12/19 Brzezinski's "Hegemonic Quicksand" & Other Geostrategic Must-Reads

Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security advisor to president Carter, is now Obama foreign policy consultant.

The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Geostrategic Imperatives,
Zbigniew Brzezinski, 1997
"For the United States, Eurasian geostrategy involves the purposeful management of geostrategically dynamic states and the careful handling of geopolitically catalytic states, in keeping with America's twin interests: the short-term preservation of its unique global power and the long-run transformation of it into an increasingly institutionalized global cooperation.
To put it in terminology that hearkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together."

1997 A Geostrategy For Eurasia
by Zbigniew Brzezinski Foreign Affairs,76:5, September/October 1997 Council on Foreign Relations Inc.

Russia moves to block US global domination geostrategy
The Stillborn Putin Project of a Eurasian Union: Why Russia-led Post-Soviet Integration Has Little Prospects
12/9/11 by Andreas Umland, Foreign Policy Journal, http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2011/12/09/the-stillborn-project-of-...

unmitigated imperial arrogance
Global Governance:
Living With Russia
Zbigniew Brzezinski
When dealing with a sick bear, coddling will not suffice. Before it can be fully accepted by the West, Russia must give up its imperial pretensions.

Living With China
When applied to China, terms such as "adversary" and "partner" obscure more than they clarify. A blueprint for American policy rejects both.
It is in this larger Eurasian context that U.S.-China relations must be managed and their importance correctly assessed. Dealing with China is one of Washington's four most important international relationships, alongside Europe, Japan and Russia. The U.S.-China relationship is both consequential and catalytic, beyond its intrinsic bilateral importance...the U.S.-China relationship impacts significantly on the security and policies of other states, and affect the overall balance of power in Eurasia.

Brzezinski brags about relatively unknown CIA Intervention in Afghanistan BEFORE, to provoke soviet invasion
Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter's National Security Adviser
Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris, 15-21 January 1998
Question: The former director of the CIA, Robert Gates, stated in his memoirs ["From the Shadows"], that American intelligence services began to aid the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan 6 months before the Soviet intervention. In this period you were the national security adviser to President Carter. You therefore played a role in this affair. Is that correct?
Brzezinski: Yes. According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan, 24 Dec 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the president in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.
Q: Despite this risk, you were an advocate of this covert action. But perhaps you yourself desired this Soviet entry into war and looked to provoke it?
B: It isn't quite that. We didn't push the Russians to intervene, but we knowingly increased the probability that they would.
Q: When the Soviets justified their intervention by asserting that they intended to fight against a secret involvement of the United States in Afghanistan, people didn't believe them. However, there was a basis of truth. You don't regret anything today?
B: Regret what? That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it? The day that the Soviets officially crossed the border, I wrote to President Carter. We now have the opportunity of giving to the USSR its Vietnam war. Indeed, for almost 10 years, Moscow had to carry on a war unsupportable by the government, a conflict that brought about the demoralization and finally the breakup of the Soviet empire.
Q: And neither do you regret having supported the Islamic fundamentalism, having given arms and advice to future terrorists?
B: What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?
Q: Some stirred-up Moslems? But it has been said and repeated Islamic fundamentalism represents a world menace today.
B: Nonsense! It is said that the West had a global policy in regard to Islam. That is stupid. There isn't a global Islam. Look at Islam in a rational manner without demagoguery or emotion. It is the leading religion of the world with1.5 billion followers. But what is there in common among Saudi Arabian fundamentalism, moderate Morocco, Pakistan militarism, Egyptian pro-Western or Central Asian secularism? Nothing more than what unites Christian countries.

Zbigniew Brzezinski brags about US 'cold war' strategy helping 'break' Soviet Union by forcing military expenditures
Russia to spend almost half of its budget on new arms race : Russia may deploy three military bases in Abkhazia, South Ossetia

Brzezinski, major US neoliberal architect & strategist, breaks down the global parts & players, analyzing possibilities and problems of major US 'chessboard partners'
Hegemonic Quicksand
(excerpts) The National Interest Journal Article, issue no. 74 Winter 2003/04
Belfer Center Programs or Projects: American Primacy and Its Discontents
FOR the next several decades, the most volatile and dangerous region of the world—with the explosive potential to plunge the world into chaos—will be the crucial swathe of Eurasia between Europe and the Far East. Heavily inhabited by Muslims, we might term this crucial subregion of Eurasia the new “Global Balkans.”1
(This phrase is meant to draw attention to the geopolitical similarity between the traditional European Balkans of the 19thand 20thcenturies and the unstable region that currently extends from approximately the Suez Canal to Xinjiang, and from the Russo-Kazakh border to southern Afghanistan—almost like a triangle on the map. In the case of both areas, internal instability has served as a magnet for external major power intervention and rivalry. For fuller discussion, see Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard, chapter 5, p.5)
It is here that America could slide into a collision with the world of Islam while American- European policy differences could even cause the Atlantic Alliance to come unhinged. The two eventualities together could then put the prevailing American global hegemony at risk.

