Sunday, March 01, 2015

Finding the Nixonian Common Foe

If President Obama wants a "Nixon goes to China" moment for his presidency, perhaps there is an option less stupid than hoping Iran is the place he should go to.

Have no doubt that a nuclear deal with Iran is stupid. The ultimate stupidity by an administration that bizarrely believes it is achieving global success with a policy of not doing stupid sh*t.

The stupid sh*t continues to multiply.

But maybe there is something President Obama can do to get a legacy other than one of bumbling strategery.

Consider that China would love to see Russia fight with America and NATO in Europe. China has supported Russia over Ukraine in words and deeds (although China benefits from the latter).

A rising China that could sit out that blood-letting between their major rivals for dominance would be in a good position to claim the throne and pressure their neighbors to submit to Chinese dominance.

Consider that Russia would love to see China fight America in the Pacific both to take us down a peg and to keep their Far East (stolen from China) off of China's immediate focus until Russia can restore their military power to Soviet levels when Russians were a threat to Chinese territorial integrity and not vice versa.

Russia and America both have an interest in not wrecking each other in a war so that China can pick up the pieces at the expense of both of us.

What if NATO and the Russians come to a new agreement on conventional forces in European NATO and Russia west of the Ural Mountains?

What if we focus on limiting the heavy forces that each of us deploys in this region to a level that does not allow either to reasonably pose a threat to take large amounts of territory?

Russia would be free to deploy heavy forces of tanks, heavy anti-tank focused infantry fighting vehicles, and self-propelled artillery east of the Ural Mountains while we would limit similar forces in Europe.

NATO countries could have some heavy forces in Europe just as Russia could have some heavy forces in European Russia, and to compensate for lack of European territory outside of the treaty area we could host sites in America to store the bulk of the heavy equipment of our continental NATO allies.

That way, even continental Europeans would have to ship over heavy forces across the Atlantic to pose an offensive threat to Russia.

We'd have to adjust the totals to account for the ease of movement by rail versus by sea.

And the Europeans could even have rotations at our National Training Center against our OPFOR to hone their conventional skills by flying in troops to use their stored equipment here.

We and the British would still need prepositioned heavy equipment in Poland, I think, but otherwise we could restrict actual ground troops in newer NATO countries to lighter forces (like paratroopers and Stryker units) unsuitable for leading an offensive and better suited for power projection missions into the arc of crisis from West Africa to Afghanistan, just as the Russians would have fewer and lighter forces close to NATO.

Only a serial apologist for America like President Obama could sell to our left wing a deal with Russia that allows each of us to focus on China and avoid war with each other.

Now that would be a reset.