IRAN makes threats, rattles sabre . . . . U.S. makes threats, rattles sabre . . . . IRAQ steps up and plays the mediator. THIS ALLOWS BOTH SIDES TO "SAVE FACE". Then serious negotiations start.

(edited)

You would think IRAQ, IRAN, LIBYA, others that have great oil wealth in the ground (for now) would look at the beautiful cities, resorts and wealth that Saudi Arabia and Dubai have and think . . .  we should do that.  

Maybe Mideast is starting to get tired of war ?

Unfortunately Libya and Iraq still have militant militias.  Iran, well. . . . . Ayatolluh Khomeini just Hates the U.S. The U.S. either accepts that, tries regime change or reach some accommodations. 

In Libya, KSA, UAE and Egypt are Supporting Haftar's LNA to move militant militia out of country.  France. Russia and U.S. quietly support this approach.

Gonna be difficult to control Shiite' militia's in Iraq.  Iraqi leaders must understand that their future depends on getting a hand of the situation.

I do think Iraq will eventual become mediator and bring US and Iran to the negotiating table. 

 

 

Edited by Falcon

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1 hour ago, Falcon said:

You would think IRAQ, IRAN, LIBYA, others that have great oil wealth in the ground (for now) would look at the beautiful cities, resorts and wealth that Saudis Arabia and Dubai have and think . . .  we should do that.  

Maybe Mideast is starting to get tired of war ?

Unfortunately Libya and Iraq still have militant militias.  Iran, well the a. . . . . . Ayatolluh Khomeini just Hates the U.S. The U.S. either accepts that or tries regime change.  

In Libya KSA, UAE and Egypt are Supporting Haftar's LNA to move militant militia out of country.  France. Russia and U.S. quite support this approach.

Gonna be difficult to control Shiite' militia's in Iraq.  Iraqi leaders must understand that their future depends on getting a hand of the situation. 

Hypothesis: the Middle East is tired of war.

Alternative hypothesis: the Middle East realizes the US finally has the political will to bury it in death and destruction.  It won't protect their elites, it won't rebuild them when it's over, and they won't keep their oil revenue.  They will comply, or they will die. 

In other words, the Middle East is experiencing a reality check.  This isn't posturing; it's a shakedown. 

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(edited)

On 5/22/2019 at 11:13 AM, BenFranklin'sSpectacles said:

Hypothesis: the Middle East is tired of war.

Alternative hypothesis: the Middle East realizes the US finally has the political will to bury it in death and destruction.  It won't protect their elites, it won't rebuild them when it's over, and they won't keep their oil revenue.  They will comply, or they will die. 

In other words, the Middle East is experiencing a reality check.  This isn't posturing; it's a shakedown. 

Maybe.

I think Trump Administration would love regime change.  But has no appetite for war with Iran.  

Remember Trump wanted to bring all the troops in Iraq home, but was talked out of it. He wants out of there. He's correct. 

There could be some stability in Mideast if Iran were not such a provocateur. I feel if there is to be Iran regime change it needs to start with the Iranian people. They have to want it and fight for it. Lot of unrest in Iran. Maybe Trump's actions planed to push internal unrest over the edge ?

Now Pentagon wants more troops in addition to one's just sent because of concern about Iraq. Positioning or provocation ?

I stand by my theory. Iraq brings two parties to the table and becomes mediator between two sides. Iran saves face.  Serious negotiations are held and agreement signed.  

I don't think Trump demands will be as harsh as some believe. He is starting to get a little more realistic concerning what can be accomplished.

Maybe we can get out of the Mideast.

U.S. won't want to be there when things get dicey when Brent eventually settled between $55 to $60 bbl.

When US EXPORTS ramp up from here ( 3.4 mm bbls/day last week) real  price competition will begin. This will be going full speed after US  builds a couple of crude export terminals that can load VLCC Super Tankers (carry 2 mm bbls). My guess Carlyle Group in Corpus Christi and Enterprise Products out of Houston area.

No war in Iran. Just positioning. Iran will eventually negotiate.

 

 

Edited by Falcon

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22 hours ago, Falcon said:

Maybe.

I think Trump Administration would love regime change.  But has no appetite for war with Iran.  

Remember Trump wanted to bring all the troops in Iraq home, but was talked out of it. He wants out of there.Now getting mixed signals from Trump. No consistency. I think it's a result of his desire to get his hapless son-in-law a win with peace plan. Jared needs a boost to his self confidence. Trump thinks only way is with help from Saudis. Trump does anything Saudis want.  Be careful Saudis are not US friend.  They will exploit Trump's huge ego. 

I feel if there is to be Iran regime change it needs to start with the Iranian people. They have to want it and fight for it. Lot of unrest in Iran. Maybe Trump's actions planed to push internal unrest over the edge ?

Now Pentagon wants more troops in addition to one's just sent because of concern about Iraq. Positioning or provocation ?

I stand by my theory. Iraq becomes mediator between two sides. Iran saves face.  Serious negotiations are held and agreement signed.  

I don't think Trump demands will be as harsh as some believe. He is starting to get a little more realistic concerning what can be accomplished.

Maybe we can get out of the Mideast.

U.S. won't want to be there when things get dicey when Brent eventually settled below $60 bbl.

Will be going full speed after US  builds a couple of crude export terminals that can load VLCC Super Tankers. My guess Carlyle Group in Corpus Christi and Enterprise Products out of Houston area.

Does the US need troops on the ground to topple Iran?  I doubt it.  US ground presence in Syria was minimal.  Locals did most of the fighting while a contingent of US troops provided fire support.  The same is true of troops deployed to the Middle East: they're mostly high-tech defense and fire support. 

