|The Strategist View of War
by Terrance Jones
Actions that are implemented based on gross miscalculations will undoubtedly lead to an escalation of tensions between a given set of opposing forces. For example, should America continue to uphold its alliance with Pakistan regardless of the fact that Pakistan continues to sponsor terrorism, then Russia will take steps to exacerbate its relationship with Iran in regards to giving Iran nuclear technology. This technology has peripheral benefits that could help Iran become the second state sponsor of terrorism to acquire a nuclear arsenal. A continued failure to hold Pakistan accountable for its actions would be a gross miscalculation that would facilitate extreme lawlessness on the part of Russia concerning proliferation through Iran. In fact, it was America's alliance with Pakistan, the first state sponsor of terrorism to acquire nuclear weapons, that brought Russia and Iran together.
b. Rationality of irrationality
Iran's rationality of irrationality is based on the belief that even a nominal amount of nuclear weapons will deter aggression from and force coercive inclinations on their American adversaries who have thousands of nuclear weapons. This approach appears to have worked for Pakistan who is believed to be in possession of approximately 48 nuclear weapons. Pakistan went from being a targeted nation on America's terrorist nations list to becoming a staunch ally in the global war on terror even though Pakistan still sponsors terrorism. Iran's rationale also includes the belief that they can neutralize Pakistan's regional influence while exponentially increasing their dominance over theatre occurrences in the Middle East should they become successful in acquiring a nuclear deterrent. Iran believes that this neutralization will be facilitated by their nuclear deterrent and flashpoint intervention variables that will bring their Russian allies into the strategic picture.
a. Reciprocal fear of surprise attack
Russia's vicious assault on the Georgian nation articulated the fact that a surprise attack is not out of the question in regards to flashpoint intervention variables that could lead to more Russian aggression. That being said, America must take steps to assure Russia of the fact that America is willing to launch a surprise attack in short order as well. This can be done by taking a more decisive course of action in Iraq for instance. A strategy of hard pursuit against armed militias would go a long way towards convincing Russia that the United States has the stomach for war. No longer should militias have the option of choosing when to bear arms, as they should be disarmed immediately.
b. Preventive war
Clearly, the war in Iraq was meant to be a preventive war, however, by destroying the infrastructure of Iraq's standing army and failing to disarm Sunni and more importantly Shiite militias, Iraq, who has a population that is 60 percent Shiite,along with Iran and Syria is poised to become one third of a Shiite triumvirate. This is due in large part to the way the war in Iraq was executed. Now America must prepare to implement preventive war initiatives that are geared towards preventing the aforementioned Shiite triumvirate scenario. To do this, the United States will need to keep significant forces in Iraq well beyond the targeted troop pullout year of 2011.
Ambitious third nation
The words "ambitious third nation" seem to imply that actions that are catalytic in nature will only be taken by someone aspiring to become the third great power in the world. I concur with this assessment, however, we can't discount the ambition of smaller nations who see themselves fulfilling that role due to natural resources upon which the world is heavily dependent. Oil rich Iran fits within this scenario, as they have the ability to influence countless economies across the globe. An Iran with nuclear weapons will take full advantage of this fact. Also, Iran could potentially destabilize the Middle East and other regions of the world by using its nuclear arsenal to threaten its neighbors in addition to using its oil to blackmail various regions across the globe.