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The Beginning of The End

After the elimination of Iranian Quds Commander Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani on 3rd Jan around 1 a.m. local time, the US president warned leaders in Tehran, in a series of tweets, against following through on their threats to avenge the death of Soleimani. The US President tweeted “Iran is talking very boldly about targeting certain USA assets as revenge for our ridding the world of their terrorist leader who had just killed an American, & badly wounded many others, not to mention all of the people he had killed over his lifetime, including recently hundreds of Iranian protesters”. “Let this serves as a WARNING that if Iran strikes any Americans or American assets, we have targeted 52 Iranian sites (representing the 52 American hostages taken by Iran many years ago), some at a very high level & important to Iran & the Iranian culture, and those targets, and Iran itself, WILL BE HIT VERY FAST AND VERY HARD. The USA wants no more threats!”

Qassem Soleimani was accountable for the deaths of more Americans than any terrorist leader since Osama Bin Laden. In Iran, however, he certainly was a venerable figure. Inside Iran, he is considered the most prominent or second most popular figure over the years. All the U.S. diplomatic, economic, and military approaches to limit Iranian influence in the region went in vain as he filled the vacuum which capitalized on Iranian nationalism. He may be the man largely responsible for the deaths of a large number of people in Syria, but Iranians saw him as the main figure who triumphed over the Islamic State. Amidst the political applause, it is crucial to acknowledge how much his death may have changed the operational environment and diplomacy.

Knowingly or not, Trump made two decisions. The first was to kill Soleimani. The second was to do so without subtlety. By using an American drone and then tweeting out first an American flag and then a contrived triumphant statement, Trump has left no doubt as to who is responsible for Soleimani’s death. As a result, the Iraqi government is now going to ratchet up the demand that American forces leave the country. The withdrawal of American forces simply cede Iraq to Iran against the wishes of most Iraqis, even those who do not particularly care for the United States either. This dynamic plays out against the backdrop of a political crisis and lame-duck government in Baghdad which gives Iran the opportunity to exponentially increase its influence.

Some political pundits now question whether Soleimani’s death raises a standard for deterrence. Will every Iranian figure plotting the deaths of Americans be killed? Alternatively, some Afghans have asked why, if Trump can kill Soleimani for his actions against Americans, why the U.S. military cannot target Pakistani figures supporting the Taliban? It is a good question.

Soleimani and Muhandis were targets of opportunity, and Trump took the decision to strike at them. It would be ridiculous, however, to ignore there will be an aftermath and many second and third-order effects. It is urgent that the U.S. national security bureaucracy draws the broad strategy to contain the negative and exploit the positive.

The Land of Aryans

Iran is the 17th largest country in world. It measures 1,684,000 square kilometers. That means that its territory is larger than the combined territories of France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and Portugal — Western Europe. Iran is the 16th most populous country in the world, with about 70 million people.

If one looks carefully at a map of Iran, one can see that the western part of the country — the Zagros Mountains — is actually a land bridge for southern Asia. It is the only path between the Persian Gulf in the south and the Caspian Sea in the north. Iran is the route connecting the Indian subcontinent to the Mediterranean Sea. But because of its size and geography, Iran is not a country that can be easily travelled, much less conquered.

The location of Iran’s oil fields is critical in Iran. Oil is majorly found in the southwest region. The southwestern oil fields are an extension of the geological formation that created the oil fields in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq. Hence, the region east of the Shatt al-Arab is of critical importance to Iran. Iran has the third largest oil reserves in the world and is the world’s fourth largest producer. Therefore, one would expect it to be one of the wealthiest countries in the world. It isn’t. Iran has the 28th largest economy in the world but ranks only 71st in per capita gross domestic product.

Cul-de-Sac Country

Geographically Iran is a fortress. Surrounded on three sides by mountains and on the fourth by the ocean, with a wasteland at its center, Iran is extremely difficult to conquer. This was achieved only once by the Mongols, who entered the country from the northeast. The Ottomans also never made any attempt to move into the Persian heartland.

Mountains allow Iran to protect itself. However the mountainous region come with their own cultural and ethnic difficulties. Completely eradicating these cultures and ethnic groups is difficult. These groups resist absorption and annihilation. Although a Muslim state with a population over 55 percent ethnically Persian, Iran is divided into a large number of ethnic groups. It is also divided between the vastly dominant Shia and the minority Sunnis, who are congregated in three areas of the country — the northeast, the northwest and the southeast. Any foreign power interested in Iran will use these ethnoreligious groups to create allies in Iran to undermine the power of the central government.

