Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Self Contained?

Regional Puissance!

Ebberdobby knows that when Great Satan unAsses the Land atwixt the 2 Rivers and calls time on AFPAK, Persia's Preacher Command will seize dominance and project Imperium across the ME.

A NATO/Warsaw Pact coutur'd containment regimen ala Iran seems mythical - as if Tehran will act out/not act out just like Mockba

Containment chiz has been up in the air for a while now and in all fairness needs to be debated openly
Iran’s standing in the Middle East appeared to be declining after the Arab Spring. The “Arab street,” once enamored with Iran’s bluster, is now turned off by the country’s suppression of dissent at home and its support for the oppressive Syrian regime. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards are helping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad put down a growing uprising. The possibility of a collapse of the Assad regime threatens to confound Iran’s plans for regional domination. Syria is Iran’s main Arab ally and its conduit for aid to Hiz'B'Allah, the militant, "Slamist Lebanese group that Iran has used as a proxy to menace Little Satan, Great Satan, Lebanon itself and others. 

From Tehran, however, the situation looks quite different. For one thing, Iran is not as worried about losing sway in a post-Assad Syria as many in the West think. Iran calculates that until Syria gets back the Golan Heights, a plateau captured by Israel in the 1967 war, any government in Damascus will need Hezbollah as a force to pressure Israel. And with Hezbollah comes Iranian influence. 

Iran’s leaders are clearly preparing for the possibility of Assad’s fall. Even while claiming nefarious outsiders are fomenting the unrest in Syria, they have begun to add veiled criticisms of the regime’s brutal crackdown, an obvious means of pandering to the street. 

What’s more, Iran’s leaders perceive that it is the U.S. position, not theirs, that has weakened in the region. They see U.S. troops withdrawing precipitously from both Iraq and Afghanistan; U.S. relations with Pakistan turning ever more sour; and Arab dictators who have been propped up by America for years under threat or already gone. The brazen nature of the Washington assassination plot supports the idea that Iran sees the U.S. as soft. 

Given this perception, Iran is asserting itself. In the past two years, it has eschewed serious engagement with the U.S. on the Iranian nuclear program, Afghanistan or anything else. Rebuffing the U.S. idea of a hot line to avoid conflict in the Persian Gulf, Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, Iran’s navy commander said, “The presence of the U.S. in the Persian Gulf is illegitimate and makes no sense.” 


The alternative is to let Iran’s ambitious regional strategy play out. So far, it hasn’t gone so well. Iran has clashed over Syria with Turkey, which is hosting anti-Assad forces. And Iran’s strained relations with the other big Mideast power, Saudi Arabia, have been tested anew by theWashington plot and by the suspicious assassination in May of a Saudi diplomat in Karachi, Pakistan. 

Iran expects greater influence in Iraq and Afghanistan once U.S. troops leave, but with that will come greater burdens. Once absent, America can no longer be the focus of opposition in both places. Instead, Iran may replace the U.S. as the target of popular anger, blamed for the failure of government to meet people’s needs. Iran may prove no more able to pacify Iraq and Afghanistan than the U.S. has been. Iran is adept at causing security headaches in the region but is untested when it comes to resolving them. 

Failure on that front would leave Iran, rather than the U.S., in the middle of renewed civil conflict in Iraq or Afghanistan. It also would have direct implications for Iran domestically. Renewed chaos in either country would send refugees flooding into Iran and increase drug trafficking and violence in the border areas. 

Iran may come to remember fondly the period when the U.S. military absorbed resentments in the region. 

Pic - "Mini NATO?"