Thursday, October 16, 2014

Black Sea Strategy –Threshold of World War? > - Strategic Culture Foundation

The article Ukraine, Iraq and a Black Sea Strategy by George Friedman(1) came into focus of international experts’ attention. The author is known to make no bones about it when he expresses his opinion. While others wrote about European values, democracy and open society to take hold in Ukraine, he devoted his writings to Russia’s strategic position, military planning, oil and gas policy. He openly admits that the United States saw the events in Ukraine as either an opportunity for moral posturing or as a strategic blow to Russian national security. He also points out that “U.S.geography and power permit a degree of uncertainty“ . Actually the author is talking about geo-strategy aimed at plunging the world into chaos. But it’s not the main thing.

There is a serious substantiation for guessing that the theses used in the article serve as an indicator of the fact that the US elite switches to the perception of current and would-be events in terms of ongoing world war. A “world war” sounds awesome but there is nothing new in thinking in such terms: the previous global economic crisis comparable in scale was overcome thanks to world war. A world war allows to reshape the world map, get access to new markets, write off old debts and establish new rules of the game in international affairs. This is the most important factor for the United States. Playing by the rules established by America itself in the past, no longer can it maintain the global leadership ceding the position to rising China.

According to George Friedman, the most critical issue for the United States is to create a single integrated plan that takes into account the most pressing challenges. Operationally, it might not be possible to engage all adversaries simultaneously, but conceptually, it is essential to think in terms of a coherent center of gravity of operations. For the author of the article it is increasingly clear that that center is the Black Sea. There are currently two active theaters of military action with broad potential significance. One is Ukraine. The other is in the Syria-Iraq region, where the forces of the Islamic State have launched an offensive designed at a minimum to control regions in both countries — and at most dominate the area between the Levant and Iran. In most senses there is no connection between these two theaters. The author notes that Russia has an ongoing problem in the high Caucasus and there are reports of Chechen advisers working with the Islamic State. He points out that, “In this sense, the Russians are far from comfortable with what is happening in Syria and Iraq. At the same time, anything that diverts U.S. attention from Ukraine is beneficial to the Russians. For its part, the Islamic State must oppose Russia in the long run. Its immediate problem, however, is U.S. power, so anything that distracts the United States is beneficial to the Islamic State”.

America is not going to use its military power on large scale. It plans to achieve its goals at the expense of regional allies. Turkey and Romania are two key relationships.

The article is cognitive for those who try to understand the US policy towards Russia. One thesis is delusive. The Islamic State is painted as a US enemy that America wages a fierce fight against. In reality the Islamic State is a valuable ally of the United States, the country which is pursuing the goal of converting the Middle East into a large hotbed hit by chaos to spread on Europe, Russia, China and other regions of the United States’ choice.

Complete story at - Black Sea Strategy –Threshold of World War? > - Strategic Culture Foundation

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