George Friedman, Leiter von Stratfor, über die mal wieder anstehenden Verhandlungen mit dem Iran, die Rolle der Türkei dabei sowie die akkuten Gefahren im Nahen Osten:
The United States now faces a critical choice. If it continues its withdrawal of forces from Iraq, Iraq will be on its way to becoming an Iranian satellite. Certainly, there are anti-Iranian elements even among the Shiites, but the covert capability of Iran and its overt influence, coupled with its military presence on the border, will undermine Iraq’s ability to resist. If Iraq becomes an Iranian ally or satellite, the Iraqi-Saudi and Iraqi-Kuwaiti frontier becomes, effectively, the frontier with Iran. The psychological sense in the region will be that the United States has no appetite for resisting Iran. Having asked the Americans to deal with the Iranians — and having failed to get them to do so, the Saudis will have to reach some accommodation with Iran. In other words, with the most strategically located country in the Middle East — Iraq — Iran now has the ability to become the dominant power in the Middle East and simultaneously reshape the politics of the Arabian Peninsula.
The United States, of course, has the option of not drawing down forces in Iraq or stopping the withdrawal at some smaller number, but we are talking here about war and not symbols. Twenty thousand U.S. troops (as the drawdown continues) deployed in training and support roles and resisting an assertive pro-Iranian militia is a small number. Indeed, the various militias will have no compunction about attacking U.S. troops, diplomats and aid workers dispersed at times in small groups around the country. The United States couldn’t control Iraq with nearly 170,000 troops, and 50,000 troops or fewer is going to result in U.S. casualties should the Iranians choose to follow that path. And these causalities would not be accompanied by hope of a military or political success. Assuming that the United States is not prepared to increase forces in Iraq dramatically, the Iranians now face a historic opportunity. [Weiterlesen…]