In a recent article, foreign policy veteran emeritus Henry Kissinger alluded to a probability that with any defeat of ISIS, a radical Shia element will rise and become the controlling force in the region, supported and controlled by the Iranian state behind the scenes.
This, as he put’s it, ‘radical Iranian empire’, will be in fertile ground as ISIS is brought to heel and will serve to establish control in regions formerly controlled by ISIS and the void created in its absence. Sun Tzu once said, “Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of your opponent’s fate.” He also said, “The opportunity to secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the opportunity to defeat the enemy is provided by the enemy himself.”
It matters not who America, or its allies, in the Middle East may turn out to be, what matters is America, the Western world and their weaknesses are understood. To Sun Tzu’s first point referenced above, because of their perceived power, the West is usually not subtle in their ways and are not subtle about their intentions in any way, which as Sun Tzu says, can be directed, or misdirected to their disadvantage. Further, to the second point espoused by Sun Tzu listed above, America and the West have provided the means to defeat them already. It is simply a matter of time and patience.
Time and patience?! The peoples of the Middle East tire of waiting, but if, as Sun Tzu says, “the supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting” then the answer lies not in Kissinger’s ministrations relative to Tehran-aligned forces, nor US-led hegemony. It lies in knowing your enemy, and the enemy is weak.
What are these weaknesses? First, if we understand the reasons why the Soviet, British and Roman empires crumbled, we will find clues. All three fell from dominance, because they eventually could not support their own weight. This situation is fast becoming a reality in the Western World, including America, as their economies and foreign adventures are propped up under enormous, unpayable debt which is relentlessly coming due and no amount of monetary manipulation by their respective central banks will be able to stop it.
All armies and expeditions must be supported with real money and real money is in very short supply in America and its allies. The process of internal decay is approaching a climax and as that happens, the implications will favor the peoples of the Middle East, and not some US-led Western hegemony. Kissinger will have to rethink his theories and suppositions as it takes copious amounts of money and finance to subjugate foreign lands and the US has severely undermined itself in this regard. All it takes is a thoughtful examination of US and European internal affairs and overall tendency to vacillate politically and, from afar, apply the proper pressure. We do live in interesting times and the revered Mr Kissinger is wrong and should remain retired.