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The middle East, then China
Material posted: -Publication date: 03-08-2005

Some estimations of the American experts in the key areas of U.S. military strategy during the second presidential term of George. Bush.

In recent months, many analytical centers in the USA and beyond trying to predict what will be the military strategy of the United States during the second presidential term of George.Bush. Who will be next after Iraq? Iraq is the beginning or the end of the great American Empire, and whether there is a world beyond the "axis of evil"? Among the assessments on these and other issues are present expert opinion the most different "brain trusts". However, attention was drawn to the statements of analysts from the American enterprise Institute (American Enterprise Institute, AEI) — one of the leading analytical centers of the current administration, whose main task is to promote the interests of big business and transnational corporations. Interest in the reasoning of the experts of this center is caused not so much by their popularity and significance, can boast, for example, the largest analytical Corporation RAND, as the fact that a significant number of members of the current administration are somehow connected with the AEI. More than two dozen people from AEI today are team members of Vice President dick Cheney and constitute the majority in the civilian leadership of the Pentagon (among them P. Wolfowitz). They formed a vision of Washington's "war for the liberation of Iraq." Therefore, the development of this institution as no other can be a reality...

So, according to experts at AEI made them on the pages of the collections produced by the Institute, September-October 2004, i.e. before the presidential elections in the United States in the coming years the main directions of military strategy, the U.S. must become:

  1. Military support of the US administration for the reconstruction of the political space of the middle East region.
  2. Military containment of the increasing ambitions of global leadership with China.

It is important to note that a number of experts of other analytical centers of the USA, military support for the transformation of the middle East region can be regarded as preparation to the tasks of the second stage to deter China.

In addition, American announced the initiative to develop and "enlighten" the greater Middle East has caused deep hostility not only of the countries subject to "enlighten", but in most European countries. This forced the government hastily to modify the project and rebuild it by the partnership and soften the main approaches to implementation. However, experts AE continue to insist on earlier concepts.

So, in the work of the Institute it is noted that maintaining the status quo established in the last years of world order, "Americana" ("Pax Americana") requires that the United States has provided a further political transformation of the middle East in the greater middle East while containing the growing power of the Chinese armed forces. Each of the problems, according to experts, are quite complex in their decision, but they are closely intertwined interests and goals involved players, so the defeat even one of them will lead to a complete global failure in the current geopolitical confrontation.

Achieving strategic goals requires that the new us administration of formation of effective military strategies for the war, at least two fundamentally different theatres. Although planning for the use of troops in both theaters is dominant for military science United States in historical perspective, in recent years, the development of military-political situation in the world has led to the fact that American military analysts became very problematic to speak about the real possibility of war available forces simultaneously at two theaters. The emerging balance of forces in the world today does not allow them to implement this strategy in its pure form. The American army forced "balance" between the theaters of war, only at the last moment taking a final decision on the massive use of forces on only one of them.

Against this background, the materials of the AEI notes that recent reports to Congress from the Pentagon confirms the assumption that the current configuration of American forces, their involvement in the Iraq conflict, does not allow in the near future to talk about the possibility of a full realization of the strategy of fighting on two fronts. In this regard, experts noted that today it is necessary to maintain a balance between the forward force providing patrol the American security perimeter" stretching across Europe, Asia and Oceania, operational reserves capable of rapid deployment in crisis areas and the strategic reserve based in the continental United States.

In this approach to strategic planning of the greater middle East, covering the area from West Africa to Southeast Asia, is a very difficult and complex region, not only with military but also with political, economic and other points of view, which complicates the solution of tasks within a single action plan for its transformation. Along with this, most of the problems of the region require a common strategy and consistent approach to the application of military force. In this regard, the AEI experts note that the interpretation of the foundations and formulation of effective military strategy for the region and the Islamic world in General will take years, if not decades, and not always the activities will be successful. However, the need to base project is for US today is vital.

The basic direction of us military strategy in the middle East must be based, according to experts from AEI, the retention of the strategic initiative won after 11 September 2001 in the Afghan and Iraq campaigns. Realizing that the task of transforming the political culture of the Islamic world will inevitably become a long-term, the U.S. will seek to keep their opponents in the strategic defensive, conducting special operations against the leaders of terrorist groups, depriving terrorists of funding and, if necessary using military force.

