Monday, January 23, 2006

What to do with the Middle East

I've said it before and its time to say it again.

The only way the disaster that is the Middle East is going to be solved is when the rest of the world makes the region irrelevant. This can only be done by developing a true alternative to oil. Whether this would by hydrogen based, fuel cells, or something entirely new I have no idea. What I do know is the United States and other developed nations have the technical capability to solve this problem if enough money and time is utilized.

This action tied to the immediate implementation of an actual energy policy in the U.S., such as higher MPG requirements, would be ruinous for the mullahs, dictators and monarchs in the Middle East. Once the money flow is cut their ability to develop something like a nuclear weapon or sponsor world wide terrorism would be greatly reduced. Then if they wish to kill each other for the next several decades we can let them do so.

This plan certainly does nothing to solve the world's immediate problem, a nuclear Iran.

On that issue we are limited to very few options, none of which are palatable.

We can keep negotiating through the EU or UN. This will result in Iran having a nuke.

We can work with Israel to strike and take out Iran's weapon facilities. This offers no guarantee of success and if the strike failed could result in the quick use of a nuke by Iran in retribution.

Next we could go in on the ground in either a full out Iraq level attack. I think the end result of such a move is pretty obvious considering what is now taking place next door in Iraq.

Finally a combination of air strike/ground assault could be implemented. Air assault in enough ground power to rip apart Iran's nuclear facilities along with capturing or killing the technicians building the weapons. A secondary strike to remove that country's government might be possible, but the country would degenerate into a Afghanistan like mess giving terrorists a new home to live and train. Personally, I would leave the current regime in charge, albeit castrated of power, maybe castrated for real too.

The end result of all these options will be higher fuel prices. A physical attack would create economically catastrophically high gas prices and a worldwide economic fall off.

The equation that has to be solved is whether the chaos created by stopping Iran is worth it.


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