At the outset, it is essential to recognize that the ferment within the Muslim world must be viewed primarily in a regional rather than a global perspective, through a geopolitical rather than a theological prism. The world of Islam is disunited, both politically and religiously. It is politically unstable and militarily weak, and likely to remain so for some time. Hostility toward the United States, while pervasive in some Muslim countries, originates more from specific political grievances—such as Iranian nationalist resentment over the U.S. backing of the Shah, Arab animus stimulated by U.S. support for Israel or Pakistani feelings that the United States has been partial to India— than from a generalized religious bias.
The complexity of the challenge America now confronts dwarfs what it faced half a century ago in Western Europe. At that time, Europe’s dividing line on the Elbe River was the strategically critical frontline of maximum danger, with the daily possibility that a clash in Berlin could unleash a nuclear war with the Soviet Union.
Nevertheless, the United States recognized the stakes involved and committed itself to the defense, pacifica- tion, reconstruction and revitalization of a viable European community. In doing so, America gained natural allies with shared values. Following the end of the Cold War, the United States led the transformation of NATO from a defense alliance into an enlarging security alliance—gaining an enthusiastic new ally, Poland—and it has supported the expansion of the European Union (EU).

For at least a generation, the major task facing the United States in the effort to promote global security will be the pacification and then the cooperative organization of a region that
contains the world’s greatest concentration of political injustice, social deprivation, demographic congestion and potential for high-intensity violence. But the region also contains most of the world’s oil and natural gas. In 2002, the area designated as the Global Balkans contained 68 percent of the world’s proven oil reserves and 41 percent of the world’s proven
natural gas reserves; it accounted for 32 percent of world oil production and 15 percent of world nat- ural gas production. In 2020, the area is projected to produce roughly 42 million barrels of oil per day—39 percent of the global production total (107.8 million barrels per day).

Three key regions— Europe, the United States and the Far East—collectively are projected to consume 60 percent of that global production (16 percent, 25 percent and 19 percent, respectively). The combination of oil and volatility gives the United States no choice. America faces an awesome challenge in helping to sustain some degree of stability among precarious states inhabited by increasingly politically restless, socially aroused and religiously inflamed peoples. It must undertake an even more daunting enterprise than it did in Europe more than half a century ago, given a terrain that is culturally alien, politically turbulent and ethnically complex. In the past, this remote region could have been left to its own devices. Until the middle of the last century, most of it was dominated by imperial and colonial powers. Today, to ignore its problems and underestimate its potential for global disruption would be tantamount to declaring an open season for intensifying regional violence, region-wide contamination by terrorist groups and the competitive proliferation of weaponry of mass destruction.
The United States thus faces a task of monumental scope and complexity. There are no self-evident answers to such basic questions as how and with whom America should be engaged in helping to stabilize, pacify and eventually cooperatively organize the area. Past remedies tested in Europe—like the Marshall Plan or NATO, both of which exploited an underlying transatlantic political-cultural solidarity— do not quite fit a region still rent by historical hatreds and cultural diversity. Nationalism in the region is still at an earlier and more emotional stage than it was in war-weary Europe (exhausted by two massive European civil wars fought within just three decades), and it is fueled by religious passions reminiscent of Europe’s Catholic-Protestant forty-year war of almost four centuries ago. Furthermore, the area contains no natural allies bonded to America by history and culture, such as existed in Europe with Great Britain, France, Germany and, lately, even Poland. In essence, America has to navigate in uncertain and badly charted waters, setting its own course, making differentiated accommodations while not letting any one regional power dictate its direction and priorities.

To Whom Can America Turn? To be sure, several states in the area are often mentioned as America’s potential key partners in reshaping the Global Balkans: Turkey, Israel, India and—on the region’s periphery—Russia. Unfortunately, every one of them suffers serious handicaps in its capability to contribute to regional stability or has goals of its own that collide with America’s wider interests in the region.

Turkey has been America’s ally for half a century. It earned America’s trust and gratitude by its direct participation in the Korean War. It has proven to be NATO’s solid and
reliable southern anchor. With the fall of the Soviet Union, it became active in helping both Georgia and Azerbaijan consolidate their new independence, and it energetically pro- moted itself as a relevant model of political development and social modernization for those Central Asian states whose people largely fall within the radius of the Turkic cultural
and linguistic traditions. In that respect, Turkey’s significant strategic role has been complementary to America’s policy of reinforcing the new independence of the region’s post-Soviet states. Turkey’s regional role, however, is limited by two major offsetting considerations stemming from its internal problems. The first pertains to the still uncertain status of Atatürk’s legacy: Will Turkey succeed in transforming itself into a secular European state even though its population is overwhelmingly Muslim?
That has been its goal since Atatürk set his reforms in motion in the early 1920s. Turkey has made remarkable progress since then, but to this day its future membership in the European Union (which it actively seeks) remains in doubt. If the EU were to close its doors to Turkey, the potential for an Islamic political-religious revival and consequently for Turkey’s dramatic
(and probably turbulent) international reorientation should not be under-estimated. The Europeans have reluctantly favored Turkey’s inclusion in the European Union, largely in order to avoid a serious regression in the country’s political development. European leaders recognize that the transformation of Turkey from a state guided by Atatürk’s vision of a European-type society into an increasingly theocratic Islamic one would adversely affect Europe’s security. That consideration, however, is contested by the view, shared by many Europeans, that the construction of Europe should be based on its common Christian heritage. It is likely, therefore, that the European Union will delay for as long as it can a clear-cut commitment to open its doors to Turkey—but that prospect in turn will breed Turkish resentments, increasing the risks that Turkey might evolve into a resentful Islamic state, with potentially dire consequences for southeastern Europe.
(2 How far the latter in such circumstances could go was dramatically conveyed in a speech on March 7, 2002 at the Ankara War Academy by General Tuncer Kilinc, the secretary-general of the National Security Council, who bluntly stated that “Turkey hasn’t seen the slightest assistance from the EU” in its efforts to become part of Europe and that in seeking allies Turkey might hence do well “to begin a new search that would include Iran and the Russian Federation” (as reported by Nicholas Birch, “Once Eager to Join EU, Turkey Grows Apprehensive”, Christian Science Monitor, March 21, 2002; see also the analysis of the speech’s import by Hooman Peimani, “Turkey Hints at Shifting Alliance”, Asia Times, June 19, 2002). Brzezinski 5-16 12/3/03 10:37 p 7)
The other major liability limiting Turkey’s role is the Kurdistan issue. A significant proportion of Turkey’s population of 70 million is composed of Kurds. The actual number is contested, as is the
nature of the Turkish Kurds’ national identity. The official Turkish view is that the Kurds in Turkey number no more than 10 million, and that they are essentially Turks. Kurdish nationalists claim a population of 20 million, which they say aspires to live in an independent Kurdistan that would unite all the Kurds (claimed to number 25–35 million) currently living under Turkish, Syrian, Iraqi and Iranian domination. Whatever the actual facts, the Kurdish ethnic problem and the potential Islamic religious issue tend to make Turkey—notwithstanding its constructive role as a regional model— also very much a part of the region’s basic dilemmas.

Israel is another seemingly obvious candidate for the status of a pre-eminent regional ally. As a democracy as well as a cultural kin, it enjoys America’s automatic affinity, not to mention intense political and financial support from the Jewish community in America. Initially a haven for the victims of the Holocaust, it enjoys American sympathy. As the object of Arab hostility, it triggered American preference for the underdog. It has been America’s favorite client state since approximately the mid-1960s and has been the recipient of unprecedented American financial assistance ($80 billion since 1974). It has benefited from almost solitary American protection against UN disapprobation or sanctions. As the dominant military power in the Middle East, Israel has the potential, in the event of a major regional crisis, not only to be America’s military base but also to make a significant contribution to any required U.S. military engagement. Yet American and Israeli interests in the region are not entirely congruent. America has major strategic and economic interests in the Middle East that are dictated by the region’s vast energy supplies. Not only does America benefit economically from the relatively low costs of Middle Eastern oil, but America’s security role in the region gives it indirect but politically critical leverage on the European and Asian economies that are also dependent on energy exports from the region. Hence good relations with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates—and their continued security reliance on America—is in the U.S. national interest.
From Israel’s standpoint, however, the resulting American-Arab ties are disadvantageous: they not only limit the degree to which the United States is prepared to back Israel’s territorial aspira-
tions, they also stimulate American sensitivity to Arab grievances against Israel. Among those grievances, the Palestinian issue is foremost. That the final status of the Palestinian people remains unresolved more than 35 years after Israel occupied the Gaza Strip and the West Bank—irrespective of whose fault that actually may be—intensifies and, in Arab eyes, legitimates the wide- spread Muslim hostility toward Israel. ( Demographics play a role as well: The fact that somewhat more than 5 million Jewish Israelis dominate the somewhat less than 5 million Arab Palestinians (of whom about 1.2 million are Israeli citizens) and that the latter are increasing much more rapidly intensifies Israeli insecurity and Arab resentments.)
It also perpetuates in the Arab mind the notion that Israel is an alien and temporary colonial imposition on the region. To the extent that the Arabs perceive America as sponsoring Israeli repression of the Palestinians, America’s ability to pacify anti-American passions in the region is constrained. That impedes any joint and constructive American-Israeli initiative to promote multilateral political or economic cooperation in the region, and it limits any significant U.S. regional reliance on Israel’s military potential.
* (see ZB - PBS interiew at bottom of page for more on this subject)

Since September 11, the notion of India as America’s strategic regional partner has come to the forefront. India’s credentials seem at least as credible as Turkey’s or Israel’s. Its sheer size and power make it regionally influential, while its democratic credentials make it ideologically attractive. It has managed to preserve its democracy since its inception as an independent state more than half a century ago. It has done so despite wide- spread poverty and social inequality, and despite considerable ethnic and religious diversity in a predominantly Hindu but formally secular state. India’s prolonged conflict with its Islamic neighbor, Pakistan, involving violent confrontations with guerrillas and terrorist actions in Kashmir by Muslim extremists benefiting from Pakistan’s
benevolence, made India particularly eager to declare itself after September 11 as co-engaged with the United States in the war on terrorism.
Nonetheless, any U.S.-Indian alliance in the region is likely to be limited in scope. Two major obstacles stand in the way. The first pertains to India’s religious, ethnic and linguistic mosaic. Although India has striven to make its 1 billion culturally diverse people into a unified nation, it remains basically a Hindu state semi-encircled by Muslim neighbors while containing within its borders a large and potentially alienated Muslim minority of somewhere between 120–140 million. Here, religion and nationalism could inflame each other on a grand scale. So far, India has
been remarkably successful in maintaining a common state structure and a democratic system—but much of its population has been essentially politically passive and (especially in the rural areas) illiterate. The risk is that a progressive rise in political consciousness and activism could be expressed through intensified ethnic and religious collisions. The recent rise in the political conscious- ness of both India’s Hindu majority and its Muslim minority could jeopardize India’s communal coexistence. Internal strains and frictions could become particularly difficult to contain if the war on terrorism were defined as primarily a struggle against Islam, which is how the more radical of the Hindu politicians tend to present it.
Secondly, India’s external concerns are focused on its neighbors, Pakistan and China. The former is seen not only as the main source of the continued conflict in Kashmir but ultimately—with Pakistan’s national identity rooted in religious affirmation—as the very negation of India’s self-definition. Pakistan’s close ties to China intensify this sense of threat, given that India and China are unavoidable rivals for geopolitical primacy in Asia. Indian sensitivities are still rankled by the military defeat inflicted upon it by China in 1962, in the short but intense border clash that left China in possession of the disputed Aksai Chin territory. The United States cannot back India against either Pakistan or China without paying a prohibitive strategic price elsewhere: in Afghanistan if it were to opt against Pakistan, and in the Far East if it allied itself against China. These internal as well as external factors constrain the degree to which the United States can rely on India as an ally in any longer-term effort to foster—let alone impose— greater stability in the Global Balkans.

