S. is at low ebb.
All this makes for and ever increasingly dangerous and even more multi-polar world.
The next President of the United States will face a multitude of international challenges. The problem will be: how to we assemble our team, martial our resources and prioritize the trouble spots?
War By Every Possible Means
From Oliver North:
Return of the Russian Bear