Persian or Iranian government has as its first and principal strategic interest maintaining the internal integrity of the country against separatist groups. It is inescapable, therefore it mandatory for Iran to have a highly centralized regime, with an incredibly intense security machine. For many countries, holding together its ethnic groups is significant. For Iran it is essential because it has no room to retreat from its current lines and instability could undermine its entire security structure. Therefore, the Iranian central government will always face the problem of internal cohesion and will use its army and security forces for that purpose before any other.

For the Iranians, the current situation has posed a dangerous scenario similar to what they faced from the British early in the 20th century. The United States has occupied, or at least placed substantial forces, to the east and the west of Iran, in Afghanistan and Iraq. Iran is not concerned about these troops invading Iran. That is not a military prospect. Iran’s skepticism is that the United States will use these positions as platforms to foment ethnic dissent in Iran. For these motives Iran is desperate for a nuclear program. Having a nuclear capability creates uncertainty as to whether it has an offensive nuclear capability, in addition it projects a carefully honed image of ideological extremism that makes it appear unpredictable. It makes Iran emerge threatening and unstable.

The United States is aware of these operational difficulties with respect to Iran. It’s Navy keeps potent forces on station in an effort to manage events in the Middle East. Task forces centered on Boxer and the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln are currently operating in the region. That’s a sizable fraction of U.S. naval power for a theater, Washington longs to demote on its strategic agenda. The US is also aware that on a good day the US navy has just four nuclear-powered carriers like Lincoln. The remainder are undergoing maintenance or overhauls. That means two of seven naval-aviation ships are executing duties in or around the Gulf while five are entrusted with the rest of the globe. Tehran, it seems, has managed to entangle the world’s leading superpower in a theater it would like to be quit of; done so at low cost by employing light naval forces; exacted a high price from the superpower for the privilege of remaining in that unloved theater; and siphoned away resources the superpower needs for strategic competition in more crucial theaters. Iran is employing the strategy what Napoleon sardonically called the British strategy in ‘Peninsular war’ as ‘Spanish Ulcer’, it inflicted less-than-fatal but constant nagging pain, distracted attention and energy from more important affairs, and drained resources that should have gone into the main fighting theatre. It accomplished all objectives at a bargain-basement price.

Going Forward

Objectives of Iranian forces are clear. They want to keep war cheap for themselves and costly for the US. On the other hand if Tehran attacks shipping injudiciously, it will be picking a fight with the entire industrial world, not just Washington, and that’s a lot of foe we are talking about. So Iran hopes like hell that their opponents will tire of ceaseless struggle and strike an accommodation on Iranian terms—or go away altogether. It would up the ante against America and it’s allies using asymmetric war with the the help of various non-state actors for sure.
Any form of naval battle could be brief. Iran’s fleet has a long history of waging losing fights with the United States and other Western powers. The United States has two options, foster discontent in the ethnically troubled areas or go for a direct war. If the war starts, ultimately the forces would have to go ashore and that fight would not be easy and decisive one, and the US is aware of that.

388 thoughts

    1. I am sure Aruna, the majority of human beings want peace. So we can just hope that better sense prevails and the situation is not escalated.

      1. Mahabharata teaches us one thing, if not anything else. War is and always had been the means of gaining peace. As to why wars are fought, its answered in Mahabharata, human desires ate endless, like love for power and wealth, anger against the forces that oppose the fulfilment of the desire,in short, when there are interests there is bound tobe conflict of interest and when opposing interests collide, the result is a defeat or a victory, prevaling of one interest over another and therefore peace. In a larger sense destruction is fundamental to new creation and advancement or progress.

      2. I suppose Mahabharata describes a just war, a war to weed out injustice. In the context of the Middle East, one has to go through various layers and charades to find out the truth behind the peace which doesn’t exist. Though theoretically whole of Middle East is an Ummah, practically within 30 years of the death of their Prophet the Middle East became a battlefield and remains so till to date. The whole region neither likes America nor Saudi Arabia, and they can’t live without them also. So when countries lack leadership and the clarity of vision, they remain in turmoil till time immemorial. That is the future of the Middle East, in a nutshell. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

  1. War is a dangerous game and very unpredictable at that. The initiative keeps swinging between the two players and events can take a turn if a geo-strategic opportunity presents itself. US and Iran have been at each other’s throat for a long time and the end game is no where in sight. Your perspective is very useful and cogently put across. Congratulations on compiling another interesting article.

