In yesterday’s Part I, I described the immediate outcome of the Obama Doctrine. What can we expect from the future under this Doctrine, given the events to date and the Doctrine’s continuation? Herewith some predictions.
President Barack Obama’s doctrine, with its timid response to the revolution for freedom in Libya and Obama’s confused cover-up of the terrorist murders of our Ambassador and three others there leave Libya vulnerable. Libya’s government is too weak to resist the terrorists, as demonstrated by the Benghazi terrorist attack, and that nation will suffer another civil war, this time ending with the terrorists in charge: perhaps an arm of the Muslim Brotherhood holding the title, while giving cover to Ansar al-Aharif and AQIM, perhaps with either or both of those two openly in charge.
Hezbollah, currently bogged down supporting Bashar al-Assad in Syria, will recognize the costs there—including their distraction from their other goals—abandon al-Assad and move to take over Lebanon. This will give Hezbollah a more secure access to the Mediterranean Sea (at least until the situation in Syria finally resolves), an easier border than the Golan Heights across which to attack Israel, and fewer distractions with which to do so. Iran will figure out that a Hezbollah takeover of Lebanon provides net benefit to them, and they will, in the end game at least, aid the takeover.
Syria will continue, though, to receive unfettered Iranian and Russian aid, and with the rest of the world idly standing by—especially under the new absence of American leadership—doing nothing more than clucking its collective tongue, the government will continue to butcher its people. The al-Assad regime will survive. In the meantime, the civil war threatens to spread to Turkey, Israel, and Jordan. After al-Assad reconsolidates his power, the nation will be an open sewer for terrorist organizations, perhaps including a returning Hezbollah.
Iraq will continue to lose what little faith they have left in the US and will move more openly against American interests in the Middle East. Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki already has been moving Iraq to closer ties with Iran; this will accelerate. Further, the Arab League representative for Iraq, Qais al-Azzawy has said
Iraq will invite (Arab) ministers to use the weapon of oil, with the aim of asserting real pressure on the United States and whoever stands with Israel.
The economic weapon is the strongest one to be put into effect now, to assure of standing by the Palestinian people, in light of there being no military power that can stand in the face of Israel at the present time[,]
Iran has already shown disdain for the policy of talk. The Obama Doctrine sanctions, such as they are given Russian and PRC veto of serious ones (and the ones they’ve permitted reduced to tissue by Obama’s waivers of them for Iran’s 20 largest trading partners), may be harming the Iranian people, but they are having no effect on the Iranian government and its drive for nuclear weapons. Indeed, the Iranians are doubling the centrifuges they have in use for purifying uranium.
A nuclear armed Iran, which will occur within a year or two, will then move to destroy Israel—knowing that the Obama Doctrine has no answer now and will have no response later (and even if the US did respond later, that response will no meaning for an Israel that will be a smoking, radioactive hole).
Moreover, Iranian nuclear weapons will quickly find their way into the hands of terrorists, who will then target Europe and the US.
In the end, Iran has direct, empirical evidence of the Obama Doctrine’s practice of non-response: that vote of “Present” during the 2009 Iranian uprising.
Turkey is moving to open support for Hamas away from sub rosa, but effective, support for Israel. That break will become complete within the year.
The rate of growth of Al-Qaeda’s strength in Yemen; in Tunisia, Libya, and the Maghreb in general; and in Egypt will accelerate. Even the French have grown concerned about these terrorist groups’ inroads in Mali; the Sudan will become a safe haven, without even the current lip service to stopping them that the Sudanese government occasionally provides.
The Obama Doctrine’s failure will have repercussions beyond the Middle East, however. With the American “pivot” toward Asia and the Obama administration’s sharp cutback on American defense capacity, we’ll have no choice but to disengage from Europe, and Russia knows this. Now Russia will feel free to act overtly to reconstitute the geographical reach of the defunct Soviet Union.
With Russia having already threatened Poland with nuclear war over their earlier willingness to participate in an American missile program, and American timidity in cancelling altogether our missile defense under Russian pressure, Poland is at risk of becoming, again, a Russian problem and not an American ally.
The Baltic States represent the Soviet Union’s best outlet into the Baltic Sea and from there to the North Atlantic. Russia already has waged cyber war against Estonia; look for these nations to fall back into the Russian orb.
Russia already is moving to cut off our access through the ‘Stans to Afghanistan. Aside from the relatively minor (to them) gain of poking us in the eye over this, our removal from the area will give the Russians a freer hand in reasserting their dominance over these border nations.
Russia will complete its occupation of Georgia, begun with the Georgian War in which the Russians partitioned, Sudetenland-like, that hapless nation. This will accomplish two things: expand their access to the Black Sea and emphasize American weakness. They’ve taken the first step in this by causing the election of an openly pro-Russia President, Bidzina Ivanishvili, to replace Mikheil Saakashvili.
An already expansive People’s Republic of China, knowing, or thinking they know, that we’ll do nothing meaningful to stop them, will move against the Republic of the Philippines, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Brunei, and Malaysia, all nations bordering the South China Sea. Having already claimed the entire Sea as their territorial waters, the PRC will read the Obama Doctrine as giving them a free hand to press their claim politically and militarily, and they’ll force these unlucky nations to sign treaties acknowledging the PRC’s seizure. Shots may well be fired, and some Philippine (and Japanese) naval vessels may well be sunk in the effort. Under the Obama Doctrine, these nations will be left to their own devices, though, even as we talk about establishing closer ties with them (and they really would like a stronger American presence as a counterweight to the Chinese juggernaut) and we work with the Australians to rotate a few Marines through a northern port. The Doctrine does not contain any means of material response to such aggression.
Look for the PRC, also, to act more openly and easily against the Uighurs in the western and southwestern PRC and against Tibet, which nation they’ve occupied since 1950.
The Republic of China also is at far greater risk. The PRC views the RoC as nothing more than a rogue satrapy of the Communist government on the mainland. The PRC will increase pressure against the US to stop selling arms to the Republic—we’ve already downgraded, at PRC behest, the F-16s we had previously agreed with the RoC to sell them—while the Red Army accelerates its drive to modernize its naval and air forces.
It’s important to keep in mind that, with no threat to the PRC extant, these forces are useful only for power projection and overt military aggression. The RoC will be forced, at the least, into treaty “agreements” acknowledging closer ties to the mainland—including acceptance of a semi-autonomous condition wherein the PRC will accept responsibility for the defense and foreign policies of the RoC, while the RoC government will have a free hand in domestic affairs. So long as those internal affairs, as with Hong Kong, comport themselves with PRC requirements.
The PRC likely will wait a bit to ensure we’re thoroughly bogged down in the Middle East. However, this will be an unnecessary delay: we’d have to be involved before we could be bogged down.
Tyranny and violence will always flow to fill a power vacuum. That flow is about to become a flood.
Update: Here is a demonstration of both the “leading from […]” and the walk-away from Israel that are components of the Obama Doctrine. This video short shows AP reporter Matthew Lee trying to get a straight answer out of State Department spokesman Victoria Nuland concerning our “ally” Turkey’s branding of Israel as a terrorist state for the heinous crime of defending itself against Hamas’ terror rocket attacks against Israeli civilians and their children.