STRATFOR: 2010 Security Assessment
I recently acquired a copy of the 2010 STRATFOR global Security Assessment. This forecast is a tool for users to get a grasp of the “current” situation that may be forecast out to see what may happen in the world for the coming year geopolitically.
This particular report had some interesting things to say about Russia and the Middle East that I had already surmised, but its nice to see others see the same things. The scary thing though, is that these very thoughts I have been having also are on the minds of these folks at this think tank. The first of these is the following statement:
For Russia, 2010 will be a year of consolidation — the culmination of years of careful efforts. In the coming year, Russia will excise the bulk of what Western and Turkish influence remains from Ukraine,
Kazakhstan, Belarus, Armenia and Azerbaijan, and try to lay the groundwork for the reformulation of a political union in much of the former Soviet space.
I have been saying that Pooty Poot has been consolidating and re-orging to re-start the old time Sov life that he was a part of as a KGB officer back in the day. Putin has been at the helm (and still is) of re-booting the country to have all the power back in the hands of a select few, and those are not even near being in the Duma or the Politburo.
In fact, it can be seen with the battles in Georgia and other moves by the federation, a move toward consolidating power and primacy over these areas that the former Soviet bloc lost post Glasnost has been happening. It will be interesting to see what does actually develop.
The other most prescient passage was the following on the Middle East:
Israel believes that Iran’s nuclear program has matured sufficiently to constitute a material threat to the survival of the Jewish state. International diplomatic efforts to contain that program are not simply intended to forestall a future nuclear threat from Iran, but also to prevent an Israeli strike on Iran — a strike that could quickly spiral into a general melee in the world’s premier energy artery, the Persian Gulf.
The mix of players and motives — Israel insisting on real controls and willing to act unilaterally, Iran evading real controls and retaining its ability to act decisively in Iraq and Afghanistan, Russia seeking to keep the conflict brewing in order to distract all from its efforts in the former Soviet Union, and the United States simply wanting everyone to calm down so it can focus on its wars — all but guarantees that a crisis will erupt in 2010. The only questions are whether that crisis will be limited to “simply” the Persian Gulf, and whether it will be military in nature.
The essence here is something that many of us already think about quite a bit. Israel and Iran may in fact start the war that “could” bring on some real hurt for the world. A nuclear Iran and potentially a nuclear Israel (they allege they do not have nukes, but, c’mon we know they do) could have quite a fast and firey flash war. A war that would destroy the straight of Hormuz’ ability to be used as a route for oil production.
Over all, this report had some distressing things to say. Yes, they are predictions, but, if you look at the end of the report where they grade their last report, there are alot of hits where they were right on.
We will live in interesting times…