    1. Thank you so much, Atul, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I hope better sense prevails and the region is not pushed into chaos on the whims and fancies of some desk jockey. This is a no-win situation for the United States. Without boots on the ground, they are not going to make headway in this tussle, though I am sure the American populace is not ready for another Vietnam.

    1. Thank you so much, Gifted50, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Yes, indeed this world had enough of wars and war mongering. Now in the time to give peace a chance. I am following the developments very closely, and feel if both sides do not do anything stupid, a disaster can be averted.

    1. That’s the exact feeling everyone around the globe has. Looks like Trump is calming down, and I hope Iran does the same. Thank you so much, KC, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

    2. There are a lot of drones, a lot of threats, and a lot of lines to be drawn in the sand to accomplish what we need to.

      Our enemies aren’t the least interested in “sanity and peace” and Americans, in particular need to understand that nobody shares our values.

      Trump surely gets this- diplomacy is useless- force is all powerful. Funny how the business and military worlds collide!

      I love my president because he makes me feel safe and he is making a huge impact upon our economy. You want to go up against him? Take your best shot!

      1. Elizabeth, every country’s leadership has a battery of advisors. Those advisors based on inputs from various agencies come to a conclusion and convey that to the President/Prime Minister. Leaders mostly give the go or no go signal. Even people like Saddam had advisors, however, how much he listened to them is debatable.
        Countries also have objectives in place. Keeping those objectives in mind the path is drawn. If the objective itself is questionable then that becomes a dangerous path. The United States’ objective here is regime change in Iran. But just like Venezuela, there are multiple players in the game with their own objectives. So it is not going to be a walk in the park. Finally, a regime change is no guarantee of peaceful resolution of issues in hand.

  2. Commendable work. My concern, just like others, is if a war happens it will affect the world as a whole. In the current situation when we are already having a lot to solve, this is an add on. Hope India finds its way out of all such situations!

    1. It’s a very difficult choice for India. On the one hand, we have Iran and an over 5000 years old relationship and on the other hand the USA and our strategic relationship with them. Economically too this has affected India’s present and future plans with Iran, and Central Asia. Thank you so much, Sneha, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

    2. Sandomina, agree about regime changes- they can backfire as they did in Iraq. And as you saw during the Arab Spring, the Muslim Brotherhood gained power and nothing was gained but more chaos. I’ve liked how Trump has restrained himself after ratcheting up sanctions and assassinating Soleimani but refused to counter-attack after they fired back. He understood they were merely rattling sabres and attempting to save face.

      Iran is a highly educated country and quite unhappy with current economic conditions. Wouldn’t be surprised if they manage to overthrow Rouhani et.al. all by themselves.

      1. I suppose Trump stuck to the objective rather than getting carried away with all the noise being made all over the world. People called him coward, scared and whatnot, but he stuck to his guns. But the game has just begun, and Supreme Leader would not give up that ‘Tower of Babel’ without a tough fight.

      2. Hi, Elizabeth, sorry if I missed replying. Being in different time zones is challenging sometimes.

      3. I agree, and I know the Iranian people are begging for not just food, clean water and the basics, but for freedom from hate. They have always been a great people, but chained by the regime, they are horribly horribly oppressed. I believe President Trump understands this.

  3. Suddenly, the world regrets the absence of Saddam, the scariest person to the Iranian regime. But blame it on american policies to kill him. That being said, Iran is committing a collective suicide, specially after the Ukrainian’s aircraft crush after being hit by an iranian missile. I hope that Iran will question its politic and learn some lessons from all what they did to the Middle East.
    Thank you for your commendable post, I enjoyed reading it.

    1. You summed it up very nicely, Maylynno. In fact, this question was solicited while the US was pounding Iraq, “why to take out Saddam and push the whole region into the chaos”. Today, the same concern has become even more relevant. Every country in the name of self-interest and self-defense doing questionable things, and there is no one to question. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

      1. I agree, and also would point to why did the previous administration kill Gaddafi? and why did Clinton bomb Bosnia to pieces (that would be what I call the tail that wagged the dog). And it goes on, back to the USSR against Afghanistan. Once it was all about the oil, which is no longer the case for the US or Israel. Geopolitical conflicts are a sad thing to see, and people against people, nation against nation, we are seeing more of it (at least in my lifetime), and yet war has been a sad constant throughout human history.

    2. Well I certainly don’t regret the death of Saddam!

      Read the 9/11 Commission Report and you will discover that laboratories and formulas for WMD along with fully staffed physicists and scientists plus the lovely jail cells attached for the prisoners they used for testing were fully intact and waiting for the UN to lift the “food for oil” sanctions. Which was weeks from happening and would have allowed Saddam to buy uranium cake and VX,[3] sarin, cyclosarin,[4] and mustard.

      As former Secretary of State Condi Rice declared: “Nobody gets credit for pro-active behavior.”

      1. That’s so correct, Elizabeth. We are so attuned to police reaching the scene once the crime has already been committed, that we just cannot savor the idea of pre-emptive action.

      2. I don’t regret his death either. But he was the only one who scared Iran. So if the aim now is to stop Iran from expanding, killing Saddam was a bad idea. Unless the real aim was the expansion of Iran! Just saying!

      3. Saddam was surely a good bet to contain Iran and in fact, the United States utilized that perspective for a long time, till he invaded Kuwait. Thereafter the story of the Middle East became very complex. I hope following would make the situation ‘Clear as Mud’ :
        We support the Iraqi government in the fight against Islamic State. We don’t like IS, but IS is supported by Saudi Arabia whom we do like.
        We don’t like President Assad in Syria. We support the fight against him, but not ISIS, which is also fighting against him, as have al Qaeda in Syria, and just as in Libya, with covert US support. In fact, we never liked Col. Gadhafi of Libya at all (barring a certain Rep. Peter King (R, NY) who brokered deals with him to supply the Provisional IRA terrorist group with weapons and explosives). We hated Gadhafi so much that we and NATO allied with al Qaeda rebels to depose the Libya government causing Libya to embrace Islamic fundamentalism, which we are allegedly fighting against.
        We don’t like Iran, but the Iranian government supports the Iraqi government against ISIS. So, some of our friends support our enemies and some of our enemies are our friends, and some of our enemies are fighting our other enemies, whom we don’t want to lose, but we don’t our enemies who are fighting our enemies to win.

      4. You sum it up very well and true it is as clear as mud. Believe me, for people who live in the ME this is no joke. I say this because i am lebanese and live in Beirut.

      5. Frankly speaking, Maylynno, one who is not amidst of this melee cannot even understand, what is it to be there. When my parents came to India after India was divided into two countries in 1947, trains full of dead bodies would come alongside the platforms in the new India. Only 5-6 people would have survived out of 5000, including the driver. We could understand what they were saying but could never get to the pain and sadness they had in their hearts.

      6. What happened there was tragic. Worse it, tragedy is still happening in the world. What you are saying is very true and it is sad that people are up to there heads with problems that they have no time for compassion for others. Love your posts!

      1. I read your article. At 1st, I thought that this is not a sci-fi scenario because somehow it is already happening in one way or another. As I went on reading I couldn’t help but think this: obviously China will take advantage of the situation and will try to expand its power and leadership. However, America is still stronger politically. Not to forget Russia and northern European countries and Germany. Maybe there will be more than 2 powerful poles.
        Interesting article. Thank you for sending it to me

      2. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I shall cover a similar topic in my next article, where I will list out the ways and means to tackle China. I hope you read part 2 of this article.

  4. Your prediction is right.. and the probability of war at this stage is high.
    But to my personal belief I feel US will think atleast 1000 times before moving forward.
    Russia would analysing situation at this stage and try to have control over sides.
    India on other hand would not enter into anything as far as I know..
    They would anyway want this not to happen seeing the economic slow down..

    1. Thank you so much, Chiru, for stopping by. Long-time no see. The coming days are going to be crucial and testing times for India. India is already in Catch-22 situation due to heightened tension between the US and Iran, one a new love affair and another with 5000 years of common history and trade relationship. India was getting cheap crude from Iran, which was abruptly stopped once the US didn’t give an exemption to India to import oil from sanction-ridden Iran. Now with the latest developments, India’s over $3.5B exports to the country are also in doll drums. My feeling is that Trump is not there for a war, however, how the Supreme Leader of Iran saves his face after the blunder of shooting down a civilian aircraft, is yet to be seen. Maybe the sacrifice of those passengers would stop a war from happening.

