The Cepia Club Blog

The Cepia Club Blog: The Cepia Club believes individual awareness and activism can lead to a peaceful and prosperous world. This blog contains the pertinent literature, both creative and non-fiction, produced by the Cepiaclub Director and its associates.

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Future of US Security and National Interest in the Persian Gulf: From Here Forward

Like all futile military action, the half-measures of political policy by Congress (on both sides) and the Administration, those responsible for US grand strategy in the Iraq war, have all failed to understand the real basis of any strategy: The use of peaceful power and force to shape a decisive political outcome in conflict. This has been the problem since the authorization for war in Iraq in October 2002, and even earlier when a bi-partisan Congress gave the Clinton Administration a clear mandate for regime change in Iraq.
US politicians (in both parties) have in history proven poor strategist. The US military, from the statements they made then, saw the Iraq war and occupation becoming a debacle as early in 2002. Their advice was ignored. The politicians served their own interests and had their reasons for, first, supporting a poorly conceived political policy in the war, and then, second, not enforcing accountability on themselves or others responsible for the failures. Partisan politicians serve special interests. They have not shown foresight and wisdom in public on Iraq at all since 1991's Gulf War. Can America survive as a strong nation in such a complex world created by policy failure? Will either the fear and greed of the leadership class in America destroy security and prosperity because of Iraq, and cause more problems through a short-sighted selfish interest?
It is time the United States confronts some of the realities it faces in the 21st Century. Only then can it develop national strategies for long-term solutions. At the present time, the Iraq war and its post-US occupation need to be addressed. More failure in any respect from here forward in the Middle East can simply overwhelm the US national interests. Framing this discussion in the belief that the limited surge strategy of 2007 will succeed, long-term post-war planning is necessary now. If not, the ideas presented here can be used to evaluate likely courses of action. Without considering some these possibilities, voters in the 2008 elections may empower politicians for even more disastrous policies.
A residual force, if the limited surge DOES indeed succeed, will still be needed in the Persian Gulf Theater of Operations. This could include an 10-15,000 man Army air-ground divisional combat team or Marine Air Ground Task Force that could rotate into Kuwait from other US commands (European, Northern or Pacific Commands) on temporary 5-6 month deployments. This rotating force need not be permanently based in Iraq, hence meeting public, Congressional, and international pressure to avoid a “permanent” presence in Iraq. The rotating units in 6-month deployment will probably include training programs within Iraq or rapid, and very brief rapid reinforcements of Iraq’s government. An eight to twelve month Special Operating Forces rotation and a permanent covert civilian intelligence presence inside Iraq is politically possible and make would be wise.
Based “off-shore” of Iraq, using sea-basing and rapid reinforcement, US Navy/Marine Expeditionary Strike Groups and Amphibious Ready Groups, and a 30,000 troop joint task force in high readiness under US Central Command could remain inside and outside of the Persian Gulf. Such a presence necessity as long as oil is necessary for the US economy. This task force, on a level at or near the current US military commitment in Korea and Japan, can be based in and operate from the island nation of Bahrain, on the peninsula state of Qatar, and on the territory of Oman outside the mouth of the Gulf in Oman. This military presence would act as strategic deterrence and rapid intervention under new security arrangements. Such a US commitment is feasible, as the large US European Command within NATO becomes less necessary. Furthermore it is the only viable linchpin for stabilizing the Persian Gulf, preventing regional conflict, and serving the overall US national interests for the next 20-30 years, until oil is no longer needed.
As a peace enforcement group, the US military presence can only be done within a regional security organization of sovereign nation-states in and around the Persian Gulf. The US military presence needs to be the balancer of power and interests.
A long-term stable peace in the Persian Gulf needs to become a proposition of “keeping the Americans in, the Iranians down,” and the Chinese (and the Russians) from dominating the politics of war and peace in the Indian Ocean Area.
A new security system needs to evolve with other nations willing to form a collective defense organization with the US and the local nation-states. The security strategy envisioned here includes a NATO-like model of political and military integration of policy BUT with an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe form of cooperation between friends, allies, enemies and competitors. All countries within the Indian Ocean Area (including Iran, Pakistan and India) need to be invited to join this Indian Oceans Area security system.
In addition, all other Great Powers with economic interests should be invited to join, including China, Japan, Russia, France and Great Britain, Australia, and Brazil. With each country participating in some way in the political dialogue, economic development, social and cultural building, and in a collective defense system, aggressors and illegitimate organizations (al Qaeda) bent on the destruction of the civil order and prosperity of the world can be dealt with jointly. After all, international security, or the “common safety” of the world, is the responsibility of everyone to protect the natural rights of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness of everyone else, as well as their own. Dealing with the Persian Gulf first through a slow evolution toward balancing common interests and needs, with human liberty as the ultimate goal, is the only way civilization can prevent more conflict throughout the Indian Ocean Area until oil is no longer a relevant concern of civilization. This is the world’s problem. It requires an international solution.

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