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Stark
01-27-2009, 03:49 AM
A terrifying development has taken place in Asia. Iran has considered allowing China to construct a military base on one of its Persian Gulf ports. This significant geopolitical move would unsettle the U.S. superpower’s unrivaled hegemony in the oil region. Yet this action is a microcosm of a larger reshuffling of geopolitical power in Asia, particularly in regard to two of its most powerful nations: Iran and China. These events have taken place in a new context that breaks from the Cold War landscape and that responds directly to American policies. This event shows that tension is reaching a new level and may represent a new foreign policy for Iran. This growing desperation in Iran is a loud warning sign to Washington that its policy of nonengagement isn’t working and is only further alienating Iran, which will only harden the regime and diminish popular resistance.

It is clear that China is interested in growth at any cost, is happy to trade and engage with dictators, ignore human rights abuses, and secure necessary resources even from some of the worst regimes on earth. China’s engagement with Iran not only undermines the West’s embargo and exclusion, but also stabilizes and empowers the Iranian regime. China has been aggressively pursuing oil and gas resources to fuel its voracious growth and remains heavily dependent on energy imports from Iran and the other Persian Gulf states. China’s largest oil refiner, Sinopec, has just finalized a multi-billion dollar deal to develop the massive oil field in Yadavaran, Iran, in addition to the “deal of the century” contract to tap Iran’s immense North Pars natural gas fields.

The ties do not end at oil, as China has already surpassed Germany to become Iran’s number one trade partner. Chinese contractors are already busy constructing oil terminals for Iran in the Caspian Sea, expanding the Tehran metro system, and building airports. The two nations have entered into a number of cooperation agreements. Most alarmingly, China has been happily supplying Iran with ballistic missile technology and air-defense radar systems.

The U.S. frustrated China with its recent turnaround in support of India’s civilian nuclear program, commonly viewed as a long-term plan to counter rising Chinese power with a friendly nuclear democracy on the continent. China is on track to become the greatest power in Asia politically, economically, and culturally, and is aggressively seeking international respect, which it well deserves. China is not just a faceless threat, but a rising power and potentially strong ally. Now is the time to engage with China and encourage its growth, but also challenge its human rights and environmental record, and support its democratic stirrings that were crushed at Tiananmen. Yet while China’s actions perhaps foreshadow larger issues for the future, the most immediate threat now is Iran.

Iran’s consideration of a Chinese military base on its territory presents a dangerous possibility for the region and proves that condemning the actors from afar without diplomatic links will neither insure peace nor further U.S. Interests. This policy has only further hardened the regime against a perceived aggressor and given the Iranian regime an opponent against which to define itself. Some have suggested that Iran is on the verge of collapse and another Revolution, but this is unlikely to happen anytime soon, particularly after Bush’s policies that have only strengthened the regime rather than weakened it.

Much in the way the U.S. maintains constructive relationships with China while strongly opposing and condemning certain aspects of its internal and international policies, Washington should approach Iran with an openness to common interest while continuing to denounce dangerous policies. Any real rapprochement of Tehran can only occur in the context of meaningful engagement on the most pressing issues of nuclear development, terrorism, and regional stability.

The U.S. must have a new strategy for a new century. While Iran may not actually follow through with its threat, the U.S. must take its quest for attention and respect seriously and engage directly with Iran. The U.S.’s influence in Asia will continue to diminish as China rises as a world power and talking tough will only accelerate this decline. By engaging directly with Iran and China, the U.S. can both legitimate and challenge the regime and promote democracy. The Obama administration will fundamentally reshape American foreign policy, but the pressure is on us to challenge our adversaries in a way that will both advance our national interest and further peace and (hopefully) democracy in the Middle East.

Cruelbreed
01-27-2009, 03:22 PM
What's the source? I'm also curious to know what this does for world opinion on china.

ghost
01-27-2009, 04:27 PM
Hmm. Very interesting. Looks like Iran is turning into quite a playground for the Russians and Chinese. Russian weapons deals, Chinese military bases. What's next? The Chinese are already dealing the government in Sudan, selling weapons in exchange for oil, and the Russkies are in nice and tight with the Venezuelans... I don't know about you guys, but it looks to me like a large proxy war is within the realm of possibility, with Iran as the battleground. If not, then it's about to get very confusing. Because the Russians have also agreed to assist US/Coalition forces in Afghanistan(not directly, but with supply routes...etc). And don't forget about Ukraine and NATO! Russia is not happy about that. I don't know, it's pretty confusing to me.

warcola
02-05-2009, 01:02 PM
Russia paid Kyrgyzstan $2billion to close down a leased American air force base there. and Russia calls for old soviet allies to make a "NATO like union" that will be stronger than NATO. looks like cold war isn't over.

Scott
02-05-2009, 02:41 PM
looks to me WW4 will be coming in a few years, that isnt good news at all, hope they sort it out like men!

Cruelbreed
02-05-2009, 11:23 PM
When was WWIII lol? I don't see a Russian alliance even being close to nato. I mean jesus, Russia just got its credit rating cut to something pretty near junk lol. Oil prices are in the shitter too, but there's no saying oil won't go up. Russia could potentially starve europe of oil =/

warcola
02-06-2009, 10:25 AM
When was WWIII lol? I don't see a Russian alliance even being close to nato. I mean jesus, Russia just got its credit rating cut to something pretty near junk lol. Oil prices are in the shitter too, but there's no saying oil won't go up. Russia could potentially starve europe of oil =/ which is what they are doing to the Ukraine. yeah when was WW3 lol?

Scott
02-06-2009, 05:12 PM
haha WW4 dunno where that came from:hb:, had abit to much to drink yesterday :)

WW3 i was meant to say :)

and yes they could Tavarez but if they done that i think they would have a big war at their hands.

damm this is almost become like Frontlines: Fuel of War, the game that i beta tested in privately for over 6 months, its closer then people think, the title says it all. anyone played that game?

ghost
02-07-2009, 01:21 AM
damm this is almost become like Frontlines: Fuel of War, the game that i beta tested in privately for over 6 months, its closer then people think, the title says it all. anyone played that game?


I've played the demo. It was alright. Good storyline, but the gameplay seemed kinda cheesy.