      1. That’s exactly why India will face a bigger pblm.. Oil from Iran.. I personally feel there are number of countries who will be happy to see India going down..
        US will be aiming to take control over the world.
        Yes Shooting down a civilian aircraft was a mess.. unnecessary and unacceptable.

      2. China and Pakistan would be particularly happy with the whole scenario. In addition to the oil issue, India’s Chabahar port in Iran was a direct threat to the Gwadar port being developed by China in Pakistan. Chabahar is India’s gateway to Central Asia. However, with these developments that project would once again take a back seat.

      3. Oh yes chabahar port.. I have heard but my knowledge is limited.. I see u do lot of research and get yourself aware of world happenings…
        China is using Pakistan to just corner India..
        What will happen when the day comes when China no longer need Pakistan..

      4. Every country which is working on a closed society system, like Pakistan and various others, is just managing their time for the time being. Once an uprising comes to those countries and then the systems become irrelevant until they devise another system of suppression. Diplomacy and geopolitics are very fluid concepts, tomorrow even the rise of India may become a challenge to American supremacy. Thucydides’ prophecy has a lot of teachings for world leaders and diplomats.

      5. I seriously doubt my knowledge after reading this comment… you have more in learning and it seems..
        My point is exactly the same.. now or in future America would worry about India’s growth..
        just like you quoted Thucydides prophecy
        Like rising Athens was a threat to Sparta..
        In this case China is already a threat to US

      6. Thank you, Chiru. India is one country that has sent only knowledge, philosophy, yoga, spirituality and wealth creation through business to other countries. Till 14th century India was the largest economy in the world, (and briefly in the 16th century too) and that was the reason the Arabs, Turks, and Central Asian pirates and savages always dreamt of raiding and looting India. We lost precarious time in those plundering years. It should be a vow of every leader that never again India should see those days.

      7. Great to see someone in support of our history.. It is true that many out there still wants to loot the resources in here..
        However India is in good condition now so those days will never come back

      8. I suppose all of us in our own way are supporting the region’s beautiful culture, heritage, and one of the oldest histories in the world.

  5. Thank you so very much for sharing and giving us the comprehensive write up on America and Iran face-off, which I think is not good for the already tottering economies of the world now. Sure enough, America has sufficient oil resources but the countries like India and others who require energy for shoring up their industrial output will certainly be affected if full-fledged war takes place between America and Iran.

    Now after missile attacks on American interests and downing of ac, by Iranian forces, the situation has become all the more volatile and may spin out of control if better sense is at premium. Any time anything could happen nobody can say anything. World cannot take this war, particularly so for India’s interest wrt Chabahar port. Chin-Pak axis would be more happy with the development since India’s interests would be at stake.

    Your write-up is really based on indepth research giving everything which a reader would like to read.

    i pray better sense should prevail for both the countries and peace prevail for the good of the countries of the world’s economies.

    With regard

    1. Thank you so much, Harbans once again sharing your in-depth knowledge and insight into these complex matters. Yes indeed the situation is precarious and another foolish move from any side would be disastrous for the world and the region. Indian leadership is completely at loss and in the Catch-22 situation. I hope some logical conclusion is given to this age-old issue, once in for all.

      1. I still feel sad that India once again is one of the biggest losers in the gamut of business and diplomacy. After many false starts the Chabahar port project was just about taking off. This project is so important from many angles, especially opening of business routes to Central Asia and denial of the advantage of Gwadar port in Pakistan to China. However, once again it might take a back seat.

      2. I too am concerned about the loss India would be subjected to because of volatile situation between Iran and USA. Our adversaries would be very happy on this development.

      3. I too am concerned. The state of our economy and many economies of the world are in precarious condition. The war at this time will jeopardise the economics of the countries all over the world.

      4. Yes indeed the circumstances are not very good and leadership of all the warring countries has to take a step back in the bigger interest of humanity.

      5. In the scenario when every country is thinking their own interests first by erecting artificial barriers for trade, climate change etc. then I am not very sure anything tangible would be done to stop the specter of war.

  6. For the first time, I have been able to understand world politics, even though I am a little hazy about it. Is there any chance that the war may hurt the rest of the world, and India in particular? Say, the price of petroleum products?