Analysis and evaluation of the current military-political situation has allowed AEI experts to identify areas of greatest activity of the Islamic terrorist groups in the world:

  • Western Pakistan and the border area of Pakistan and Afghanistan;
  • southern and Western Afghanistan;
  • The Arabian Peninsula, especially Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and the nearby horn of Africa extending to Sudan, Somalia and Kenya;
  • Southeast Asia, from Thailand to the southern Philippines to Indonesia;
  • West Africa, including Nigeria and Mali;
  • North Africa, including the southern Sahara.

It is important that along with the already become in recent years the traditional outlines of the borders most active terrorist groups, experts from AEI and also includes European cities with large Muslim communities.

According to experts of the AEI, the danger to the interests of the U.S. are also the States in Central and Eastern Europe, where governments efforts to combat Islamic terrorism, but those efforts are clearly insufficient to contain the threat.

This definition of zones of activity of terrorist groups demonstrates the significance of the territories represents a potential danger to U.S. national security. In this regard, experts AEI notes that opposition to any specific manifestation of terror may demand the application of relatively small forces, but the constant patrolling of the whole area be sure to spray and absorb American military power whatever it was.

The size of the zone of potential actions requires that the United States today has established a number of strategic priorities. The region has a large number of States, whose combination of domestic political weakness and a significant military force makes them vital to any coherent American policy. Among such centers of special attention from the United States, the AEI experts distinguish the following States: Nigeria, Sudan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

However, the AEI experts note that the long-term struggle for the future of the Middle East in its current unstable situation can bring big dividends to American policy in the region, while maintaining strategic initiatives.

Promising American strategy for the greater Middle East, according to experts AEI, seek a balance between anti " - Islamic world (Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan), where the problem most clearly and deeply embedded, and between the "periphery" of the Islamic world. So in places like Indonesia, where the risk of large-scale war today, the United States will seek to focus on implementing non-military measures to control the political processes and the assistance of the local authorities. But a strategy based only on the use of non-military measures will not give results. Problems in the core of the Islamic world are too urgent and the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq is only the beginning. The acceleration of the Iranian nuclear program, according to American experts, has changed the dynamics of the development of the military-political situation in the region, leaving no chance for a peaceful resolution of contradictions.

However, experts also note the peculiarity of the current situation. The danger for US is that, despite actually relatively quick and successful campaign against Iraq, the United States will continue to suffer from "Iraq fatigue" that in many respects could have a negative impact on the implementation of the proposed strategy for the transformation of the middle East region. According to experts, the United States cannot afford to implement an "exit strategy" from Iraq and Afghanistan or the region as a whole, they can't follow the "strategy of maintaining the status quo." In this situation, the trend of increase in the number of larger, longer and more decisive military action in the region will not end in the coming years. Thus, the costs and dangers of military intervention in the Islamic world-will be for the us forces is highly significant, exceeding only the costs for the full US withdrawal from the region.

In such circumstances, AEI experts offer continue to hold the strategic points of support in the region — Afghanistan and Iraq, while maintaining the ability to respond, and respond strongly in any other place in the region.

American strategy in the region will seek to proceed from the intention to preserve the strategic initiative and the ability to act away from the long-term military bases. While these actions will rarely be in the form of direct armed invasion and overthrow of the regime as it was in Iraq, the United States plans to maintain the ability to take any such action in any point of the region, if necessary.

As for the second major direction of development of American military strategy, the American experts assume that the strategy of balancing between growing China and its huge market, as part of the "American world order", and the appreciation of the Chinese political and strategic requirements in the near future has become impossible. AEI experts argue that the Chinese people deserve to live in a free country. In this regard, we can assume that in the coming years, the United States plans to start active work on the internal transformation of the regime in China with the purpose of its adaptation to conditions favorable to US interests in the region.

American military strategy will seek to limit the military ambitions of China, to prevent any attempt by Beijing to force or threat of force what he cannot obtain by peaceful means. The major problem remains the threat of Chinese invasion on Taiwan. However, the American strategy will be to consider also other possibilities of China to have a negative impact on American interests in any other region of the world. In this context, AEI experts offer to stop only regarded Beijing as a regional player and focus on his evaluations as a factor of global geopolitics.

