Thursday, July 27, 2006

Sino scenario south of Sidon

The Little Red Hen” discussions about who can do what in South Lebanon mostly involve trying to find some way to avoid looking like a man grabbing hold of a rabid Raccoon, and have led many, including myself and Lex, to think about China. When that thought first came to mind earlier this week, some pro-China thoughts came to the front; no history in the area, military not committed in large numbers anywhere, not shy about ROE, and few National Caveats that in theory would get in the way of doing what needs to be done.

After the initial blush of self-congratulatory brilliance, there were some obvious problems that soon crushed my cute little theory. Just the Top 4:

1. China is not an honest broker or has the best interests of the area in mind, as the West sees them. Look at China’s behavior and realpolitik in the U.N. Their National Strategic End States are not in line with local players, Europe or ours.

2. Nose of the Bactrian Camel. Do we want to invite China to be a major player in this area, with boots on the ground in the Mid-East? (they are already in Sudan BTW) Will that make negotiations or resolution easier? Like point 1, they are more likely to use this, with Russia, as another wedge between the area and the Western Powers.

3. ROE, the “E” stands for “Engagement.” Do we want China face-to-face with Israel? What happens when China’s aggressive ROE bounces against Israel’s habit of taking out anyone in their way?

4. China has no reason to be balanced towards Israel, just the opposite. China is building strategic partnerships with Hezbollah’s sponsor Iran, and terror supporter Sudan based on the oil needs China has to keep their economy humming and therefore keep the support of the Chinese people for the Communist Party.

Wrong country. Wrong mission. Wrong time. Wrong place.

Sometimes it is best to follow the wisdom of;
Don't just do something, stand there.

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