Friday, August 25, 2006

Yesterday's Proxy-Today's Rules-Tomorrow's Tech

My last blog on the details of war. This lacks my focus on cognitive brain science and technological culture. So forgive me.

First Kudos to the Cheney administration, they flipped a netwar of non-state actors, requiring diplomacy and subvert actions into a full blown cold war with the same proxy players China and Russia. And by doing so set a far more difficult War on Terror into a highly connected psycho-cultural battle which turns British subjects into dangerous subversives.


In an August 9th article "Fighting by Proxy" by Michael Hirsh is missing the real proxy. It is not Iran and Syria's influence that will loom over a larger conflict between the Lebanon's Hizbullah and Israel. The real players are China and Russia.

China and Russia are big traders with Iran. To Michael Hirsh's credit he does mention the sale of missiles. But let's not forget the building of a nuclear reactor in the city of Bushehr worth nearly a billion dollars.

Just off the wire, Russia is not going to back sanctions against Iran for nuclear violations. Hmmm... I wonder why? Hirsch misses this and the much larger aspect. If the Bush administration had any international clout left it could have stopped the billion dollar sale of arms to Venezuela's Chavez from Russia.

The question really becomes why do we have so few chips on the international table to negotiate with? Again oil enters the picture. High oil prices help Russia. They are no where as efficiently as Saudi Arabia. So Iraq offline helps Russia as well as Venezuela and of course Saudi Arabia.

How do we get more chips on the table? Well pundits are focused on Iran and Syria, we really need to focus on Russia and China, whom until we can pressure them, they will veto any sanctions on Iran.China needs the oil, Russia needs the technology trade partner.  

This is where technology plays a key role.

Reagan used Star Wars as a threat. However critical to getting the Russians back to the table is negotiate. But it was an imaginary force that was hotly debated as a chip on the table.

We have two chips that might bring China and Russia back to the table, in regards to Iran. One Robotic Manufacturing, if we were to begin say a US-Japan initiative to replace all outsourced manufacturing to China by Robotics by say 2024, that might get China to wake up. It's a long shot, but hey, where is our Star Wars defense missile shield?

Next Russia, If we set in motion The Energy Project, where we declare the building of the largest sea wave generators from Maine to Miami and from Anchorage to Los Angeles, along with major announcements to Hydrogen, wind and solar, the announcement alone could drive the oil markets down even only briefly.

Again a lot of this is smoke and mirrors, but hey look at the downside? More domestic energy resources? And look of the upside, if we can convince the Chinese to share this technology we could spare them a catastrophic depression in 2015, and Russia booming oil bonanza could go bust if we did actually build to reduce our need for oil releasing pressure on already strained oil supply that China needs.

But how likely is this to occur? Bush is the last president to suggest such things, although I do remember a guy named Albert who suggested the same things in 2000.


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