Finally, there is the question of the degree to which Russia can become America’s major strategic partner in coping with Eurasian regional turmoil. Russia clearly has the means and experience to be of help in such an effort. Although Russia, unlike the other contenders, is no longer truly part of the region—Russian colonial domination of Central Asia being a thing of the past—Moscow nevertheless exercises considerable influence on all of the countries to its immediate south, has close ties to India and Iran and contains some 15–20 million Muslims within its own territory. At the same time, Russia has come to see its Muslim neighbors as the source of a potentially explosive political and demographic threat, and the Russian political elite are increasingly susceptible to anti-Islamic religious and racist appeals. In these circumstances, the Kremlin eagerly seized upon the events of September 11 as an opportunity to engage America against Islam in the name of the “war on terrorism.”
Yet, as a potential partner, Russia is also handicapped by its past, even its very recent past. Afghanistan was devastated by a decade-long war waged by Russia, Chechnya is on the brink of
genocidal extinction, and the newly independent 9
Central Asian states increasingly define their modern history as a struggle for emancipation from Russian colonialism. With such historical resentments still vibrant in the region, and with increasingly frequent signals that Russia’s current priority is to link itself with the West, Russia is being perceived in the region more and more as a former European colonial power and less and less as a Eurasian kin. Russia’s present inability to offer much in the way of a social example also limits its role in any American-led international partnership for the purpose of stabilizing, developing and eventually democratizing the region.

Ultimately, America can look to only one genuine partner in coping with the Global Balkans: Europe. Although it will need the help of leading East Asian states like Japan and China—and Japan will pro- vide some, though limited, material assistance and some peacekeeping forces— neither is likely at this stage to become heavily engaged. Only Europe, increasingly organized as the European Union and militarily integrated through NATO, has the potential capability in the political, military and economic realms to pursue jointly with America the task of engaging the various Eurasian peoples— on a differentiated and flexible basis—in the promotion of regional stability and of progressively widening trans-Eurasian cooperation. And a supranational European Union linked to America would be less suspect in the region as a returning colonialist bent on consolidating or regaining its special interests. America and Europe together represent an array
of physical and experiential assets with the capability to make the decisive difference in shaping the political future of the Global Balkans. The question is whether Europe—largely preoccupied with the shaping of its own unity—will have the will and the generosity to become truly engaged with America in a joint effort that will dwarf in complexity and scale the earlier, successful joint American- European effort to preserve peace in Europe and end Europe’s division. European engagement will not occur, however, if it is expected to consist of simply following America’s lead.
The war on terrorism can be the opening wedge for engagement in the Global Balkans, but cannot be the definition of that engagement. This the Europeans, less traumatized by the September 11 attacks, understand better than Americans... any joint effort by the Atlantic community will have to be based on a broad strategic consensus regarding the long- term nature of the task at hand.

Somewhat the same considerations apply to Japan’s potential role. Japan, too, can and should become a major if some- what less central player. For some time to come, Japan will eschew a major military role beyond that of direct national self- defense. But despite its recent stagnation, Japan remains the globe’s second-largest national economy. Its financial support for efforts designed to enlarge the world’s zone of peace would be crucial and ultimately in its own interest. Hence Japan—in conjunction with Europe—has to be viewed as America’s eventual partner in the long-term struggle against the many forces of chaos within the Global Balkans.

Formulating a Strategy: IN BRIEF, America may be preponderant, but it is not omnipotent. It will need a broadly cooperative strategy for coping with the region’s explosive potential. But as the successful experience of shaping the Euro-Atlantic community has shown, burdens cannot be shared without shared decision-making. Only by fashioning a comprehensive strategy with its principal partners can America avoid becoming mired, alone, in hegemonic quicksand. Given that the area’s problems involve an almost seamless web of overlapping conflicts, the first step in a comprehensive response is to define priorities.
Three interrelated tasks stand out as central: (1) most urgent because essential to the pursuit of the next two is resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict, which is so disruptive to the Middle East;
(2) transforming the strategic equation in the oil-producing region from the Persian Gulf to Central Asia; and
(3) engaging key governments through regional arrangements designed to contain WMD proliferation and the terrorist epidemic. ....

