Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Alternate Narrative on Mesopotamia

In response to:
Doctor Clam's elegant intellectual take on attitudes to war in Mesopotamia
Who is after an alternate intellectual narrative (from the left)

I have the following link to offer with my recommended comment snipped.

Economist article on Iraq, Iran and US

Azr@el wrote:
May 10, 2008 17:13
Where does the economist find such clueless journalist? Look at the problem from the desired end results from the view of the three outside players involved; what is an ideal Iraq in Iranian eyes? What is an ideal Iraq in Sunni Arab eyes? What is an ideal Iraq in U.S. eyes? The Iranian's want a demilitarized Iraq run by Shia's with a friendly Kurdish choir. Their tool to achieve this goal? The ballot box and a little ethnic spring cleaning of recalcitrant Sunnis. Their major problem? Pan-Arabist Shias trying to hijack the show. Sunni Arabs? They want a strong man of Sunni Arab persuasion to restore the good old days of pre-Kuwait Saddam. Their instrument? Money to al-qaeda-lite, political isolation of the Shia Iraqi government and of course foreign Sunni fighters by the truckload. Their major obstacle? History and demographics, neither favors them. The U.S. ? No one, especially no one in the white house has the slightest clue what an ideal endgame would look like.

The point being that it is very much (at least) a three entity game even in its simplest working model. There appears a distinct possibility that each entity is following optimal strategies,there is a Nash equilibrium of sorts, and that the endgame is a generation away. The "oil security" issue will only gradually improve, as the main players realise that security is unlikely to get much better or much worse for a long time yet.


Dr. Clam said...

I think you can be a rational player and have a clear view of the endgame if you subscribe to my narrative (Vive l'Republique!, but the vacuum at the end of Azr@el's post mirrors the missing counter-narrative I am still seeking.

Marco said...

Well, the objectives for the US in the endgame are not too clear because I believe the endgame is a long way away. However, my view, consistent with your narrative is that for the middlegame, the US's goals are to keep the US in (Iraq), the Ayatollah out and the Sunnis down. Keeping the barbarians from the gate is a big part of this "middle game" strategy. Clearly, even if the US army is under constant attack from all sides (sporadically) in Iraq, the geopolitical problems spawned from the region have a large handle and levers (the US military) that the US has on the issue to manage it hands on, rather than leaving it to other forces.

Estragon said...

*waits for a counter-narrative*