May 27, 2006
|Making Us Safer||Afghanistan Iran Iraq War and Peace|
The International Institute for Strategic Studies' annual global security assessment says Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, and North Korea threaten a "perfect storm" of simultaneous crises. Guardian:
The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the west's growing confrontation with Iran, and efforts to divest North Korea of its nuclear weapons are all approaching crucial turning points that could combine to create a perfect storm of simultaneous international crises, independent defence experts said yesterday.
Launching the International Institute for Strategic Studies' (IISS) annual assessment of global security threats, John Chipman, its director general, said: "Many parts of the world are engaged in brutal combat ... Overall, the dangerous triptych of Iraq, Afghanistan and Iran continues to dominate the security agenda as do the wider, iconic problems of terrorism and proliferation." [...]
Dr Chipman said the new Iraqi government faced "fundamental challenges" that could quickly overwhelm its attempts to hold the country together and invite regional intervention. "It is doubtful that a collective sense of Iraqi nationalism can survive in a context of increasing sectarian violence and the continuing security vacuum. Democracy has exacerbated Iraq's ethnic and religious tensions, with voters largely dividing along Sunni, Shia and Kurdish lines." [...]
Presenting the report, entitled The Military Balance, Dr Chipman warned of a rising Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan aimed at British and Nato troops who are replacing some US forces. "This year will be crucial for Afghanistan as well as for Nato as it expands its mission into the south," he said. "The Taliban are likely to increase their operational tempo - not least because they know that casualties among European Nato states may mobilise domestic opinion against the war." [...]
The IISS said North Korea had obtained enough plutonium to build between five and 11 nuclear weapons and long-running talks to induce Pyongyang to disarm were at an impasse.
In an implicit criticism of Washington's policy of ostracism and financial sanctions, Dr Chipman said North Korea had concluded that "the Bush administration is not serious about negotiations and [has] hostile intent". [...]
The report also highlighted growing US concerns about China's military build-up and intentions, quoting the findings of the recent US Quadrennial Defence Review. It said China was "a power at a strategic crossroads that is still pointing largely in the wrong direction and which has the greatest potential to emerge as a military rival to the US". [Emphasis added]
Everything they're doing is making us less safe, not safer. Swat hornets' nests with baseball bats and then wonder why all the stinging: not exactly a sign of intelligence.