Geopolitical duct tape and costly disasters.
September 17, 2014 7:30 AM Subscribe
...the reality of ISIS and what this group seeks is opaque to the public, and to policymakers not clued into the private salons where the details of secrets can be discussed. Even among those policymakers, the compartmentalized national security establishment means that no one really grasps the whole picture. The attempt to get the US into a war in Syria a year ago was similarly opaque. The public cannot make well-informed decisions about national security choices because information critical to such choices is withheld from them. It is withheld from them at the source, through the classification-censorship process, then by obfuscations in the salons and think tanks of DC and New York, and then finally through the bottleneck of the mass media itself.The Solution to ISIS Is the First Amendment by Matt Stoler
As Kissinger said, the US does not have an ideology, only interests. Our most important geopolitical interest has been and continues to be oil. US corporations simply could not function if they did not have access to cheap oil. Saudi light crude is and remains the largest, most readily accessible pool of the most valuable crude. Oh, and the country with the second biggest proven reserves of light sweet crude is Iraq.
If you want to get a handle on the politics of the Middle East, the linchpin is the US-Saudi relationship. The long-standing deal is simple: Saudi princes keeps oil prices in check in return for US support for being kept in power. The de facto discount against what the Saudis could make if they choked supply back to get better prices is protection money.
However, this relationship currently looks like a dysfunctional marriage where it’s clear there will be no divorce because there is no prenup in place, making the cost and uncertainty of a break-up too high for the partners. The Saudis are upset with the US because we haven’t attacked Iran. In fact, we have done the Saudis a great favor by not going beyond sanctions, since Iran would retaliate rapidly, in force, against Saudi refineries and other oil infrastructure and would close the Strait of Hormuz. The Saudis are also mightily aggrieved that the US has not gone into Syria…yet.
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