    1. Thank you so much, Shaily, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. The coming days are going to be crucial and testing times for India. India is already in Catch-22 situation due to heightened tension between the US and Iran, one a new love affair and another with 5000 years of common history and trade relationship. India was getting cheap crude from Iran, which was abruptly stopped once the US didn’t give an exemption to India to import oil from sanction-ridden Iran. Now with the latest developments, India’s over $3.5B exports to Iran are also in doll drums. My feeling is that Trump is not there for a war, however, how the Supreme Leader of Iran saves his face after the downing of Ukrainian airliner is yet to be seen. The development of the Chabahar(Iran) port by India is also very important for us. After a lot of dilly-dallying by the governments in the last decade, it was finally taking off. This port is important to counter China’s Gwadar port in Pakistan and to start a supply line of Indian goods to Central Asian countries.

      1. Yes, indeed we are just scratching the surface. Imagine the kind of dealings and negotiations must be going on behind the scenes, and we as ordinary citizens without understanding the intricacies of the delicate situation start criticizing the leadership of the country.

      2. Yes, indeed we are just scratching the surface. Imagine the kind of dealings and negotiations that must be going on behind the scenes, and we as ordinary citizens without understanding the intricacies of the delicate situation start criticizing the leadership of the country.

    1. Let’s have faith that better sense would prevail. Humanity has endured scarier times. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. A very though-provoking and interesting article. Any background information regarding this part of the world is helpful, not only in understanding the bigger picture, but also helping someone like me to draw my own conclusions – if indeed, any can be drawn.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I am glad if this article has made a very complex and explosive situation a bit clearer. There are too many players, too many interests and too many possibilities, and that is a very alarming proposition. Any mistake in the calculation by even the smallest of the players could be devastating for the region.

  8. Times have changed, and terrorist leaders need to work twice as hard to keep their zealous constituencies blinded from the real world. The world of democracy, religious freedoms, human rights, equality, and yes, even commercialism. TV satellites cover the globe, and cell phones are ever-increasing in number. People will find out that the world outside their dark confinement is beautiful and free and rewarding, even with its related costs.

    The United States of America, unwavering in its commitment to its foundation of liberty, faced a similarly long and difficult struggle against the former soviet bloc, and all those trapped and blinded behind the Berlin Wall.
    It was not the United States, nor terrorist leaders, nor men and women in uniform that stormed and tore down that emblem of isolation.
    It was ordinary human beings that could finally see the truth and the dream, the ever-costly dream, that is freedom and liberty.

    My heartfelt wishes, my silent prayers, if you will, are for all of these people.
    The blind and the blinded, and those that will one day see.

    Seek peace,


  9. I wish you would share your commentary over at the ST site. If you like the Yankees, you can’t be all that bad. 🙂

    More importantly, it’s essential for Americans to get an Indian point de vue. After all, you are the second most populous nation in the world and thanks to that dreadful “one child policy” in China, you could easily surpass her.

    C’mon; ST would love to have you join us. (We prefer women but you’d get points for your foreign status. 🙂

    1. Hello, Elizabeth, sorry for the late reply. I was in transit to KL. You are absolutely correct that we are going to surpass the Chinese population soon. Now that is both, a bane and a boon. India has one of the youngest populations in the world, but at the same time, the population boom has put a lot of strain on the country of limited resources.
      It would be an honor to be a part of your community. Warm regards.

      1. Well, I’m interested in infiltrating your site if you don’t mind a fiscal conservative invading the territory. 🙂

        I’m interested in international opinion which we don’t often get on the sites over here.

  10. maylynno
    January 16, 2020 at 10:48 pm
    You sum it up very well and true it is as clear as mud. Believe me, for people who live in the ME this is no joke. I say this because i am lebanese and live in Beirut.

    I feel for you. Beirut was once considered the “Paris” of the ME. I had looked forward to visiting as my only exposure to the region was Israel and Egypt.

    1. Indeed, William, there won’t be any war for now. Maybe it was the sacrifice of 176 people, who went down with the ill-fated Ukrainian plane over Tehran that things cooled down. If you recollect I have stated that the best strategy for the United States would be, public unrest, and that’s exactly what they are doing now. Thank you so much for stopping by.

    2. There’s always war in some people’s hearts and there’s always peace too. One and the other walk hand in hand, but that the peaceful dominance over the war one isn’t via fear.

      1. Peace is the only way forward. Unfortunately, when the same concepts were evolved over 2400 years back by Buddha and Mahaveera, Indian souls reached higher planes and they lowered their guard. Unscrupulous souls wait for those opportunities. India was invaded by barbarians and colonizers for over 1000 years. The result is, once a golden bird called India(with the highest GDP until 1500) became one of the poorest nations in the world. India learned a big lesson in that shameful occupation. Be peaceful but never forget the ‘Dharma’ of protecting the populace and the nation.