In addition to materials AEI in a number of analytical materials of the Pentagon (in particular, regular reports to the U.S. Department of defense to Congress on military capabilities of China) notes that the current goal of Beijing is to maintain a favorable "strategic configuration of power" in the world, in other words, the balance of forces, not the domination of one power of the United States. It is noted that folding in the region is a result of both its own military and economic rise of China and new facts, such as the beginning of a global anti-terrorist campaign the United States after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001

China considers, in the opinion of experts from AEI, the global war on terrorism as a strategically convenient moment." The change of emphasis in American foreign policy problems-terrorism, reduced foreign pressure on China, opening new opportunities to strengthen its position not only in the region but throughout the world. At the same time, a number of actions of the American armed forces, undertaken in recent years (the invasion of Afghanistan, the placement of U.S. armed forces in Central Asia, deepen relations in the field of military cooperation between the US on one side and Pakistan, India and Japan, on the other), led to recognition by China's leadership to the fact that the main goal of the US-led campaign is rapid encirclement of China, it can be blockade and isolation from the outside world.

Such a development entailed a change in strategic assessments and in China. In the current environment, Beijing in addition to internal regions of Eurasia and offshore areas included in its "greater periphery" Central Asia and the middle East, which raises serious concerns among military analysts in the USA. Today, the goals of Beijing include the provision of sustainable access to natural resources and markets, as well as the implementation of the "strategy protivostoianie" by expanding the regional presence and influence, aimed at preserving the balance and continue the competition with the United States.

The most important feature of this new turn in Chinese strategy, the experts at AEI called the interest of Beijing and the strengthening of its presence in the middle East. Energy security is becoming for Beijing one of the most urgent priorities. China's economy is increasingly dependent on sources of energy supplies and this dependence has more influence on energy policy and national security policy of China. However, the Chinese leadership's growing sense of potential threats to national interests because of the rising dependence on seaborne shipments by tankers of middle East oil through the Straits, including the Malacca and Hormuz, controlled currently the naval forces of the United States.

Experts stress that lack of energy is the main challenge for Beijing in the coming years. China is now forced to introduce rationing of energy consumption, slowing economic growth, which the ruling Chinese Communist party sees as key to maintaining power and ensuring internal stability of the country. In these circumstances, Beijing is already planning to create a strategic oil reserve, he also wants to expand the network of pipelines for energy imports, strengthen cooperation with Central Asian States and Iran and the Sudan, including in military-technical sphere that is of particular concern on the part of the US administration.

AEI experts have noted that, in accordance with political and strategic view, Beijing has focused on the exclusive use of sources of oil and gas, which are the most significant to maintain the stability of energy imports into the country. This approach entails the prospect of creating strategic partnerships between China and those States that supply it with oil and gas, primarily the countries of Central Asia and the Middle East. Given that the United States also seeks to cooperate with the oil States of the Persian Gulf and the Middle East, according to experts, the further development of this conflict of interest may soon lead to aggravation of the situation in relations between the US and China.

Along with themselves the American experts still can not clearly say about whether a growing China is a dangerous competitor of the United States, or he will enter into the new world, becoming an essential element of the American world order. AEI experts have emphasized that the lack of balance between global interests of Beijing and its low ability to project force to protect their interests, both on a regional and global scale, creates a sense of vulnerability to China, which in turn leads to tensions between China and the United States.

In the face of such diverse challenges facing the U.S. armed forces, AEI experts believe that the configuration of forces that should ensure American interests in the middle East and in East Asia should be different. The army, according to American experts, would be most valuable in the middle East; the Navy, in East Asia; and space and aviation are equally important for both potential theaters.

In addition, experts emphasize that it is not enough to maintain the balance abilities, there is also a need to substantially increase American military forces (primarily the army) so that they could better solve the problem simultaneously in two theatres of war.

Analysts believe that the emerging success in Iraq will reduce the grouping of forces in the region, however, the forecast of new missions in this region in the near term very likely, which makes it possible to repurpose the freed up forces for use in another theatre of war. Involvement in the Iraqi conflict, the national guard and the army reserve deprives the United States has genuine strategic reserve, these enterprises have become the actual operating reserve is necessary to ensure ongoing missions in the middle East. This is a serious limiting factor in us military strategy for the coming years.

American naval and air forces will continue to actively use the strategy of the pendulum" with two theatres providing a mobile, viable firepower, capable of balancing Chinese military power and ensure the power cover operations in the middle East. Experts note that these types of armed forces allow the United States today dominate the world, suggesting the need to further improve and increase their combat potential. Despite the fact that in the near future there may be some reduction of these forces, but inevitably their simultaneous modernisation of more powerful and modern combat platforms that will significantly increase their combat capabilities.


Tags: Iran , USA , China , threat

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