The Iran – Israel Crisis: Part 1, The Stakes

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F16 jet swirl

How long till war?

All eyes are on Iran and its nuclear program.  The Iranian government has stated that it pursues only peaceful ends in its new-found interest in uranium enrichment.  Israel and the United States have accused Iran of building nuclear WMDs.  In this article, Part 1, we will review how Israel and Iran are igniting the next world war and how conventional methods of defusing this situation have failed.  In Part 2, we will examine the diplomatic failures which have allowed this situation to persist and worsen.  In Part 3 we will review unlikely alternatives which might be able to prevent the United States from being dragged into a 21st century Vietnam.

Why are Iran and Israel Moving Towards War?

Iran and Israel have the keys to peace or war in the Middle East; they both choose war. we can see the rational explanation behind this absurd decision by looking into game theory and the Prisoners’ Dilemma. Both sides have the option of backing down; however, if either side took enacted peaceful measures it would open itself for attack from the opposition.  Without mutual trust or a shared allied superpower to help negotiate a thawing of relations these nations are locked onto the war path.

How Will the War Begin on Our Current Course?

Israel has talked openly about a preemptive strike.  With a surprise attack Israeli fighter jets plan to cripple the Iranian nuclear program beyond repair.  Iran will doubtlessly strike back; igniting a regional war against Israel.  The United States will most likely be dragged into the conflict with the inevitable Iranian retaliations.  In an American military war-game codenamed Internal Look, which played out many possible scenarios following an Israeli preemptive strike,  United States ships were attacked by Iranian planes attempting to intercept the retreating Israel fighters.  This is one of dozens of possibilities which could throw American into a pan-Arabian war in one of the world’s most volatile and important regions,

Why is It Important to Prevent War?

Life and energy.

It is of primary importance to maintain peace to prevent wholesale slaughter on a scale not seen since the end of World War Two.  Iran uses human waves of millions of loyalists to crush enemies while Israel decimates invaders with overwhelming air power and possibly nuclear.  A conflict would kill thousands; if there is an alternative, it must be pursued

Second, oil is something critical to the Middle Oil flow will slow to a trickle if war explodes across the Persian Gulf; either blockades of the Straits of Hormuz or wholesale destruction of regional oil tankers could cut off the world’s energy supply.  International blackouts would cause unprecedented chaos.

The question becomes that if war would be so disastrous why would the powers that be allowed it to deteriorate to this strained point?  Find the answer in Part 2; it will be up tomorrow.

All comments are appreciated and will be answered promptly.

Athens and America: A Study of the Paralleled Rise and Fall of Empires

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Zeus or Poseidon?

History Repeats Itself

The global empire of the United States bears staggering similarities to that of the ancient Athenian empire; both rose through an influx in foreign wealth, fought long and costly wars, and lost their supremacy due to singular, devastating defeats.

Athens’s rise and fall was intertwined with the grand conflict of the Peloponnesian War.  Before the war, Athens dominated Greece.  Tribute, paid through monetary and naval capital by Delian League, was arbitrarily used by Athens for its own betterment.  Under Pericles, Athenians built great public works, such as the Parthenon, with foreign money.

Later, the tectonic Peloponnesian War erupted between Athens and Sparta.  Neither could defeat the other, so the conflict evolved into a regional, strategic struggle.  Foreign campaigns, like in Sicily, eroded the strength of the Athenians.  Athens was too heavily invested in these foreign conflicts.

Athens risked too much and the Peloponnesian League, Sparta and her network of Allies, punished them for it.  The tipping point for the Athenian Empire was at Syracuse.  Athenian generals procrastinated at the beginning of the conflict; this delay resulted in the unsuccessful siege of the city rather than a victorious strike.  Spartan reinforcements had enough time to reinforce Syracuse and beat back the Athenians.  Countless ships of Athens were lost in the harbor of Syracuse.  Athenian morale was splintered with their strength broken.  The downward spiral of Athens lasted eight painful years before they surrendered to Sparta.

America is on the downhill slide of the Athenian curve as she circles her own defeat.  Historians would place the high point of the American empire at the close of World War Two.  At this point, many nations adored the victorious liberators.  Wealth flowed into America in exchange for manufactured products.  Destruction of international economic competitions, with the bombings of Europe and the wars of East Asia, enabled this modern reincarnation of Athenian tribute.  Buoyed by foreign wealth, politicians constructed highways, funded Social Security, and created Medicare.  Meanwhile, the Cold War flickered into forest fire.

Forces mobilized against the United States; America’s Cold War would mirror Athens’s Peloponnesian War. Many nations sided with the USSR, and later China, in a manifold communist threat against the United States.  Communist converts were afraid of being poached by America’s predatory foreign policy; the CIA coup of democracy in Iran, GI’s fought the rightful rule of Vietnam, and paratroopers invaded Grenada.  This only empowered America’s enemies.

American capitalism and USSR’s communism fought long and hard, sapping global capital. China besieged the United States in Korea, freedom fighters in Afghanistan killed millions of Russians, and the Middle East burned as Israel, Egypt, and Syria warred.  Ideological conflicts continue to this day in various modern forms.  By 2011 America had overextended herself.  Tens of thousands of troops were stationed in Afghanistan and Iraq, NATO jets controlled the airspace of Libya, and drone strikes assassinated opposition figures in Yemen.

Here the American model caught up to the Athenian timeline.  The next chronological event was a major defeat of the American Empire at the hand of the Chinese.  Despite having the best universities, arguably the most innovative populace, and the most capital the American economy was overtaken by the oppressive, environmentally destructive, and antagonistic Chinese economy. The Americans would be surpassed by 2020; China was declared the Sparta of the modern age.  As early as 2011 the Chinese were flexing their strength, the flow of resources, such as rare metals, was halted to the United States.  It would not be long until other essential elements of the globalized economy simply went missing.  America’s empire unraveled, just as its star-crossed ancestor Athens did before it.

Cyberwar America: Lockheed Martin Corporation (Military Contractor) Has Top Secret Data Stolen

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Above: Battlefields of the upcoming Cyberwar

Hackers have infiltrated Lockheed Martin Corporation and many other critical American military contractors have.  Renegade programmers broke through the extensive security protecting top secret military weapons data, most likely planning to sell the next generation information to the highest bidder on the black market. Nobody has come forward to claim responsibility for this attack but many speculate that superpowers China or Russia are behind the technically advanced and sophisticated  assault that underscores the fact that the world has progress to the next level of warfare, cyberwar.

Why is this Attack Significant?

Anarchists, terrorists, and dangerous governments be able to create their own cutting edge weapons with the stolen blueprints.  America currently is roughly ten years ahead, technologically, of most superpowers, such as Russia or China, in the world and twenty to thirty years ahead of rouge anti american nations, such has North Korea or Iran.  Whoever, or whomever, ends up with the critical data will instantly close that gap to a matter of months, or the amount of time it takes to physically build next generation weapons.

They will also be able to discover specific weaknesses in American armaments that could be used to decimate the American armed forces in future wars.  In the past breaches of security of the magnitude have endangered the American public and the free world for decades afterwards.  One textbook example is how leaks in the Manhattan project gave the USSR the information it needed to build nuclear weapons of it own.  This security fault snowballed into the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Cold War.

What Damage Has Been Done to Lockheed Martin Corporation and the other Military Contractors?

Reports state that the damage to the computers themselves was “minimal“, some speculate this is because the criminal want to be able to access new sensitive at a future date.  By not crippling the secrutiy netowrks today they give themselves the opportunity to steal more information later with sleeper code they might have installed into the mainframe, which would send data daily from behind the Lockheed Martin firewalls.  Attacks like this will only increase in number and magnitude, with more painful results as well.

What Does with Mean For the Evolution of Warfare?

On March 8, 2011 Anonymous, a hacker group responsible for both malicious and devastating attacks across the web, announced a “cyberwar” against America.  This was the only warning many ever got of the oncoming conflict.

America struck first, against Iran, during this new age of cyber warfare.  In early 2011 the nuclear reactors in Iran, which were thought to be used to weaponize uranium, were crippled by an American synthesized virus called Stuxnet that broke the centrifuges in the reactors.

Since then major corporations, with data sensitive to the American military, such as Sony, Google, and EMC have had their networks infiltrated by hackers, whom have dealt trillion dollars of damage and have torpedoed key elements of the international economy.

Today, the largest military corporation in the world had top secret data, that could be anything from budget reports to blueprints for weapons of mass destruction.

A perpetual, undeclared war has begun by faceless specters on the internet, such as the infamous group Anonymous,  against the pillars of stability of the governments of the world.  The public was not warned, nor will they until they are individually attacked when they get caught in the crossfire between these two behemoths.  Already more than seventy million Playstation 3 users have had their personal information and credit cards stolen in an unprovoked attack.  Attacks like this will only get worse as the Cyberwar evolves.

Hidden Motives of US Invasion of Afghanistan

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There are two possible ulterior motives that the United States had for invading Afghanistan; valuable metals and geopolitics.  These hidden interests were critical in Bush choosing to invade Afghanistan, rather than other nations housing Al Qaeda and continues to play a critical role in the future development America’s foreign policy in Asia; whether they are facing the nuclear warheads of Iran or the aggressive Chinese military.

What Valuable Metals are in Afghanistan?

While investigating old Soviet mineral studies of the country American geologists discovered that there were a trillion dollars worth of metal in Afghanistan.  This mineral deposit is perhaps the largest in the world, containing valuable metals like gold and silver, along with rare metals such as platinum and rhodium.  Should Afghanistan stabilize these minerals will be mined, I personally suspect the Afghani people will be exporting these minerals to their American liberators.  This will be lucrative for both parties.

If this is in fact an ulterior motive American troops invaded Afghanistan so corporations and lawmakers could turn a profit and help the international economy.  These influential executives did know about the minerals before hand, they did posses the Soviet geological surveys that dated much earlier.  There greed helped liberate a suppressed nation, but all killed several thousand American soldiers.

What is Geopolitics?

Geopolitics is the foreign policy based on a study, evaluation, and utilization of strategic locations around the world, both for economic and security reasons.  This is Afghanistan:

Afghanistan and Surrounding Nations

Why is Geopolitics Important to American Foreign Policy?

America is a global superpower; it maintains its military dominance by brining countries all around the world under its influence to combat enemies.  Israel is an American foothold in the Western Middle East, South Korea has 25,000 armed American troops, and there are 116,400 American soldiers scattered throughout Europe.  Without friendly nations American troops cannot safely deploy, either they would have to risk parachuting in or illegally stationing troops in disgruntled neutral counties.  Both of these options are unfavorable.  Afghanistan is in a perfect place for future American foreign geopolitical policy.

Afghanistan borders two possibly threatening nations: Iran and China.

Why is Iran Dangerous?

Iran actively pursues an anti-American agenda, building nuclear weapons while denouncing American policy.  There may come a day when American troops need to be deployed quickly into Iran, to seize and dismantle weapons of mass destruction or damage the nation to the point that Iran collapses.  National security is perhaps the most important concern of any nation; if America did not protect itself it would quickly be seized or invaded by less virtuous nations.

To defend itself American needs a friendly outpost near Iran; Afghanistan is the ideal country.  They share a long mountainous border, which is virtually impossible for defending Iranian troops to fully monitor.  Troops deployed into Iran may be able to avoid fighting Iran head on, seizing victory and the weapons of mass destruction without significant, if any casualties.

Why is China Dangerous?

China is the second most powerful superpower in the world and is set to surpass the gross domestic product of American by 2020, at that time it will become the dominant superpower of the world.  It has the world’s largest populationlargest energy usage, and the largest military in the world.  It is a potentially lethal rival to America; should the two nation war it is unknown who would come out on top, if anyone.

In addition to this China has had an aggressive foreign policy, occupying defenseless nations and backing dictators.  Tibet was invaded by Chinese troops in 1950, has killed tens of thousands of the natives in the process of annexing the country.  North Korea is supported by China; with this relationship it is almost certain North Korea totalitarian communist regime would have crumbled.  Sudan committed large-scale genocide in Darfur under Chinese protection, who received large amounts of gold and oil while arming the Sudanese with modern weapons.  China is dangerous, perhaps the single most threatening country in the world.

Should China threaten America troops need to be able to deploy to the region to defend America; it would be preferable to fight World War Three in the Chinese Heartland instead of the American coastline.  Already American has geopolitical outposts in Taiwan and South Korea, Afghanistan gives them a third root of attack should it be necessary. Ideally troops will never have to be mobilized; the threat of violence should stave off the Chinese.  Hopefully.

Was The American Invasion of Afghanistan Unjustly Wrong?

These ulterior motives are not the core reason America went to war in Afghanistan.

America had clear, morally correct justification for liberating Afghanistan; it was a gallant counterstrike against the Al Qaeda to extract vengeance for the tragedy of September 11, 2001.  This conflict freed a suppressed people from an extreme Islam government and crippled the largest terrorism organization in the world.

Secondary ulterior motives were not what caused the invasion, but they played a crucial role in where the invasion took place.

President Bush choose to invade Afghanistan, rather than other nations that housed Al Qaeda such as SomaliaEritrea, and Yemen .  Afghanistan was important in the present; it broke up the high command of Al Qaeda and decimated the terrorist organization.  In the future it may prove to be economically crucial and key to America’s security.  It may not should history evolve in unexpected ways.

The true value of the Afghanistan and the noble troops who died liberating it, still has yet to be seen as the world progresses into the early twenty-first century.

 

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