Thursday Headlines

What If Saddam Hussein Had Invaded Saudi Arabia?
Robert Farley asks that question in an article in American Interest and examines how the present day would be different.

Noting the broad coalition created by President George H.W. Bush, Farley says the coalition would have been even larger and would have developed more quickly.

“But perhaps more importantly, the argument for removing the Hussein regime from power would have grown much stronger. Iraq had a legitimate diplomatic dispute with Kuwait in 1990, although Hussein’s chosen means of resolution were excessive. Iraq had no cause for war with Saudi Arabia beyond the desire for raw aggrandizement. Especially if the military campaign resulted in the defeat and destruction of the main forces of the Republican Guard and the Iraqi Army, the coalition might well have decided to finish the job and push to Baghdad,” he writes.

“With hindsight, of course, we know that the conflict would not have ended with the collapse of the Baathist government,” adds Farley.

An Arab NATO Emerges In The Middle East
In response to Iran’s pursuit of dominance in the region, the Arab League nations have come together to create a “response force” of some 40,000 military professionals, which makes for some very strange bedfellows, reports Foreign Policy magazine’s James Stavridis.

The Challenge Of Prosecuting ISIS For War Crimes
Joshua Keating of Slate magazine lays out the obstacles that the United Nations faces if it attempts to prosecute members of ISIS for human rights violations.

“But such a referral will be tricky. For one thing it requires the support of permanent council members Russia and China, who, while not fans of ISIS, are also not fans of violating national sovereignty in the name of human rights. (Except when they are.) Russia and China went along with the referral of Libya to the ICC in 2011, but after what they see as a disastrous NATO military intervention there, it will be a tougher sell this time around,” posits Keating.

The Consequences Of The Iran Deal
Former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger and George Shultz penned an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal in which they examine the real-world consequences of the Iran deal as it presently stands.

The secretaries state that President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry deserve “respect for the commitment with which he has pursued the objective of reducing nuclear peril,” but contend that challenges lie ahead.

“The gradual expiration of the framework agreement, beginning in a decade, will enable Iran to become a significant nuclear, industrial and military power after that time,” they write. “Therefore Iran will be in a position to bolster its advanced nuclear technology during the period of the agreement and rapidly deploy more advanced centrifuges—of at least five times the capacity of the current model—after the agreement expires or is broken.”

Furthermore, Shultz and Kissinger contend that another set of problems emerges in the future because the negotiating process has created its own realities.

And, they conclude, “If the world is to be spared even worse turmoil, the U.S. must develop a strategic doctrine for the region. Stability requires an active American role. For Iran to be a valuable member of the international community, the prerequisite is that it accepts restraint on its ability to destabilize the Middle East and challenge the broader international order.”


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