Thursday, January 12, 2012

Iranian Conflict.............The Next Cold War?

     The last major military standoff the western world experienced was against the former Soviet Union.  As we all know this standoff came to a political finale in 1991 with the demise (which I believe to be a pr hoax) of the Iron Curtain.  It was the planets largest ever arms race and resulted in a culture of fear on both sides of the coin.  The key factor in this standoff, was powerful politics. 
     The undisputed benefactors of such a standoff, were most certainly the military defense contractors who became incredibly wealthy and influential.   There wealth and power were a direct result of decades of 20th century global power politics.  Their influence still looms large today and some are already reaping the benefits of this drawn out diplomatic stalemate with Iran.  Corporations like Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing, and General Electric, actually control US policy to a large drgree.  The CEO's of these comapnies actually blong to think tanks including the Council On Foriegn Relations and The Atlantic Council.  These corporate elite dictate thier recommendations to Washington and London, in turn these governments adopt these as official foriegn policy.   
     So, as this theat of a potential military conflict between the west and Iran continues to drag itself out, the trend of profitability continues to play out.  This is eveident as most of the United States regional allies continue to re-arm and upgrade thier countries defense sytems and capabilities. 
     The Arab Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, and Kuwait have already started the re-arming process in there countries. In 2011, the US announced an arms deal worth about 3.5 billion dollars with the UAE.  This deal included the state of the art T.H.A.D missle defense system.  This is obviously part of a greater American effort to beef up the missle defenses of Persian Gulf allies, to counter the Iranian threat.  In addition to this, the US and Saudi Arabia agreed on a deal worth 1.7 billion earlier in 2011 to shore up the Saudi Patriot missle defenses.  Furthermore Kuwait also put in an order to purchase over 200 GEM-T missles totaling about 900 million in expenses.  Of course the regional missle defensees will need land based interceptor systems to knock out any incoming missle threat, backed up by a sophisticated detection network that's equipped upon US Navy Aegis-class warships.   By the time this most recent round of regional re-arming of US allies in the gulf is complete, defense contractors will have seen a sharp rise in thier profits.  Of course this willl also result in a sharp rise of the all important share prices. 
     Despite all these recent aquisitions of the GCC, they by no means provide absolute safety from an Iranian threat.  It still looms large, especially if they get a bomb.  This is just more of American time honoured tradition of stoking regional tensions of the middle east in one hand, while the american arms industry bleeds the Arab nations of cold hard cash for expensive military upgrades to protect themselves from a percieved threat on the other hand.  And in a sort of full circle for the US, these arab nations will certainly pay for these upgrades with the recent surge in iol profits caused by the ever present threat of military confrontation which would result in the blocking of the key Stait Of Hormuz. 
     It's easy to see the similiarities between these geo-political relationships and the standoff between the US and the Iron Curtain after WWII.  We have the perfect set of conditions for a New Cold War to emerge here.  On the allied side you have the US, Europe, Israel, and the UAE, and the axis powers of Iran, Russia, China, and Syria.  However this cold war would be more about regional dominance in terms of economics such as natural gas, mineral and trade relationships. 
     How long will this particular stalemate drag out?  Your guess is as good as mine, but one thing is for sure, that while this continues to brew, there are still very large profits to be made by key players on both sides. 

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