Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review March 31, 2005 / 20 Adar II, 5765

Pre-9/11 priorities re-emerge, as U.S. focuses on China, Russia

By George Friedman


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In geopolitics, we believe in the law of interconnections. Even political events that appear random or mysterious never occur in a vacuum, but as a result of identifiable circumstances and as responses to current and future problems. Nowhere will this principle be more evident in coming weeks than in Russia, Iraq and China.

Obviously, all of these are areas that concern the United States, but I now view Russia and China as growing in importance and possibly soon taking precedence over Iraq, in something resembling a return to Washington's pre-9/11 priorities.

In Iraq, a period of relative stabilization has begun, with emphasis on the word "relative." The region certainly cannot be called peaceful or calm, but it is clear that Iraq is now passing beyond the crisis state that has commanded Washington's attention for the past two years.

There are several reasons for this. First, the Sunni insurrection has failed to spread beyond the four Sunni provinces, and even there the tempo of operations has declined drastically in recent weeks. That is not to say that it could not flare up again, but we are now in a waiting period to see whether the guerrillas have been militarily damaged or have merely embarked on a routine, phased reduction in operations in order to rest, train and recuperate. This state of affairs likely will continue until summer.

Second, it is clear that a new, Shiite-dominated and Iranian-influenced government will take control of Iraq in the near future, and that Sunnis will be excluded from the power structure. For Sunni regimes elsewhere — and particularly in Riyadh — this could create a nightmare scenario in which Iran has an unimpeded path to lay claim first to Iraq's oil fields and possibly Saudi Arabia's as well.

The strategic solutions are either to invite Western troops back into the kingdom to help guard the oil — a nonstarter for Riyadh — or to lean on Iraq's Sunni insurrectionists to reach some sort of accommodation with the Shia. The Saudis have chosen the latter course.

Now there certainly are other potential hotspots in the Middle East, such as Syria and Lebanon, but the United States appears to be applying sufficient pressure at the moment to avoid a security crisis.

Leaders in Russia and China can see this state of affairs — and even if they didn't, President Bush's State of the Union address clearly outlined his second administration's foreign policy priorities, with an emphasis on democratization that puts both squarely in the crosshairs. Both of these states also harbor longstanding concerns and suspicions about U.S. behavior — concerns that have not been soothed by recent events in the region.

For its part, Russia has viewed U.S. meddling in Ukraine's politics as a betrayal of fundamental security guarantees that have been in place since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and of course Moscow has long believed that Washington tacitly supports the Chechen separatist movement. The recent upheaval in Kyrgyzstan — even if it was internally ignited and self-perpetuating, as I believe — can only add to these suspicions. In short, Moscow views Washington as perpetrating a systematic assault on Russia's fundamental national interests.

Meanwhile, we also are seeing a loss of power by President Vladimir Putin and the reformists that is increasing political pressure on Putin internally and heightening tensions with the United States — as witnessed by the disastrous Bush-Putin summit in Bratislava. Moscow has signaled its ability to create serious problems for the United States, but it is not yet clear whether Washington hears the Russian threat.

China's internal dilemmas have been well documented in this space; suffice to say, I believe the Chinese economic meltdown is already under way. Beijing has sent several clear signals — shuffling around the heads of major banks, for example — that financial pressures are growing. China is now playing one of its last big cards: the call to patriotism.

This emerged with the recent anti-secession law targeting Taiwan, but even more recent events — including regime change in neighboring Kyrgyzstan, a new U.S.-Indonesian military cooperation agreement and even actor Richard Gere's promotional visit to Tokyo (where he literally tangoed with Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi while plugging his film "Shall We Dance?") — will only add to China's sense of embattlement. (Gere, of course, is a Buddhist and outspoken critic of China's claims to Tibet, and Japan is a historical rival.)

Logic, therefore, dictates that the most sensible move would be for China and Russia to form an alliance — one that would relieve pressure on these two poles by stirring up trouble for the United States in sensitive areas of the Middle East. At this point, it remains to be seen whether capabilities will align with logic.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

FRIEDMAN'S LATEST
"America's Secret War."  

Friedman identifies the United States' most dangerous enemies, delves into presidential strategies of the last quarter century, and reveals the real reasons behind the attack of September 11 and the Bush administration's motivation for the war in Iraq. Here in eye-opening detail is an insightful picture of today's world that goes far beyond what is reported in the news media. Sales help fund JWR.


Comment by clicking here.

George Friedman is chairman of Strategic Forecasting, Inc., dubbed by Barron's as "The Shadow CIA," it's one of the world's leading global intelligence firms, providing clients with geopolitical analysis and industry and country forecasts to mitigate risk and identify opportunities. Stratfor's clients include Fortune 500 companies and major governments.


Stratfor Archives

© 2005, TMS

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles