Those who look at history with a critical eye and those try to peel back the layers of government policies to understand the true motives behind them, understand that the face our government shows the public every day is not the only face our government has. There is a face that for good reason is not exposed to light of day, or at least is very rarely exposed. Inside and outside of our government, as well as other major powers, there are strategic think tanks that look at the world as a chess board. They look way into the future at political alliances, potential dangers of certain nations obtaining influence in some part of the world, and they look at such things as strategically important natural resources and much more. They analyse different scenarios and how they might be dealt with diplomatically or militarily. an example might be this Global Research article from November of 2006 which was republished recently. It talks about redrawing the Middle-East to create a “New Middle-East”. This piece of strategic thinking can probably be traced back to the days of Henry Kissinger in the Nixon era and Zbigniew Brzezinski of the Carter years.
Accepting that international statecraft has never developed effective tools — short of war — for readjusting faulty borders, a mental effort to grasp the Middle East’s “organic” frontiers nonetheless helps us understand the extent of the difficulties we face and will continue to face. We are dealing with colossal, man-made deformities that will not stop generating hatred and violence until they are corrected.
Is this what our government is up to in what otherwise appears to be an asinine policy of the current administration in the Middle-East? I don’t know, but it is food for thought.
A friend of mine operates the Spellchek blog. He is a very smart man and he is one who does a lot of research to support his arguments. He has written two posts recently that suggest that part of the reason the US is still in Afghanistan and may stay much longer than is currently being said publically by our government, is the presence in Afghanistan of important strategic resources to which America needs access. His first post is here and his second post is here. In this second post is a long list of links (that I have not yet read) to back up his assertion. I happen to know for a fact that the United States Geological Survey believes there are huge deposits of lithium in Afghanistan. Lithium has become a strategically important mineral in today’s high technology world,including our high technology military world. And, today the US depends mostly on China for its supplies of lithium.
So, for the sake of today’s discussion, let us assume that my friend at Spellchek is right. And, let’s talk about two things: our concept of “War on Terrorism” and the morality of spilling our blood and treasure for strategically important resources. To this end, this humble observer will share his thoughts on how the war on terrorism should be conducted and how a war to protect America from aggression can also be used to achieve other strategic interests.
I was for far too many years no different from the Neo-Cons. I was a hawk on all things military. I got over it. I don’t like war and I believe many of our wars have been fought for the wrong reasons, which I won’t go into today. Having said that, I am no shrinking violet either. I believe tha America, as a the super power, must at times use its power to protect our national interests. But, our current concept of our war on terror is thee most stupid approach to protecting America that i can imagine. The idea that we are going to fight terrorist groups on the soil of sovereign nations is an asinine approach, in my opinion. To fight small mobile terrorist groups, I believe you have to take the battle to the governments that allows them to operate inside their territories. For example, if the we know the Saudi royal family is funding terrorist groups, we should send a few smart missiles into some of their palaces to get their attention, as Ronald Reagan did to Muammar Gaddafi. If the current Libyan government is allowing al Qaeda to operate in their territory, then we need to put the fear of G-d in them and the same goes for Iran. In my opinion, none of these leaders are planning to offer up themselves to be suicide bombers. Despite all their talk, they are in no hurry to meet Allah. Okay let¡s move on to Afghanistan.
After the 9/11 attacks, there is no question that the United States had to retaliate. But, using my methodology describes above, this is how I think it should have gone down. Instead of declaring this fuzzy war on terror, our government should have given Afghanistan thirty days to deliver bin laden and all of his top aides, knowing full well they could not do it. We then should have made plans to make war against the Afghanistan nation. If the strategic thinkers bring to our leaders’ attention that there are x, y, and z resources in Afghanistan that are very important to America’s future, our leaders should thank them and then keep that information in mind as they conduct the war. They should have gone into Afghanistan and kicked butt as they did in the first three years of the war; killing as many Taliban and al Qaeda operatives as possible. They then should have forced the Afghan government to the negotiating table on the day of their choosing. they then should have dictated the terms of ending our war against them. Those terms might have included an on going presence to continue hunting for bin laden and the terms might have included that the Afghan government would sign 99 year leases of the rights to the x, y, and z resources in exchange for a fair royalty. Call that last part spoils of war or retribution. I don’t care. But, to me that is the most moral or least immoral way to get access to the strategic resources. To prolong a war in order to find a way to get at the resources without Americans knowing that their government is sacrificing the blood of our soldiers is in my mind absolutely immoral.
Undoubtedly, I have over simplified the issues. For that, I apologize. And, maybe the bigger questions is does morality have a role in national security?
Well, now you know what I’m thinking. What are your thoughts?