Mark M. put me on to the US Navy’s recently published strategy document “A Cooperative Strategy for 21st Century Seapower.”
So what does the US Navy have to say about its global strategy?
The vast majority of the world’s population lives within a few hundred
miles of the oceans. Social instability in increasingly crowded cities,
many of which exist in already unstable parts of the world, has the
potential to create significant disruptions. The effects of climate change
may also amplify human suffering through catastrophic storms, loss of
arable lands, and coastal flooding, could lead to loss of life, involuntary
migration, social instability, and regional crises. (page 7)
Yes – the United States Commander-and-Chief may be uncertain about global warming, but his Admirals and seamen are confident that it is real and that it will/should shape their maritime strategy.
But then, given how reluctant Bush has never been one to listen to his Generals – it’s unclear why he would listen to his Admirals.
Another thought, courtesy of Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus: when the US Navy is planning around Global Warming you know the debate has moved on. Why even bother engaging the deniers – let’s focus on the problem, the US military is.
Just read the three powerful paragraphs below off the recent Strafor report. Damning stuff. It suggests the prospect of the US concentrating forces in Afghanistan are slight as Iraq will continue to tie them down for the next several years. Moreover, if there was ever any doubt, it should now be erased: the Neo-cons have created a geopolitical disaster that makes Vietnam look minor. The US had few tangible interests in Vietnam – in Iraq it has to worry about the stability of global oil supply.
“After years of organizational chaos, the United States has simplified its plan for Iraq: Prevent Iran from becoming a regional hegemon. Once-lofty thoughts of forging a democracy in general or supporting a particular government were abandoned in Washington well before the congressional testimony of Gen. David Petraeus. Reconstruction is on the back burner and even oil is now an afterthought at best. The entirety of American policy has been stripped down to a single thought: Iran.
That thought is now broadly held throughout not only the Bush administration but also the American intelligence and defense communities. It is not an unreasonable position. An American exodus from Iraq would allow Iran to leverage its allies in Iraq’s Shiite South to eventually gain control of most of Iraq. Iran’s influence also extends to significant Shiite communities on the Persian Gulf’s western oil-rich shore. Without U.S. forces blocking the Iranians, the military incompetence of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar could be perceived by the Iranians as an invitation to conquer that shore. That would land roughly 20 million barrels per day of global oil output — about one-quarter of the global total — under Tehran’s control. Rhetoric aside, an outcome such as this would push any U.S. president into a broad regional war to prevent a hostile power from shutting off the global economic pulse.
So the United States, for better or worse, is in Iraq for the long haul. This requires some strategy for dealing with the other power with the most influence in the country, Iran. This, in turn, leaves the United States with two options: It can simply attempt to run Iraq as a protectorate forever, a singularly unappealing option, or it can attempt to strike a deal with Iran on the issue of Iraq — and find some way to share influence.”
Apparently there is something worse than a contained Saddam Hussain in Iraq. An uncontained Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran.