Tag Archives: Nuclear

Cold War Reborn in the Hot Middle East?

Earlier today, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said “tensions in the Middle East threaten to lead to a new explosion or even a catastrophe.” Really? I’m impressed with how observant of a person he is, apparently he reads the newspaper just like the rest of us. Over the past few years, Russia has been increasing her role in the Middle East, both as mediator and instigator. President Medvedev asserted that the tensions he spoke of were Israeli-Arab tensions, yes these tensions exist, but Russia has done little to appease this tension.

We all know of the political and military ties between Iran, Syria and Hezbollah. Russia is also well aware of the connections, but the country continues to be hesitant in placing stronger sanctions and limitations on Iran as a punishment for pursuing nuclear development. Although Russia has been coming around after it was revealed that Iran has improved enrichment abilities, Russia remains the last major entity to not fully support harsher sanctions. Hey Medvedev, here’s an easy way for you to help reduce tensions, stop resisting sanctions and punishment for Iran.

Actually I have an even better way for you (Medvedev) to stop instigating the tension you claim you want to reduce. Don’t build a nuclear facility in Syria! New reports claim that Russia plans on developing a nuclear power plant in Syria, citing that cooperation on the atomic front is the best way forward. I guess Russian schools must not offer informative or accurate history classes. For one, let’s think back to the later half of the 20th century. If I remember correctly, there was this thing called the Cold War. I’m pretty sure this term was coined to describe the tensions between the USSR and the US over nuclear activity. I’m also pretty sure that most of the fighting was carried out in satellite countries where one side supported said country and the other didn’t. Let’s fast-forward to today, something about this nuclear facility announcement and the divergence of opinion between Moscow and the West over Iran seems strikingly similar to the Cold War. Russia is heading down a path of opposing Western interests on the atomic front and is on the verge of helping one of the axis of evil countries build a nuclear facility.

Lesson two, Syria has supposedly attempted to build a nuclear reactor in the past. Guess what happened to it, Israel bombed it. So Russia, do you think it wise to invest in a nuclear power plant only to see the investment destroyed by Israeli fighter jets? Although Russia boasts a large number of tycoons, it doesn’t seem as though Russian schools were the source of such successful business or investment knowledge (I suppose instead of schools, the Kremlin or friendships were the best educational sources for business success).

Dear President Medvedev (and your puppet master, the stealthy Vladimir Putin),
If you want to truly be a source of international positive recognition and assume a role in Middle East mediation, don’t be the instigator who prevents punishment to Iran and supplies nuclear facilities to Syria. By continuing to pursue the current policies, Russia is inadvertently being a supporter of Hezbollah. Thank you for signing the new arms reduction treaty, but we all know it doesn’t take the massive cache either country owns to destroy the enemy. Signing the treaty was a nice gesture, but please come to your senses before you cause Cold War II or WWIII.
Thank you,
The World

Laser Warfare & China

Laser Warfare won the March news stories championship which means it is now time to return to writing. I thought it’d be a little extra fun to make the first post-playoff post about the champion. Based off the post’s title, I imagine you assume that I will be writing about some crazy new Chinese technology that will affect laser warfare, but you’re wrong. By the way, my Dad taught me, only asses assume! I will actually be writing about how the US should employ laser warfare in the Pacific Ocean to reduce both the current and future threat China and the Chinese Navy pose for US interests in the Pacific rim.

As far back as June 2005 (ancient times, I know), Robert Kaplan has been writing about the threat China poses for US interests in Asia and the Pacific Rim. He suggests and I concur that a country of over 1 billion people will be a greater threat to US economic, energy and defense security than the Middle East or the Soviet Union ever was. He more recently reiterated this point in an essay entitled “The Geography of Chinese Power” that appeared in Foreign Affairs. The most interesting section is when he describes China’s new-found love of Naval power. Although the Chinese Navy cannot compare in strength and prestige to the US’s, Chinese ships continuously act like the school yard bully. They harass American vessels and trying to demonstrate their strength, yet it is always just a show and as Kaplan suggests, a show of immaturity. Proven Naval powers do not feel the need to posture themselves in the open ocean and harass others, but the immature Chinese Navy acts as though this is the only means of exemplifying power. As China continues to solidify the western border by building oil and gas pipelines with the “Stan” countries, China can focus her expansion on expanding her sphere of influence over Southeast Asia and what have been deemed the first island chain. The first island chain is a block of Western Allies such as Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia and the Philippines that is currently preventing Chinese expansion. Military experts suggest that if China did not feel so boxed in on the seaside front, they would not act as aggressively toward US naval ships. As China continues to expand militarily, the cost to the US to maintain strong military allegiances and counter forces in the first chain of islands will become tremendous. Therefore, the US command centers should be re-focused upon the second chain of islands. Turns out most of this second chain is already US property – Guam, Marshall Islands, Caroline, Northern Mariana, Solomon Islands – and of course non-US property such as Australia. Retired Marine colonel Pat Garrett suggests that Chinese aggression should not be met with military response, but rather a repositioning of bases. Keeping troops and bases in the second island chain would be less provocative. Of course this does not mean that the US should diminish naval activities, in fact naval activities should be increased in the Indian Ocean. This allows the Chinese to exercise power in her region of the world, but provides a barrier and overseer in the form of US naval commands and fleets in the Indian Ocean and the second island chain.

One aspect of the new strategy that is not addressed by Kaplan or Garrett is the strategic use of laser weapons. As the technology develops, it will be increasingly easy to mount laser weapons in Taiwan and the Philippines and in South Korea and Japan. These weapons would serve as a deterrent to the Chinese and also provide a capable and strong defense system without having to continuously spend resources on manning and supplying American bases and forces half way around the world.

Laser weapons and warfare may be the ideal deterrent for Chinese military and naval expansion. I used to think, if it ever came to a physical war with China, how does one beat a 1 billion person army? Tragically the only answer I could come up with was using a nuclear or atomic weapon, but now thanks the laser warfare, if it ever comes down to it, we don’t have to kill million of innocents, destroy the country and pollute the world just to eliminate an economic enemy.