      2. That’s quite an interesting post and forces one to pause and think about all the actions and deeds one has in mind and the forthcoming future.

      3. I haven’t seen this serial. Not much into TV, but looks great. Thanks for the introduction.

    1. It would engulf not only the Indian subcontinent but the whole of the Middle East and Central Asia. Russia and China are eagerly waiting for the United States to slip in the abyss. Thanks, Usfman for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

    1. Thank you so much, Oneta, for stopping by. I really enjoyed your ‘Liar Meets Liar’. Often in life, we call another person a liar without contemplating our own actions. Regards.

  11. This is a very knowledgable and well expressed essay. I hope for no more escalation. Sadly, the t-man has no understanding of diplomacy or international relationships. The world is paying for that. Hopefully not for much longer.

    1. I also hope, Sherry, that there is no further escalation, the world already has enough on its plate. I suppose sacrifice of 176 people on board the ill-fated Ukrainian Boeing has de-escalated the situation. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

  12. Having trouble leaving a comment, since you use akismet….you have an impressive amount of comments!….this is a very knowledgeable and well written essay. I hope for no more escalation. Sadly, the t-man has no understanding of diplomacy or international relations. Hopefully he wont be there for much longer.

    1. I also hope, Sherry, that there is no further escalation, the world already has enough on its plate. I suppose sacrifice of 176 people on board the ill-fated Ukrainian Boeing has de-escalated the situation. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

    1. Shah was seen as a stooge of the United States, which was not acceptable to Iranians. However, conditions were much better, it was a progressive and affluent society. But similar was the case with Iraq under Saddam. If one didn’t go on the wrong side of Saddam, then life was not as bad as it is today. There were unconstitutional deaths, custodial tortures, and an atmosphere of fear, but all those things exist even today when Saddam has gone. Thank you so much, Allen, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

  13. Sandeep, thank you for choosing to follow my blog, Bobbing Around. I hope my words will be of service to you for a long time.
    I like the clarity and logic of your political analyses.

    1. Thank you so much, Bob, for stopping by and sharing your affectionate words. You have a wonderful blog and that’s the reason I am there. Regards.

    1. Though a full-fledged war would not happen, the whole region would remain disturbed due to vested interests.

  14. It all appeared more like a fixed match or a novices boxing bout. It could well be that both sides wanted to eliminate the same target.

    To execute a done strike on an individual, precise information about his location and travel plans need to be known. The same could not have come without reliable sources well in the inner circle of the targeted person.

    1. Reji, what goes on at such higher strata is just about anybody’s guess. However, in this case, the target was on an official visit to Iraq, so all his movements were no secret and were known to a large number of agencies. Today’s drones are very advanced and can very effectively track, identify and eliminate targets with utmost precision. And here we are talking about a country with the most advanced technology in the world at its disposal. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts.

  15. The day is fast approaching when oil will have minimal importance in diplomacy. When that day comes, the US and other industrial countries will have less interest in middle east affairs. Also, the Iranian central government can not forever hold the country together especially the minorities using military apparatus.

    1. Roy, you are absolutely right. It is getting more and more difficult for the Iranian leadership to hold the country together on just a religious basis. The economic stress in Iran is at its acme and religious fervor has taken a back seat. The United States and other powers are there to exploit the situation created by the discontent. The same students who brought the religious revolution in that country may bring it an end soon.

  16. informative, sadly we are entering the era of uncertainty across the globe. Don’t want to delve in further because we humans are basically digging our own graves under the name of religion, culture, politics, power, I am big, you are small, and pushing aside the matters of basic needs of any living, loving human being. Humanity has taken a back seat.

    Thank you for following and liking a couple of my posts, really appreciate that 🙂

    1. I suppose we humans pretend to be civilized. Religions of the world have killed more people than all diseases of the world put together. As you correctly brought out, we kill, plunder, rape, and create havoc on this planet, while chanting God’s name and arguing, my way is the right way. Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Regards.

    1. Thank you so much, Anna, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. Yes I couldn’t stop myself from writing on such an important topic, which affects all of us, despite being neck-deep in my other projects. Regards.

    1. Thank you so much, Kait, for stopping by and your kind words. It’s always encouraging to have a review from awesome bloggers and writers of your caliber.

