Confusion And Profit

As you may have heard, things are changing rapidly in the Middle East. Libya is in flames, Egypt staggers uneasily under military rule, and throughout the region political structures of enduring stability now creak and totter as the ground trembles beneath them. Meanwhile, the U.S. position is shifting too: we are soon to withdraw from Iraq (having come up short of our goals there), our relations with Pakistan are near the breaking point, and our presence in the Persian Gulf is complicated by events unfolding, particularly, in Bahrain.

What Mideastern nation, if any, seems entirely immune to this epidemic of political unrest? What nation gains the most from America’s withdrawal from Iraq? What nation will find it easiest to intimidate its neighbors by the strength of its military? What nation’s interests are best advanced by the conflagration of political and ethnic instability in the region? What nation is best positioned to inflame it further?

The answers are Iran, Iran, Iran, Iran, and Iran — as STRATFOR’s George Friedman explains in this penetrating analysis.

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  1. While turning our military into the world’s largest Boy Scout troop, we have forgotten anything we ever knew about geopolitical strategy. The British in the 19th century were a lot brighter than we are — they understood things like “balance of power.” What do we do instead? Invade and destabilize Iraq, which as nasty a regime as it was, at least represented a powerful counterweight to Iran.

    Can’t anybody here play this game? It would seem not. We should stay out of bad neighborhoods where we don’t understand the culture.

    Posted March 8, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Permalink
  2. Malcolm says

    I don’t think the Boy Scouts allow some of what we now encourage in the military, Rick.

    You are right that our toppling Saddam was an enormous boon to Iran.

    Posted March 8, 2011 at 5:31 pm | Permalink
  3. JK says

    STRATFOR’s analysis is pretty damn bleak – but it is even bleaker than Mr. Friedman presents. He doesn’t take Turkey into the equation very much.

    Posted March 9, 2011 at 1:18 pm | Permalink