Friday, December 22, 2006

Iran and Central Asia

Laura Rozen (of War and Piece, an excellent blog) has written an article for TAPPED, Gunboat Diplomacy. In it, she reviews the upcoming steps by the US to either pressure Iran, or to go to war.

Meanwhile, over at the Asia Times, M K Bhadrakumar reviews the latest events in Central Asia, the rollback of US influence and the portends from the death of Turkmenistan's leader Niyazov in The Great Game on a razor's edge.

I'm firmly of the opinion that the Iraq war and the potential Iran war are part of a failing US policy set by the VP in the early days of the administration. Rather than increase US influence and wealth through the establishment of US military bases and beneficial contracts with the major western oil companies, Iran and Central Asia are busily setting up bilateral deals that cut out the US and the oil companies. Russia just booted Shell out, and has now set its sights on ushering out BP. Iraq, of course, has agreed to open up development for private (read US) oil exploration and development, but the necessary stability is lacking, and the expense of providing it far outweighs any potential profit.

The ISG was certainly on the same page as the administration on the basic policy goals of continuing US dominance of world oil production and distribution, based on the liberal world oil market. They did perceive, however, that the current strategy of pursuing 'victory' in Iraq, and pushing Iran on the nuclear card was doomed to failure, and asked for a rethinking by the administration.

Clearly, this request has been dismissed. Six years of failure have not been enough to dissuade Cheney from his belief in his 'take no prisoners' strategy, and the stage is being set for the Iran adventure. I'll be very surprised if Gates can come back with any meaningful proposals for Iraq, so this spiral into destruction can only continue, and worsen.

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