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Tuesday, May 20, 2008


the geopolitics of israel

via john mauldin, a very engaging piece from stratfor on the timeless situation of israel.

it notes that the only material threats to israel are either 1) internal disunity, which can put one or more of its three natural geopolitical parts within reach of either syria or egypt (not conincidentally the focii of the clean break strategy); or 2) great imperial powers seeking control and/or access to the mediterranean through the levant.

it is interesting to view, then, the promulgation of the delusion of an 'imperial iran' as a sort of manufacuring of the latter kind of threat. but putting aside that nonsense, one must see that the current major threat to israel is most obviously the sole great power in the region -- the united states -- which explains much of the israeli dedication to maintaining its extraordinary political lobby in the united states as a means of maintaining maximum independence in what is essentially a subjugated role within a global anglophone empire (what stratfor calls the persian model).

with the bush administration having occupied iraq and now perhaps considering action beyond into iran and syria, one has to wonder if some in israel would hesitate to encourage the greater explicitness of the american role as regional hegemon. as noted:

Israel's reality is this. It is a small country, yet must manage threats arising far outside of its region. It can survive only if it maneuvers with great powers commanding enormously greater resources. Israel cannot match the resources and, therefore, it must be constantly clever. There are periods when it is relatively safe because of great power alignments, but its normal condition is one of global unease. No nation can be clever forever, and Israel's history shows that some form of subordination is inevitable. Indeed, it is to a very limited extent subordinate to the United States now.

does anyone in the israeli power strucutre conceive of a time when its cleverness vis-a-vis the united states could end -- leaving it facing an ambivalent or even explicitly aggressive great power?

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