Saturday, June 21, 2014
Barry, My Liege:
The National Security of the United States is challenged by two issues: Ukraine and ISIS.
Ukraine is a basket case in the best of circumstances. It will need $20 billion financial aid in the next two years to avoid a humanitarian crisis. IMF proposals, if enacted, will make the situation worse by requiring severe austerity on a population already at risk.
It is likely that Eastern Ukraine will secede with Russia's armed support in the near future as the civil war already there escalates with covert Russian support. That will leave Western Ukraine as Europe's problem.
Our options are few, My Liege. We can continue arming the Kiev regime and contributing to a wider war or we can stand down and let Europe and NATO take the lead. We CANNOT send troops because that will lead to war with Russia.
It may be better to have a physically divided Ukraine than a single entity with the extreme tensions of holding an emotionally divided country together.
However, should Russia invade and subsume Eastern Ukraine, then all the former Soviet countries rightfully will be concerned about their future.
In that event, we will be back to the 1950's with a Cold War.
It appears that we are reduced to reacting to Putin's plans. And, Putin's end game is a mystery beyond my understanding.
ISIS represents the future of the Middle East. Climate severity will increase and the populations will be more restive.
NOTE - It appears that the ISIS folks have changed their designation to ISIL. Presumably they are touchy like many Muslims about real or imagined insults, so I will change to the ISIL designation if they merit further mention.
It may be a mistake to hold Iraq together. Perhaps it is better as three separate entities: Kurdistan, Shia Iraq and Sunni ISIS.
Our interests will be helped by an independent Kurdistan and attacked by ISIS.
ISIS seems to be a criminally funded [protection rackets, et.c.] and otherwise supported terrorist organization about to become a Sharia code state. We should work all angles short of armed force to weaken and destroy ISIS. Perhaps we can cut off or reduce its support by pursuading its supporters to withdraw their support.
It is an unpleasant situation, but as climate change and population growth work through the area, we can expect more such situations, My Liege.
Your faithful servant,