The US invaded and held Iraq because that was necessary at the time.  Since Middle Eastern oil is no longer strictly necessary - and Iranian oil is entirely unnecessary - the US could destabilize Iran without consequence, allowing it to fall into ruin.  As you mentioned, Iran has plenty of enemies, both foreign and domestic.  It wouldn't take much. 

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1 hour ago, BenFranklin'sSpectacles said:

 US ground presence in Syria was minimal. 

The US invaded and held Iraq because that was necessary at the time. 

Iran has plenty of enemies, both foreign and domestic.  It wouldn't take much. 

Last I noticed Assad power, so while yes, there wasn't really a ground presence, but if increasing USA influence was the point Turkey, Iran, Russia are laughing, the Kurds worried.

Few US adventures have more poorly served American citizens interests poorer than the second war into Iraq. We embolden Iran, essentially created ISIS and the spillover mess effectively caused a human migration that is having massive repercussions, just ask an European. 

The supreme religious leaders in Iran probably would be voted out given the chance, but if you want to make the general population support them, try bombing/invading them. None of Irans neighbors are capable of invading them. They are safe from everyone but USA bombs.

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14 hours ago, John Foote said:

Last I noticed Assad power, so while yes, there wasn't really a ground presence, but if increasing USA influence was the point Turkey, Iran, Russia are laughing, the Kurds worried.

Few US adventures have more poorly served American citizens interests poorer than the second war into Iraq. We embolden Iran, essentially created ISIS and the spillover mess effectively caused a human migration that is having massive repercussions, just ask an European. 

 The supreme religious leaders in Iran probably would be voted out given the chance, but if you want to make the general population support them, try bombing/invading them. None of Irans neighbors are capable of invading them. They are safe from everyone but USA bombs.

With the world weaning itself off oil and the US aiming to increase market share, could it be argued that destabilizing the region is a win for the US?  The US doesn't need their oil any more, but China does.  If the region is in chaos, China will be forced to rely on US and Russian oil.  That seems like a win. 

Let's contrast the second war in Iraq with a theoretical future war with Iran: in Iraq, the US needed the region to be stable so it could export oil.  Thus, whether the US could build a nation in Iraq was a relevant question.  Today, the Middle East's oil is not needed.  It would be sufficient to drop bombs on Iran, wrecking their economy, fueling internal dissent, and emboldening their neighbors.  I.e. the necessary task has changed from "maintaining stability" to "wreaking havoc".  Wreaking havoc is well within the US's means. 

Likewise, Syria wasn't necessarily a loss.  The US didn't gain "influence" in the sense that people aren't pretending to be nice, but it seems to have made a valuable point: anyone who messes with the US will be wrecked.  Assad is still in power, but I imagine the near loss of that power - and the destruction of his country - shifted his perspective a bit.  On that note, I don't think any country truly has "friends".  This is esp. true when dealing with the Middle East, which has a long history of violence & unreliability.  Pursuing "friendship" with such nations is a waste of time; Trump's strategy of establishing dominance will achieve better results. 

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(edited)

Remember there are other reasons to hype the Iranian threat.

Congress must approve all weapon sales to foreign countries. Congress has blocked Trump's sale of Billions worth of military equipment to Saudis and UAE.

There are to two reasons for blocking sale. (1) butchering of Washington Post journalist Khashoggi (2) The indescriminate bombing of Yemen cities.

Now with Iran hype Trump claims Emergency National Security, thus can sell weapons and provides excuse for Saudis to bomb Yemen.

The US should get out of Mideast sooner than later.  Let US arms manufacturers sell them all the arms they want.  

Don't want to be there when Brent "balances" and "stabilizes" between $55 to $60. 

 

 

Edited by Falcon

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7 hours ago, BenFranklin'sSpectacles said:

in Iraq, the US needed the region to be stable so it could export oil.  Thus, whether the US could build a nation in Iraq was a relevant question. 

Likewise, Syria wasn't necessarily a loss.  The US didn't gain "influence" in the sense that people aren't pretending to be nice, but it seems to have made a valuable point: anyone who messes with the US will be wrecked.  

Iraq actually was quite stable. If you have to give credit where due, and Saddam ran a stable government. Regional stability had nothing to do with that war, and the WMD was a fabrication.

We've (USA) come out well behind in Syria. And remember our great allies in the region, KSA invested silly amounts of money funding folks against Assad. And since Iran has benefited from the entire mess, Israel also came out behind. Lebanon behind, Jordon behind. If there was a winner, perhaps Russia, little put in, and a lot of influenced gained. 

Kaddafi actually predicted this in I believe a BBC interview, almost exactly to what has transpired, when we started saber rattling against Saddam the second time, before the war. He couldn't believe we didn't have the sense to see what the inevitable consequences would be, so against our own interests.

Winning battles is easy for the USA. Understand the consequences, not so much. Syria is an extreme example of a complete lack of allies for the west. No matter who we backed, we were going to lose. Best to leave it be, which is essentially what we did except for rooting out the establish ISIL folks. ISIL was only there because Assad couldn't defend the east of the country as he struggle to maintain power and the USA created ISIL with our misplaced adventurism.

KSA spends more on the military than China. Iran doesn't even make the top ten. Iran is good at proxy wars of a sort, but they can't project power in the traditional sense suggested. They can't afford the toys. Iran does have some battle harden soldiers so they have no need to fear their enemies in Arabia or Turkey. They are also willing to play the long game, which the USA struggles with. Blow something up, declare victory, and move on to the next thing to blow up. Wag the dog baby, wag the dog. 

Military Expenditures 2018 SIPRI - List of countries by military expenditures - Wikipedia.htm

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