Monday, July 29, 2019

How Things Can Get Real Stupid Real Fast

It is helpful to keep in mind that as difficult as it is to understand why your neighbors and family members make the decisions they do in the course of their lives, realize it can be equally opaque to understand why nations do the things they do.

History is, on balance, not just a story of struggle and progress – it is also the story of nations and leaders making decisions that both at the time and in hindsight, are reckless. With too much hope and too little appreciation of risk, nations can start down paths that lead places no one wants to go.

The ‘ole planner in me can’t help but take strange little articles in open source and play them out four more turns – about three different ways, flipping one or the other assumption/variable to see where they can lead. From Most Likely COA to most Dangerous COA – the exercise can be … a bit maddening.

The Austro-Hungarians could have used a better run of this exercise  early last century – and we sure didn’t do all that great of a job of it in 2003.

Along those lines, last night I simply could not get this little bit out of my head;
Iran has reportedly asked China for its support in the Gulf, as Royal Navy Type 45 Destroyer HMS Duncan arrived in the region.

Rezaei made the remarks on Sunday in a meeting with head of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Song Tao, who who arrived in Tehran on Sunday, reports Iranian news agency Mehr news.

"We live in the energy region of the world. Any kind of insecurity and conflict in this region would carry harm to global peace and security,” Rezaei is quoted as telling Song Tao.
I don’t think the time is quite ripe for China to make its military statement on the global stage, but there is a non-zero chance that smart Chinese planners are doing the math right now on what a tottering former empire a bit over extended and with few friends might provide to a nation looking to make a point.

Weakness is not a good play for Britain right now. I really hope her European friends start to back her play, but I have my doubts.

When that fails, I’m sure C5F has the plans in place to backfill and form up with the Royal Navy.

That is something I hope the Chinese will see. Not only is the time not ripe for them to take the stage, we will not let the Royal Navy stand alone against anyone.

China should smile and say polite things to Iran, and then do nothing. They have that luxury, for now, they should continue to enjoy it.

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