In the short run, America has the power and the will to disregard Europe’s views. It can prevail by using its military might and temporarily prompt reluctant European accommodation. But the EU has the economic resources and financial means to make the critical difference to the region’s long-run stability. Thus, no truly viable solution in the area will be possible unless the US and the EU
increasingly act in common....
American-European cooperation in promoting a stable and democratic Iraq and in advancing Israeli- Palestinian peace—in effect, a “regional roadmap”—would create more favorable political preconditions for addressing the unsatisfactory strategic equation that prevails in the oil- and natural-gas-producing areas of the Persian Gulf, Iran and the Caspian Basin. Unlike energy-rich Russia, the states of this zone—from Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan all the way down to Saudi Arabia—are almost entirely exporters, but not major consumers, of the energy that is extracted from
their ground. They have by far the world’s largest reserves of oil and natural gas. Since reliable access to reasonably priced energy is vitally important to the world’s three economically most dynamic regions—North America, Europe and East Asia—strategic domina- tion over the area, even if cloaked by cooperative arrangements, would be a globally decisive hegemonic asset.
From the standpoint of American interests, the current geopolitical state of affairs in the world’s principal energy-rich zone leaves much to be desired. Several of the key exporting states—notably Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates— are weak and politically debilitated. Iraq faces a prolonged period of stabilization, reconstruction and rehabilitation.
Another major energy producer, Iran, has a regime hostile to the United States and opposes U.S. efforts on behalf of a Middle Eastern peace.... Just to the north, in the southern Caucasus and Central Asia, the newly independent energy-exporting states are still in the early stages of political consolidation. Their systems are fragile, their political processes arbitrary and
their statehood vulnerable. They are also semi- isolated from world energy markets, with American legislation blocking the use of Iranian territory for pipelines lead- ing to the Persian Gulf and with Russia aggressively seeking to monopolize inter- national access to Turkmen and Kazakh energy resources. Only with the completion, several years from now, of the U.S.- sponsored Baku-Çeyhan pipeline will Azerbaijan and its trans-Caspian neighbors gain an independent link to the global economy. Until then, the area will be vulnerable to Russian or Iranian mischief.
For the time being, the powerful and exclusive U.S. military presence in the Persian Gulf region and the effective U.S. monopoly of significant long-range war- fare capabilities give America a very considerable margin for unilateral policymaking. If it should become necessary the United States has the means to act on its own, as it proved in bringing down the recent Iraqi regime. The problem becomes more complex, however, the chances of a solitary American success more ephemeral, when longer-range consequences of a violent strategic upheaval are taken into account.
It is difficult to envisage how the United States alone could force Iran into a basic reorientation. Outright military intimidation might work initially, given the gaping disparity of power between the two states, but it would be a gross error to underestimate the nationalist fervor such an approach would likely ignite among the 70 million Iranians. Iran is a nation with an impressive imperial history and sense of its own national worth. While the religious zeal that brought the theocratic dictatorship to power seems to be gradually fading, an outright collision with America would almost certainly re-ignite popular passions, fusing fanaticism with chauvinism.

While Russia has not stood in the way of any decisive U.S. military efforts to alter the strategic realities of the region, the current geopolitical earthquake in the Persian Gulf could jeopardize America’s efforts to consolidate the Caspian Basin states. American preoccupation with the mess in Iraq, not to mention the cleavage between America and Europe as well as the increased
American-Iranian tensions, has already tempted Moscow to resume its earlier pressure on Georgia and Azerbaijan, abandon their aspirations for inclusion in the Euro-Atlantic community and step up its efforts to undermine any enduring U.S. political and military presence in Central Asia.

That would make it more difficult for the United States to engage the Central Asian states in a larger regional effort...These risks could be lessened by closer U.S.-EU strategic collaboration with regard to Iraq and Iran. That may not be easy to achieve, given divergent American and European perspectives, but the benefits of cooperation outweigh the costs of any compromise. For the United States, a joint approach would mean less freedom of unilateral action; for the European Union, it would mean less opportunity for self-serving inaction...the United States and European Union would also be better positioned to deal with the broader regional consequences of the upheaval in Iraq. Significant progress in the Israeli- Palestinian peace process would reduce the Arab concern that U.S. actions direct- ed at Iraq’s regime were inspired by Israel’s desire to weaken all neighboring Arab states while perpetuating its control over the Palestinians.
Moreover, strategic collaboration between the United States and the EU would make it easier for Turkey to avoid a painful choice between loyalty as a U.S. ally and hopes for EU membership. Active strategic partnership between the US and the EU would also make it more likely that Iran could eventually be transformed from a regional ogre into a regional stabilizer.
Currently, Iran has a cooperative relationship with Russia, but otherwise either wary or hostile relations with all of its neighbors. It has maintained a relatively normal relationship with Europe, but its antagonistic posture toward America — reciprocated by restrictive U.S. trade legislation—has made it difficult for European-Iranian and Iranian-Japanese economic relations to prosper. Its internal development has suffered accordIngly, while its socioeconomic dilemmas have been made more acute by a demographic explosion that has increased its population to 70-odd million.

The entire energy-exporting region would be more stable if Iran, the region’s geographic center, were reintegrated into the global community and its society resumed its march to modernization. That will not happen as long as the United States seeks to isolate Iran and is insensitive to Iran’s security concerns, especially given the presence in Iran’s immediate neighborhood of three overt and one covert nuclear powers. More effective would be an approach in which the Iranian social elite sees the country’s isolation as self-imposed and thus counterproductive, instead of something enforced by America.
Europe has long urged the United States to adopt that approach. On this issue, American strategic interests would be better served if America were to follow Europe’s lead. A promising start in this regard has been made by the European initiative on the complex issue of the Iranian nuclear program, an issue that should not be addressed in a manner reminiscent of earlier U.S. exaggerations of the alleged Iraqi WMD threat. In the longer run...Iran stands the best chance, of all the countries in the region, of embarking on the path traced earlier by Turkey. It has a high literacy rate (72 percent), an established tradition of significant female participation in the professions and political life, a genuinely sophisticated intellectual class and a social awareness of its distinctive historical identity. Once the dogmatic rule imposed by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini wears thin and Iranian secular elites sense the West sees a regionally constructive role for Iran, that country could be on the way toward successful modernization and democratization.