      1. My pleasure! Great to read an intelligently written piece. Oh you are making me blush…do carry on😂😂😂🙏🌻 Thank you very much!

      1. Oh Sandomina that is wonderful news although not surprising! Great writing and continue to reach the millions!🌻🙏😁

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I loved your blog and the blessings you are spreading. Thanks and regards.

  17. Your post is frighteningly informative – and well-informed. I learned a lot. Thank you for sharing your extensive knowledge. I still can’t help wondering, “Why can’t we just love one another?”

    1. Thank you so much, Jan, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I am glad that you found it informative. You are absolutely right, why can’t we just live and let others also live. However, the world geopolitics is so complexed with interwoven interests, that sometimes one doesn’t know, who we are fighting, and for what.

      1. That’s so true, and so sad. If I had a magic genie, I’d ask for no more war… no more fighting. Just live and let live! I believe 99.9% of the people in the world would vote for that!!

      2. The problem is, Jan that the other 0.1% are controlling the world, and people like you and me get incited by their hate articles, books, and speeches. We mindlessly follow their commands in the name of religion and country. If we just understand that our existence is for a much higher purpose in this world than what we think, then the earth would be heaven, and we would have no need looking for heaven in the other realms.

  18. Enlightening as always. Geographically and historically, the extended mid-East continues to be a confusing place. Everyone wants peace. But everyone also wants power. And money. And influence. What is to be done?

    1. It is always a pleasure to have you onboard Ankur. The Middle East and North Africa would remain like this for centuries to come if they do not mend their ways. I would just state that African states would improve and progress, despite the fact that they went through so much turmoil in the past, but the Middle East has no hope.

    1. How are you people doing? I hope, all my blogger friends are doing fine and helping out the people in need.

      1. We’re all in a kind of lockdown modus. The situation seems to be under control but we still have to be very careful. Stay safe and healthy!

  19. Hey Good to read you after so long! You always enrich my understanding. One suggestion, kindly change the user interface of your blog, one has to scroll deep down to make a comment. And I think you haven’t responded to my mail, yet. 😀

    1. Thank you, Abhay, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. I will check out and see what to do with the comments issue. Thanks for your mail. I didn’t respond since my mails, as well as movements, were being monitored at that time. But now they know it all, so I can tell you that I was with the forces and now a professional pilot. All these articles come from my training, experience, and research.

      1. Okay! All the best. Hope to fly with you someday 😉 Your articles are really amazing and I think it needs to reach to larger audience.

      2. Thank you, Abhay, that’s very kind of you. I hope you use the wordpress app. That has the option of giving review instantly. One need not scroll all the way down.

    1. I shall update the ‘About’ page soon. Earlier I was being harassed by Chinese, but now they already know, who I am, so I don’t care. Regards.

  20. In regards to Iran: Just like on the playground, if a bully keeps hitting, you are way ahead of the game to knock him on his butt straight away. Appeasing bullies only causes them to be more bold and dangerous. This should have ended with a robust military response after the attacks on U.S. bases and personnel.

    1. You are right, but the US populace is not ready and questioning the deployment of forces all over the world. Keeping that disavowal in mind, no leadership would commit itself to a lengthy campaign. There are too many players with different interests and drive for puissance.

  21. This is so well written. Not sure when it was considered the proper thing to take politics by leaders to social media. This is something that really should be handled either face-to-face or when that is not possible due to distance over the phone. Written word can be misconstrued or misinterpreted and when lives are at stake level heads need to prevel.

    1. Thank you so much, Nina, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. You have very rightly stated, social media has a totally different purpose altogether and is surely not meant for taking policy decisions, by the politicians and the governments. At the spur of the moment, what one utters has different repercussions, and many times, the so-called leaders had to retract their statements.

  22. Greetings! I just stopped by to welcome you to annieasksyou and found myself immersed in this very thoughtful and thought-provoking discussion. So now I am “following” (I dislike the term, which implies passivity—surely not what we’re seeking) you as well. I look forward to reading your posts, and I hope you’ll visit and add your comments to mine when you choose to do so.


    1. Thank you so much, Annie, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. You have a wonderful blog, and I really enjoyed reading the kind of topics you are covering.

  23. Thank you for your ‘Follow’ on my Blog – it brought me to your very thoughtful and insightful words. On to read some more and Follow! 😀

    1. Thank you, Patrice, for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. You have a wonderful blog, and I really liked it.

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