Global Security Headlines

Friday, December 31, 2010

Answering the 6 Strategic Questions for 2010

It is time to answer our 6 Strategic Questions for 2010. There were major developments

Q1. What will the international community do about Iran?

A: As predicted in our Net Assessment: Iran, the Western powers led by the United States would do - nothing much! Sure, more ''biting'' (read - watered-down) economic sanctions were passed at the UN, but Tehran brazenly defies the international community with impunity. It helps if you follow your own sanctions. Barring an Israeli attack, Iran will become a nuclear state and build the medium and long-range ballistic missiles to wage its jihad. The US still believes diplomacy of appeasement is the necessary elixir and Iran agrees. While the West talks, Tehran builds.

Q2. Will radical Islamic terrorism wax or wane?
A: Radical Islamic terrorism waxed around the globe. Some plots were disrupted with a new wrinkle in the bombers. Radicalized Islamic university students in the United States and United Kingdom - citizens of each - tried to set off bombs, but evidently shun suicide pacts to spare their lives unlike brethren abroad. Also, Al Qaeda franchise groups in the Arabian Peninsula (Yemen - AQAP) and AQIM (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb) planted themselves firmly in the international terrorism universe. AQAP attempted to kill the UK ambassador in Sana'a and AQIM squared off against France.

Q3.  What will China’s recent gains in diplomatic currency portend?
A: Beijing continues to build both economic strength and robust military power. China passed Japan to become the world's second largest economy in 2010. Its military modernization includes the stealth J-20 fighter, a ''carrier killer'' missile, and its own aircraft carriers. In a possible preview of Beijing's attitude toward its regional neighbors, China and Japan fussed over the Senkaku Islands leading to the capture and later release of a Chinese fishing captain by Tokyo. China intends to validate its so-called Mandate from Heaven to
rock the world.

Q4.  Will the Nato mission fail in Afghanistan?
The Nato mission in Afghanistan is flagging. US President Obama fired his hand-picked commander, General McChrystal, and replaced him with seasoned General Petraeus from the Iraqi campaign in June. The counterinsurgency expert has the task to fight for a ''decent interval'' until the US wraps up its fight together with its allies by 2014. Experts yawned at Washington's vapid policy review released earlier in December. After the 10th anniversary in 2011 of toppling the Taliban, the US is squarely focused on retreat. The Taliban-Al Qaeda classic guerrilla campaign complete with a sanctuary border like Vietnam finally tires the feeble US giant.

Q5.   Does Castro, Inc. survive?
A: Yes. Castro,Inc. limped across the finish line in 2010 just like 2009. At least Fidel's little brother, Raúl, recognizes the despotic regime's survival is on the line. Any easing in US economic sanctions is likely a nonstarter given the Republican opposition's control of the US House of Representatives. Expect more focus on Cuba as Ileana Ros-Lehtinen becomes chair of the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee. Castroism, however, is the real culprit of the gutted economy and broken revolutionary dreams on the  paradisaical prison island.

Q6. What is next for the European Union?
A: The gathering storm clouds at the end of 2009 rained on the European Union in 2010. The financial crisis spurred by excessive sovereign indebtedness, sclerotic growth in the national economies, and the global economic slowdown  has already consumed Greece, Ireland, and Portugal. While the faux union avoided disintegration in 2010, economic gloom brought despair and riots across the Continent. Analysts see a tough go in 2011 as Spain struggles to stop the euro country dominoes from falling. However, at the end of the day, its socialist economic schemes doom any meaningful recovery in the Euroland house of cards.

Stay tuned for the Top 6 Strategic Questions for 2011. Do you have a strategic question?

Happy New Year! ¡Feliz Nuevo Año! Feliz Novo Ano!

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