Monday, March 28, 2005

Central Asia

I've been paying a little bit of attention to this area for years, ever since I learned that there's a very good chance of real oil deposits (as opposed to the chimera in ANWAR) in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

The best little bits of info I've been able to glean seem to indicate that private interests have had force presence on the ground for at least 5 or 6 years there.

So that's western oil conglomerates with real soldier of fortune types just kind of hanging out, staking a claim, as it were; maybe just getting involved a bit in local politics.

Before 9/11 I thought it very likely the US would find a pretext to go into this region within 10 years just because of the oil. Now, of course, there's a lot more going on there.

Remember also that China is right there to the East. The Central Asain Plateau is of great GREAT geo-strategic significance. Had we not gone into Iraq, had we meant half of what we said going into Afghanistan, this could have been a great opportunnity for a forward thinking military to plan for the next century (which you may be interested to know I don't think would've been a bad idea). As it is, of course, we have almost no money (and China holding the economic chair we're standing on!), little remaining "soft power" around the region or the world, and flat out zero troop reserves, plus we're hot for Syria and Iran.

A century and a half of colonial history teaches that, in this part of the world, sooner or later factions unite and slaughter the invaders. It is of no small significancee that this is taught in grade schools and family folklore. Being as over extended as we are, there is no real chancee that this will work out well for us.

Whether the Caspian Basin is it where it starts to go bad or not is immiterial (my money's closer to Afghanistan, FWIW). The signs all say the same thing, and the ideologues in Washington refuse to read them.

Later Tonight: The new Indonesian Earthquake, earthquakes in general, and some thoughts on coming changes in a much broader terrestrial context.

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