US Strategy of Dual Central Position



While it is impossible to gauge exactly how USA intends pursuing its ” War for Total World Domination” geography provides some clues about future US intentions. Geography is as valid in warfare and strategy as it was 1500 years ago. Jomini one of the great thinkers in modern strategy narrates an incident, which is as relevant today as it was in 1806. At the end of a conference in 1806 before Jena Campaign in which Napoleon humbled Prussia (Germany) Jomini asked Napoleon if he might join Napoleon later at a place called Bamberg ! Napoleon who thought that his destination was secret was annoyed asked Jomini ” who told you that I am going to Bamberg ?” “The map of Germany, Sire and your campaigns of Marengo (1800) and Ulm (1805)” Jomini replied. While USA has not produced any Napoleon and in all probability would not produce any geography gives us many clues about future US designs . These clues are of interest for all concerned whether they are military analysts, Al Qaeda members, Third World military leaders, contractors, bankers, armaments dealers, real estate brokers etc.

It appears that USA has adopted a Strategy which may be termed as one of “Dual central positions” ! One central region of operations in Afghanistan and now a second base of operations in Iraq. To supplement this base the USA has minor vassals like Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Jordan etc ! Afghanistan was gained by leapfrogging using Pakistan as a temporary base of operations during the period 2001-2002 . Afghanistan provides US with a choice of multiple strategic objectives ! It can threaten both Russia and China’s strategic underbelly as earlier discussed in an article published in PRAVDA by this scribe in 2001 ! It can threaten both Pakistan and Iran from Afghanistan in addition to dominating entire Central Asian Region . USA can also support actively a future Islamic Insurgency in Chinese Singkiang from Afghanistan with Central Asian Republics as conduits as well as an independent Kashmir which it has been championing since long !

Afghanistan can also be used as a base to support wars of insurgency or liberation in Pakistani and Iranian Baluchistan and as a convenient base to support aerial strikes against Pakistan , in Baghdad style ! If Pakistan counters it with a WMD attack it would only be attacking brother Muslim Afghans ! Afghanistan combined with an independent Baluchistan at some stage would also ensure a secure US line of communication all the way from Chah Bahar and Gwadar to Central Asia . A new base to launch deep strategic forays in the heart of Russia and China isolating and cutting off both from the vast natural oil and gas reserves of Central Asia and severing the Russian line of communication with Oil and Gas rich Siberia ! All fits well as long as Afghanistan remains quiet .A convincing argument that the sooner China and Russia start taking interest in aiding the Afghan insurgents the better it would be for their future strategic survival ! It’s a question of survival for Russia an! d China !

Iraq is USA ‘s second central position in the region . Iraq can again be used to threaten multiple objectives in the region . The Muslim states harbouring anti US terrorist groups like Syria, Lebanon , Iran. Oil rich Arab states like Saudi Arabia in case a radical anti monarchist coup threatens the status quo in Saudi Arabia and Turkey in case the Islamists gain greater strength in Turkey in the next ten years ! Iraq can be ideally used to fix iran by inspiring and aiding a Kurdish insurgency in Iran . Discipline Turkey by encouraging Kurd separatism in case the Turkish Islamists gain greater resolution ! Dominate Middle East Oil in general firmly ensuring USA’ s overwhelming strategic control on worlds economy ! All is well as long as USA meets minimum resistance but all may not be at USA’s feet in case Syria remains defiant , Iran actively assists Iraqi Shiites and the Arab masses finally decide to remove the shackles that have enslaved them for the last fifty years !

While USA’s strategy of Dual Central Positions is outwardly sound and subtle , it has germs of defeat . It appears that initially Afghanistan may pose serious problems for USA unless it arrives at a neat strategic solution with regard to attainment of its strategic objectives for which it has occupied Afghanistan namely ” Final Solution of Pakistan’s WMD capability” and ” Domination of Central Asia and Western Iran”. While Iraq was thought to be the centre of gravity of anti US/Israeli low intensity war Pakistan despite a docile military regime is regarded as centre of gravity of Islamic military resurgence. Afghanistan is merely the region where Islamist forces based in Pakistan practice and train ! Afghanistan therefore is not a US objective itself but a staging area to deal with a strategic objective (s) i.e. Pakistan ,Iran ,Central Asia , China , Russia etc . Pakistan has to be neutralised despite the fact that Musharraf is USA’s blue eyed because it posseses WMD capability and stands in between Chinese Singkiang Central Asia and USA ! Iran has to be neutralised because it is ideologically against USA and is a base of anti US/Israeli low intensity warrior groups ! In this case Afghanistan the base area itself can prove dangerous for the USA ! Here mother nature seriously challenges US technology! There are no deserts like Iraq where US airpower can strike at will ! There are no big urban targets like Baghdad capture of which can lead to the collapse of the whole house ! There are no docile vassal states here like Kuwait and Jordan from where operations can be mounted .One side contains Pakistan’s tribal area which the Britishers failed to pacify in 100 years .One side contains Iran which cannot be overawed like Pakistan by one phone call . The area in the north is cordoned by the Russian Army which has no love lost with USA and which remembers with grief its 14,000 men lost thanks to US Stingers and US aid in 1979 . Therefore Afghanistan the! Western Dual strategic base of USA would be more of a liability than a blessing. Any serious US move which threatens the strategic balance in the region may bring China and Russia actively into the arena and continued sniping on part of anti US Afghan forces keeps the Americans on the hop ! Iraq as it stands today may prove initially easier to hold than Afghanistan but all in this case depends on Arab masses ! If they resign to their fate they will be reduced to sub humans and be ruled by foreigners as they were ruled in the Roman and Ottoman Turk times . If they resist and not overawed they may survive with honour and dignity !

So much for geography and US designs ! War is the province of the unknown as Clausewitz states and Low Intensity War i.e. War in the Shadows is far more complex than winning the Second World War with overwhelming industrial might ! There are no Hiroshima’s or Nagasakis in this region ! The area where the USA is fighting its new war is vast ! More vast than USA’s air power capability! More rugged than Vietnam ! More diverse than any other continent ! It may not be well equipped but races which inhabit it cannot be wiped out like the Americans wiped out the Apaches,Sioux and many other Indian tribes ! It is a war of civilisations but one in which one civilisation will be pitched against at least three different civilisations ! This war for Mackinder’s Heartland would not be fought in Iraq or Afghanistan alone but in all parts of the world including all major US and European cities ! This war does not have a front or rear or centre and no single centre of gravity ! We hope tha! t the Americans would brush up their strategic thought and knowledge of grand strategy and fight a short war and go with respect and grace rather than a decade long war which may prove to be USA’ s culminating point in the classic Clausewitzian sense !

A. H Amin is a writer , journalist , ex editor of Defence Journal (Pakistan), ex Editor of Globe (Pakistan); author of Indo Pak Wars from 1947 to 1971, Man’s Role in History and Land of the Pure (short stories). He contributed above article to Media Monitors Network (MMN) from Sindh, Pakistan.