Such a progressive alteration of the region’s prevailing strategic equation would permit implementation of the Caucasus Stability Pact proposed by Turkey in 2000, providing for various forms of region-wide cooperation. In January 2000, President Suleyman Demirel of Turkey proposed a “Caucasus Stability Pact”, based on the successful experience of the “Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe” founded in June 1999. The latter—with strong U.S. and EU backing and under their security umbrella—was subsequently able to raise substantial amounts of money to promote recovery of the Balkans. A similar initiative for the Caucasian region, involving its three newly independent states, as well as the United States, the EU, Russia and Turkey--to make it effective, not only Turkey’s and Russia’s involvement would be needed, but also Iran’s. Iran could become an important vehicle for multilateral efforts to stabilize the volatile Caucasian region, to help resolve its various ethnic conflicts and to facilitate a peaceful solution to such conflicts as the Russian war in Chechnya. Iran’s reorientation would also permit wider economic access to the energy resources of Central Asia. In time, pipelines through Iran to the Persian Gulf could also be matched by parallel pipelines from Central Asia through Afghanistan and Pakistan to the Indian Ocean, branching out also to India. The result would be of major economic (and potentially political) benefit not only to south-central Asia but to the increasingly energy-ravenous Far East. Progress along these lines, in turn, would help advance the third strategic priority for this region, the need to contain the proliferation of WMD and terrorism. Neither issue is susceptible to a quick resolution. But tangible movement on the first two priorities—Israeli-Palestinian peace and remaking the region’s strategic landscape—would undercut some popular support for anti-Western, especially anti-American, terrorism....
THE EFFORT to stabilize the Global Balkans will last several decades. At best, progress will be incremental, inconsistent, and vulnerable to major reversals. It will be sustained only if the two most successful sectors of the globe—the politically mobilized America and the economically unifying Europe—treat it increasingly as a shared responsibility in the face of a common security threat. One
should not forget that struggling alone makes the quicksand only more dangerous.

(this is the context in which to view current US blaming Europe for the US-generated crisis of capital -- (disguised as everything from a 'credit crunch' to a 'bailout shortfall', anything but the deep systemic structural crisis it is, driving US world war to restructure global capital and the world map as a temporary fix)-- sending thuggish tax-cheating Timothy Geitner, US Treasury Sect'y. and former CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to issue orders for a new 'fiscal union', thus increasing US political- economic/financial domination restructuring and domination under the IMF --- as US NATO expands its global military domination....Meanwhile...
"...Latest IMF bailout fund falls €50bn short of target after UK refuses to contribute...In Beijing, former managing IMF director, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, castigated euro area leaders for poor leadership and said the zone had only a few weeks to provide solutions.)

* U.S. Standing in Mideast May Pivot on Palestinian Statehood Bid
ANALYSIS AIR DATE: Sept. 21, 2011
JEFFREY BROWN (JB) : a bigger-picture look at all this now with two men with extensive high-level diplomacy experience.
Zbigniew Brzezinski (ZB) was national security adviser during the Carter administration and is now a counselor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
Richard Haass (RH{ served at the State Department and National Security Council for Presidents George H.W. and George W. Bush. He's now president of the Council on Foreign Relations.

JB: From the U.S. perspective, is this diplomatic tussle at the U.N. a problem or an opportunity?

RICHARD HAASS, President, Council on Foreign Relations: Well, it's a problem.
It only becomes an opportunity if somehow this threat of action in New York leads to the resumption of direct talks, and then those talks actually go somewhere. But you would have to be a wide-eyed optimist to believe that. So it's really a problem, because the United States, in the midst of the so-called Arab spring, doesn't want to have to cast a veto, if things come to that, given the repercussions that would have, the anti-Americanism it would likely generate in the region.
At the same time, the United States would cast a veto and is compelled to cast a veto, given its commitments to Israel and its long-held view and the historical record that progress only comes through direct talks, and you can't do a runaround through the United Nations.

ZBIGNIEW BRZEZINSKI, Former U.S. National Security Adviser: I thought the president's speech, in a way, unintentionally, signaled the fact that the U.S. role in the peace process has fallen victim to our domestic politics, because his posture was one of kind of general encouragement for the peace process, but he didn't convey much sense of urgency.
The contrast between his speech and Sarkozy's speech was really dramatic. The president's speech first of all, dealt with the Palestinian issue in a much larger context, so he dealt with it very briefly. Sarkozy's speech was focused. And it conveyed a sense of genuine concern that, if there is no progress towards peace soon, things will deteriorate and that the parties to the conflict, both the Israelis and the Palestinians, need peace, deserve peace, but they have to be helped, actually helped from the outside to get that peace.
I think, if we engage in some serious negotiations, I think perhaps there is an opportunity. But the United States will probably not be taking the lead. I suspect the Europeans will be taking the lead to a greater extent. I would be much happier if, instead of threatening to veto the Palestinian resolution, we were prepared to offer an alternative resolution, our own or with our friends. And that resolution could make several very important, but relevant points. One, it could endorse U.N. support, which goes back to the early -- late part of the 1940s, support for an independent Jewish state, democratic Jewish state. Second, it could also indicate support for a democratic Palestinian state. Third, it could outline the framework for the peace negotiations, much in keeping with what Sarkozy was saying, and commit the parties, the Europeans, the Quartet, ourselves, to an active role in the process. I think that would be much more constructive.

