In the short run, Biden might well keep his promise that Iran won’t get nukes

Interesting times.

Playing charades. Kerry, Ashton, and Zarif meet for coffee in Muscat, Oman on 10 Nov. (Image: Reuters/Nicholas Kamm via Al-Monitor)
Playing charades. Kerry, Ashton, and Zarif meet for coffee in Muscat, Oman on 10 Nov. (Image: Reuters/Nicholas Kamm via Al-Monitor)

New post up at Liberty Unyielding.  Enjoy!

Going big: With Palestinian state offer, Egypt enters Middle East’s new strategic game

Interesting times.

Like a boss. Abdul Fattah al-Sisi with military leaders in 2013. (Image: AFP via dtnews)
Like a boss. Abdul Fattah al-Sisi with military leaders in 2013. (Image: AFP via dtnews)

New post up at Liberty Unyielding.  Enjoy!

Why is Qatar buying 180 main battle tanks?

Arabs, united.

Citing German reporting, Reuters related on Sunday that the Persian Gulf nation of Qatar plans to buy a total of 180 Leopard 2 main battle tanks from Germany.  An original buy of 62 Leopard 2s was announced in April 2013; the recent disclosure indicates Qatar will buy 118 more.

The total purchase would enlarge Qatar’s tank inventory by a factor of six.  The inventory currently consists of 30 French-built AMX-30s.  The Leopard 2 (Qatar is buying the 2A7+) is a modernized 61-ton tank suitable for heavy armor warfare (comparable to the U.S. M-1 series); the older AMX-30 is a lighter, 40-ton tank, less capable in the field and with some features optimized for urban warfare.  The 14 July report references the World Cup in 2022 – which Qatar will host – and seems to imply that the tank purchase is related to World Cup preparations.  But replacing 30 AMX-30s with 180 Leopard 2 MBTs is not what you would do Continue reading “Why is Qatar buying 180 main battle tanks?”

There’s a new Pharoah in town

So let it be written.

Eyes on the ball, folks.  In strategic terms, the most important thing that has happened in the last 10 days is that Mohammed Morsi has assumed dictatorial powers in Egypt.  Courageous Egyptians are protesting that move, but Morsi has less compunction than Mubarak did, and we can expect the protests to be dealt with effectively.

So, those of us who said Morsi was an Islamist extremist who would quickly reestablish authoritarianism in Egypt – with a sharia flavor – were right.  Those who said Morsi was a moderate were wrong.

And his Napoleonic self-crowning event changes the calculus for Gaza and Hamas, among other things. Continue reading “There’s a new Pharoah in town”

Paradigm shift: Why Iran now NEEDS the bomb

Interesting paradigms.

Let’s talk about how everything has changed, geopolitically.  In August 2012, we are no longer operating on all the old assumptions that anchored behavior among the nations in the 20 years after the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Interpreting what’s going on in light of those old assumptions will now lead us into error.   We are wrong about some very important things today, if our thinking remains stuck in the themes of the past.  Here are just four of those important things: Continue reading “Paradigm shift: Why Iran now NEEDS the bomb”