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18 March 2011

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Richard Armstrong

Your suggestion is brilliant however, it shouldn't be unexpected from an intelligence guy.

When I first heard about the UN vote I wondered how effective the single purpose no-fly zone could possibly affect MQ's ground forces.

Pamphlets with photos of the "Highway of Death" from the first Gulf War, tweets (especially tweets).

Very, very good idea.

Richard Armstrong

Reading the full text of the UN resolution it looks like the "No-Fly Zone" will include attacks on forces threatening the rebels.

"Protection of civilians

4. Authorizes Member States that have notified the Secretary-General, acting nationally or through regional organizations or arrangements, and acting in cooperation with the Secretary-General, to take all necessary measures, notwithstanding paragraph 9 of resolution 1970 (2011), to protect civilians and civilian populated areas under threat of attack in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, including Benghazi,

William R. Cumming

WOW! An incredibly interesting take on events by PL and Larry Johnson. It does seem to mesh with my thinking that even Egypt must rethink its foreign policy and foreign relations with Chinese and the Chinese long term strategy in the ME and Africa. Note I am assuming that such a strategy exists. Largely due to domestic resource restraints and the need for new markets. So agree with PL and Larry that the Chinese may be the big beneficiary of the current unrest in the ME and the US for a variety of reasons gradually or even more precipitously shut out of being a major influence in the ME. Where goest the EU in all this? the key is again Germany and its foreign and domestic policy. Why? Almost the only economy left standing after the 2008 financial collapse and the only nation-state with long term capability to make a play for international power and influence using the EU as a platform and also capable now of orchestration of the EU in obvious and subtle ways. Note that even for third and fourth tier contracting of sensitive technology the Germans have an impact from China to Pakistan to other areas of the world. And finally MOTHER NATURE may have handed China a really great hand for up to a decade or more as the events in Japan are digested by that the leadership and polity of Japan and de facto elimination of a clearcut potential rival of China.

Hypotetically, what would a Chinese effort to incorporate Taiwan now find in the way of actual opposition? Personally I don't think this will be an issue because China is getting all it wants from Taiwan due to current economic clout and the future economic situation.

But hey on this broadcast you heard it here first--Did the Obama Administration lose the ME to US influence?

The Twisted Genius

PL,

I always thought a few hellfire missiles into some of Qathafi's self-propelled artillery pieces and tanks would encourage Qathafi's troops to abandon their vehicles whether they saw aircraft or not. Your idea has more finesse. I only hope his forces won't quickly adopt some form of "Vietnamese hugging tactics." I bet he's thought of it. Qathafi's call for a ceasefire, though transparent to us, shows he is sly and calculating. He obviously didn't stay in power that long by just being a deranged madman.

The Twisted Genius

I think this wave of revolutions is scaring the bejeezus out of Chinese leaders. They are probably just as eager to crush the popular uprisings in the Arabian Peninsula as the Saudis. It's a strong confluence of interests... and a great opportunity to extend Chinese influence at our expense. I certainly don't have a warm feeling for our ability to deal with this challenge.

Will Reks

@WRC

I don't see how we've lost the ME to US influence due only to the current administration. Our actions in Iraq will probably mean that we'll lose influence there to the Iranians. We haven't lost any influence in the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia, have we? We still need them and they still need us.

I'm not sure that we really have much influence in Israel other than not giving a green light to attack Iran. They would prefer we do that.

We still have influence in Jordan. Limited to no influence in Syria or Lebanon.

The biggest problem is that we have not decided how we want to react to democratic change the ME. That's why we see conflicts with regard to the different treatment of Bahrain and Egypt. There is no universal standard. Americans are also in a bit of an identity crisis.

Too many of us, with a background in national security, have contempt for our fellow Americans who we think have no idea or clue about how to handle foreign affairs. That might be true, but they do know what is important to them and what isn't.

Patrick Lang

will reks

"We haven't lost any influence in the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia, have we?"

We are effectively finished in the Gulf. pl

zanzibar

What are implications geo-politically and economically if we are "effectively finished in the Gulf"?

walrus

Col. Lang, the way to counter China is renovate Americas economy. Unless and until this is done there is no hope of competing with China - you won't be able to afford it militarily quite soon, nor offer enough economic attractions/bribes.

By "renovate", I mean brutal reappraisal of every part of the economic systems of the country followed by ruthless surgical removal of things that are holding your people back, regardless of the screams of special interests and replacement with stuff that works.

I am not advocating a Republican agenda here, I'm advocating a ruthless economic agenda. To hell with special interests, what is the most economically rational way to organise things so as to provide an open, transparent and efficient economy?

I can give numerous examples of economic stupidity, but it might be interpreted as rudeness. I also don't think my prescription is going to be contemplated anyway, the special interests own the legislatures.

I expect that the next President will be a Republican, but I don't expect that they will embrace my agenda, although they will say they will.

Cal

Some psyops rattling of the monkey cage may be going on already--the London papers are spreading the word the UK thinks that 'ground forces' may be necessary.
Of course Gaddafi reads the news too -- but will it unnerve him or not.
Probably not, but at some point he will opt to save his own ass..he's not suicidal.
We need to get on with it. The longer we delay the more he will jerk everyone around.

William R. Cumming

First, recent events. If MQ's forces have seized and can hold Benghazi then they have essentially won. Airpower will not dislodge them.

TTG! China has double his funding of its internal security apparatus by almost 50% on an absolute basis since the start of the affair in Egypt according to several sources that wish to remain unnamed here or elsewhere.

Finally China has been given a huge opportunitym, a completely unexpected opportunity, as its closest competitor in the World's economic picture, e.g. Japan has been knocked out of the picture for at least the next year as it fights the war against the consequences of Mother Nature's rage. And more may be coming. After all each disaster is like the chicken and egg? Which disaster came first.

Finally, an probably because I am angry about things this AM I posted on my blog that the NSC staff group called the Resilency Staff, created by Jones and Brennan in June 2009 is now the crisis management group for large-scale civil events occurring domestically in the US. Legal yes but extremely unwise. Doesn't the NSC have enough on its plate to avoid being the conflict policy resolvers in large scale domestic disasters? This was revealed in prefiled testimony on thursday's hearing by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee which supposedly was trying to find out "who was in charge" if a Japan type event happened in the US. To the extent they found out it was no one and no organization. Perhaps actually the Albert Speer of this Administration is John Brennan who will be prioriting the domestic economy to make sure the military/industrial complex gets theirs. One thing the NSC does not understand is principles of federalism embedded in the Constitution, nor does DOD even though it does have inhouse expertise on civil military issues in the National Guard, a stepchild in DOD and never really trusted by the Joint Chiefs even though NG forces have pulled well above their weight in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Well it is a complicated world. What is the Arablic term/word for complicated? Or "interesting times"?

 Charles I

Willim R, Resiliency Staff?! sounds like Continuity of Government, without the government. What the heck is FEMA for then? To carry out Resiliency Staff diktat?

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