Why 'Imperial Fantasies' Rather Than 'Imperial Reality'?
Just thought I'd add some commentary to a previous post about a suggested redrawing of the Mideast map by Col. Ralph Peters. The purported aim of the redrawn borders was to bring 'stability' to the region by giving the various ethnic/sectarian groups their own nation-state.
First of all, it's just not feasible. An outside power, particularly the baggage-ridden US, blatantly attempting to completely re-engineer the regions politics will be met with furious resistance from most parties, even if the new nation-states are more ethnically homogeneous. Not to mention that Col. Ralph Peters seems pretty clueless about actual US national interests and foreign policy strategy. Why the heck would the US support a massive Arab Shia state that would potentially strengthen already rising Iranian influence over the region? Who actually thinks they'll dismember Turkey for the sake of the Kurds, when the Turks have been such obedient allies? Why would the US take out Pakistan's 'tribal' areas when their military is strongly allied with the US, and the resulting Baloch and Pashtun states would be much more prone to adopt Islamic radicalism and anti-US policy? His plan is quite simply incredibly naive, both in terms of implementation and in terms of the foreign policy objectives of the US. When it comes down to it, 'divide and conquer' is an invaluable strategy facilitating regional dominance, therefore expanding enormous amounts of energy to resolve all ethnic/sectarian conflicts in the region is simply not in America's interests. Here's some 'wisdom' from Zbigniew Brzezinski, former National Security advisor to President Jimmy Carter, quotes from The Grand Chessboard. Last quote suggests a reason for why the US would have an interest in encouraging multi-ethnic states throughout the Middle East.
"It is imperative that no Eurasian challenger emerges, capable of dominating Eurasia and thus also of challenging America. The formulation of a comprehensive and integrated Eurasian geostrategy is therefore the purpose of this book."
"In brief, for the United States, Eurasian geostrategy involves the purposeful management of geostrategically dynamic states and the careful handling of geopolitically catalytic states, in keeping with the twin interests of America in the short-term preservation of its unique global power and in the long-run transformation of it into increasingly institutionalized global cooperation. To put it in a terminology that hearkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial [that is, AMERICAN] geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together."
"Moreover, as America becomes an increasingly multicultural society, it may find it more difficult to fashion a consensus on foreign policy issues, except in the circumstances of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat. Such a consensus generally existed during World War II and even during the Cold War...In the absence of a comparable external challenge, American society may find it much more difficult to reach agreement regarding foreign policies that cannot be directly related to central beliefs and widely shared cultural-ethnic sympathies and that still require an enduring and sometimes costly imperial engagement."