Monday, December 19, 2011
A Strategy For The 21st Century Part 3: The Middle East
In the last few months the Middle East has begun to heat up with Operation Odyssey Dawn in Libya, Iran allegedly having an intact RQ-170 Sentinel, Israel getting hit with rockets more frequently, and President Bashar Assad massacring his own people in Syria. So, here is what is necessary for the U.S.' national security as it relates to the Middle East:
1. Pull out of Afghanistan. We have been in Afghanistan since late 2001, and 10 years later we have allegedly killed Bin Laden, established a democracy, pushed Taliban back into the mountains, and have avenged the 2,600 Americans who died on 9/11. Now it is time to pull out. We have reached a stalemate where no side can truly win, the Taliban can't beat the U.S., and the U.S. can't beat the Taliban. This more or less is what happened to the Soviets during their war in Afghanistan in the 1980s. The Soviets got bogged down in a guerrilla war against the Taliban, after a few years the war got very unpopular back home. Thus, with folks back home becoming unhappy, and the collapse of the USSR beginning, the Soviets were forced to pull out of Afghanistan in 1989. This is exactly what is happening now 21 years later, Americans are beginning to wonder why we are still in Afghanistan, and we cannot afford to continue to fight this war with the debt at 14 trillion.
2. Prepare for war with Iran. Since the mullahs took over Iran in 1979, they have been hell-bent on wiping the U.S. (known to them as the "Great Satan") off the map. In the last 10 years the mullahs have actually gotten serious, with their nuclear program kicking into high gear, attempted purchase of SA-10s, and the development of more advanced missiles (Shabab series). On top of this, Iran claims they have an RQ-170 Sentinel in their possession, if true it probably means one of two things: 1) Iran has a better cyber-warfare capability than we give them credit for, 2) Iran has a better air defense capability than we give them credit for. We need to be ready to hit hard in a first strike. We cannot afford to let the Iranians get the first punch in if we go to war. We always have a carrier battle group (CVBG) in the Persian Gulf, and there is no place to run, especially if you are in shallow water. Honestly, it would be better to have an SSGN in the Persian Gulf as a deterrent rather than a CVBG, as an SSGN can hit hard and would be hard to find. Both of which are qualities needed when fighting in the Persian Gulf.
3. Be ready to support Israel in the coming war. Back in 1973 during the Yom Kippur War, Israel came within 72 hours of running out of ammunition, and almost resorted to nuclear weapons. However, the U.S. began an airlift the likes of which had not been seen since the Berlin Airlift. This airlift was named Operation Nickel Grass, and airlifted everything from M60 Pattons to 155mm artillery rounds to Israel over the span of one month. We must be ready to this again, as Israel is our only true ally in the Middle East. Furthermore, war is coming to the Middle East, Bashar Assad continues to massacre his own people, and the U.N. will at some point step in with it's R2P (Responsibility 2 Protect) doctrine, and stop the Syrian military. When that happens all hell will break loose, as Assad has threatened to start an "earthquake", this translates to: bombard Israel with thousands of rockets ranging in size from large Estes rockets to 20 SS-26s. When this begins the U.S. will probably be Israel's only supporter in the world, and we must be prepared to help our one true ally with military supplies.
4. Remove all bases from the Middle East. Since Operation Desert Storm in '91, the U.S. has had several hundred bases in the Middle East, ranging in size from FOBs to full fledged Air Force bases. Most of these have been closed, but many still remain in operation. These bases have served their purpose, and we have gone about as far will can ever go in defeating the Muslims (we could do more if we had decent ROEs, a decent president, and actually knew who our enemy is). And with the debt climbing ever higher it is time to pull out of the Middle East, as we have gone as far as we can, until we realize our enemy is not just Al Qaeda, but Islam itself.
The points above are in my opinion the beginning to winning in the Middle East. However, the key to winning is to realize that the enemy here is not just Al Qaeda, the Taliban or the Muslim Brotherhood, but the true enemy is Islam and everything it stands for.