JB: Richard Haass, what did you hear in the president's speech and do you see some diplomatic way forward here?

RH: Well, the president spoke in clear generalities. What was noticeable was the lack of specifics. And I think it reflects in some ways an acknowledgement that the situation is not terribly right. The Israelis are understandably concerned about what's going on, on their borders. They look at Egypt, they look at Syria, they look at Jordan and so forth. So they are very wary about moving forward with the Palestinians, given all that uncertainty. Meanwhile, the Palestinians, they look out. They see the growing public pressures in the Arab world. I think it makes them less likely than ever before to compromise.So, against that backdrop, it's very hard to see the raw material of progress. Again, the only way I could see something coming out of this -- and I don't think it's terribly likely -- is that all this pressure in New York leads to some sort of a -- the resumption of direct talks.More likely, though, is the situation in New York comes to a head. Either the United States uses its veto in the Security Council or the Palestinians can't even muster the nine votes they would need. The situation then goes to the General Assembly. There, you do have the overwhelming passage of some watered-down increase in Palestinian legal standing. And then you face the problems on all sides, where the Israelis could retaliate, make life much more difficult for the Palestinians. Congress may cut off aid. I'm not recommending it. I think it would be a mistake, but you could see that.
And even the Palestinian people, a few days after it, would say, hey, what's changed? How has our reality improved? So, rather than helping Mahmoud Abbas, the head of the Palestinian National Authority, this could actually boomerang on him. I don't think the Palestinians have thought this through, what it is essentially they have started here.

JB: Zbigniew Brzezinski... The president called it the remarkable year of the Arab spring, but that's clearly brought some new complications to all this, and also including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but the entire U.S. posture vis-a-vis the Middle East.

ZB: Well, you're absolutely right. I think what's happening in the Middle East is clearly a sea change in the direction of continued decline, accelerating decline, and eventually termination of the central role that the United States has been playing in that region since the end of World War II. We were welcomed into the Middle East by the Arabs because they saw in us a party that wasn't part of this imperial colonial tradition of the British and the French that were dominating the region.But over the last 50 years or so, they have become increasingly dismayed by our unwillingness to address seriously the problems particularly arising out of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I think this week may be decisive. If we don't recoup, I think we will really be witnessing in the near future the end of the American role in the Middle East. And that will be disastrous for the United States in the first place, in the longer run for Israel. So, in fact, a lot of issues are at stake here.

JB: Do you think the stakes are that high, Richard Haass, in terms of this larger context?

RH: No. I think there is a general decline in U.S. influence in the region, not so much for the reasons Dr. Brzezinski mentioned, but really because of other changes, the rise of Iran's power, the rise of Islamic appeal, the reduction in the strength of certain governments such as we have seen in Egypt that had tilted towards the United States.
So I think those are all the -- those are all part of the realities. But peacemaking, historically, has thrived less because of what any outside power, including the United States, did than it did because of what the locals themselves did, whether it was an Anwar Sadat or a Yitzhak Rabin or a Menachem Begin.
History suggests that peace works when you have local leaders who are willing and able to take risks for peace, to make compromises, and then they can sell those compromises to their own people.The problem is, you have got a Palestinian leadership that is very weak and not in the position to compromise, and you have got an Israeli government that's very conservative, it's not terribly inclined to compromise, and, again, looks out and see this changing strategic picture, which makes them very unwilling to make long-term decisions, given all the uncertainty. So it's hard for me to imagine a context in which the prospects for peace are poorer than they are now. So it's not really a function or a question of what the United States is willing to do. I simply think, in this context, no outside force, including the United States, can accomplish a lot in the absence of more raw material to work with.

JB: Dr. Brzezinski, less leverage for the U.S., but still better to leave it to the parties...

ZB: Well, that's a rather dire prospect, isn't it? In the first instance, it does mean the gradual expulsion of the United States in the region. And that will have very major geopolitical consequences for our position in the world and for the stability of the region. But, beyond that, it's a very dire prospect for the Palestinians and the Israelis. In the first instance, the Palestinians at some point will erupt and they will get crushed. They will get crushed. And what has been accomplished over the last several years will be reversed. And the Israelis, in the long run, will become an island in a sea of hostility. And the marginal advantage that they have had militarily is going to decline.
Look at the following simple fact. Thirty years ago, we had good relations with Iran, with Saudi Arabia, with Egypt, and Turkey, and they were our friends. Think of how much that has already changed. The implications of that are far-reaching.



* Founder of The Trilateral Commission

*International Crisis Group (ICG) ICG board includes George Soros, Zbigniew Brzezinski, former Senator George Mitchell, Morton Abramowitz, Gen. Wesley Clark, Samuel Berger.
Mohamed ElBaradei touted as a new leader for Egypt is a trustee of the International Crisis Group asis Zbigniew Brzezinski. George Soros sits on the executive committee.ElBaradei, who facilitated US pretext WMD, won a Nobel prize after the Iraq War...Kenneth Adelman sits on ICG board of trustees as well as the Freedom House board of directors.

International Crisis Group [ICG] http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=International_Crisis_Group
Foundation and corporate sponsors include:
* Carnegie Corporation of New York
* Chevron
* Ford Foundation
* Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
* Flora Hewlett Foundation
* Henry Luce Foundation
* MacArthur Foundati on
* Merck Fund
* Mott Foundation
* Morgan Stanley,
* Soros Open Society Institute
* Soros Fund Management LLC
* Ploughshares Fund
* Rockefeller Brothers Fund
* Sarlo Foundation of the Jewish Community Endowment Fund
* The Atlantic Philanthropies
* United States Institute of Peace

Egypt 'opposition' groups include George Soros Foundations/ Open Society Institute (OSI) ,
U.S. / Soros sponsored global pro-U.S. democracy 'color revolutions'... starting by bringing with former Soviet states under US control -- including: the Rose Revolution in Georgia, Orange Revolution in Ukraine, the Prague Spring, Cedar Revolution in Lebanon, Tulip Revolution in Kyrgyzstan, Purple Revolution in Iraq, Saffron Revolution in Burma....

U.S. Brzezinski & Soros
In Solidarity with Egypt
11/26/11 http://www.occupyoakland.org/2011/11/in-solidarity-with-egypt/
October 19, 2011 – Wired Magazine just reported that Ahmed Maher, of the infamous US-funded Egyptian “April 6″ movement that helped the US topple Egypt’s government early in 2011, is now back in Washington D.C. “advising” Occupy Wall Street protesters, face-to-face in McPherson Square...that protesters throughout the US movement cite protests in Cairo as their “inspiration” to rise up against corruption in their government and financial institutions.
While Wired doesn’t explain where Maher honed his “revolutionary” skills, it mentions he was in D.C. an invitation from unnamed university professor and would be headed to New York City to “advise” protesters there.
This of course isn’t Maher’s first trip to the United States. Years before the Egyptian revolution, the United States was quietly preparing a global army of youth cannon fodder to fuel region wide conflagrations throughout the world, both politically and literally. Maher’s April 6 organization had been in New York City for the US State Department’s first “Alliance for Youth Movements Summit” in 2008. His group then traveled to Serbia to train under the US-funded “CANVAS” organization before returning to Egypt in 2010 with US International Crisis Group (ICG) operative Mohamed ElBaradei to spend the next year building up for the “Arab Spring.”...As many may remember, the United States acted with total surprise as the “Arab Spring” unfolded, despite having engineered it years in advance and having financial and tactical contacts with all the leading opposition groups.
In Egypt’s case, Mohamed ElBaradei and his “April 6″ organization led by Maher, were in direct contact with some of America’s most influential power brokers, including Zbigniew Brzezinski and George Soros and to a lesser extent, Samuel Berger, Kenneth Adelman (Freedom House), General Wesley Clark, and Richard Armitage via the ICG. ICG includes Shimon Peres, President of Israel and Stanley Fischer, governor of the Bank of Israel....
US-funded 'revolution' led Maher’s fellow Egyptians into a military dictatorship with Maher’s American sponsors parading through Cairo preparing to ransack it with “economic liberalization”... Wall Street-London hegemony over Egypt...exactly what the US... intended all along.... Egypt’s fate may not be far off from America's very real threat of military dictatorship under false “heroic” pretenses as well. Street mobs are this government’s specialty, no one understands them better, and no one on earth is better prepared to deal with them – especially mobs that are disorganized, aimless, and incapable of discerning that those walking amongst them, inspiring them, even leading them, are literally agents of the very system they seek to reform.

can't vouche for this, am not sure where Tarpley is at politically: he's is not anti-imperialist, does some good research
Barack H. Obama: The Unauthorized Biography [PB]
Webster G. Tarpley (Author) Pub. Date: November 1, 2008
Written by the author of the legendary 1992 expose of Bush the elder, this book works from a New Deal point of view. Obama is exposed as a foundation operative and agent of finance capital, run by Zbigniew Brzezinski, George Soros, and Goldman Sachs. Obama's mother was an official of the Ford Foundation, the World Bank, and USAID. By all indications, Obama was identified for future political use by Brzezinski at Columbia in 1981-1983, during Obama's lost years. Obama worked for the Gamaliel Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the Woods Fund, and the Annenberg Foundation as a community organizer - a poverty pimp, a cynical opportunist using suffering people as a political commodity. The foundation strategy is divide and conquer...out of the Chicago School cesspool...Obama qualifies as a postmodern fascist.

last sick laughs:
America's Global Role: Why the Fight for a Worldwide Open Society Begins at Home
George Soros, The American Prospect May 27, 2003
...Globalization—and by that I mean the globalization of financial markets—was a market fundamentalist project, and the United States was its chief architect. We are also the chief beneficiary. We are unquestionably the dominant power in the world today. Our dominance is not only economic and financial but also military and technological. No other country can even come close to us.
This puts us in a position of unique responsibility. Other countries have to respond to U.S. policy, but the United States is in a position to choose the policy to which others have to respond. We have a greater degree of discretion than anybody else in deciding what shape the world should take. Therefore it is not enough for the United States to preserve its supremacy over other states; it must also concern itself with the well-being of the world.

Reuters forced to retract 10/13/11 headline and article “Who’s Behind the Wall Street Protests” alleging George Soros was secret backer of Occupy Wall Street protests. Six hours later
Reuters withdrew it and in a new version changed the title and article to: "Soros: Not a Funder of Wall Street Protests", opening the revised story with 'George Soros is not a financial backer of the Wall Street protests'. Reuters explained away the original article as a result of: “technical glitch” and editor’s error!