Middle East on the Verge: The Message of a Weapons Cache

The Middle East is the emblem of convergence, the place where any sort of Interest comes face-to-face with an opposition force; the historical accounts are vivid. The eastern Mediterranean has long been a global crossroads were economy, intrigue and ambition played a deadly game; unfortunately, the lessons of history are all too often made to appear as exceptions.

Sun Tzu studied the deeper elements that lie back of warfare, those that lead to victory and those that end in failure. While the best form of victory is the type that happens without ever firing a shot we need to tease this ideal with a completely different perspective; the success of your victory when fought by a surrogate on terrain other than your own, a critically important tenant of asymmetrical warfare.

“All warfare is based on deception. Hence, when we are able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must appear inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near.” Sun Tzu, The Art of War

The recent intervention, by the U.S. Navy in the Arabian Sea, ended with the impounding of a sizable cache of Russian and Chinese weaponry, case in point. A perfect example of how the Russians and their military ally, China, are able to fight the U.S. without ever firing a shot. Equipping the Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels in their ongoing battle against the Saudi-led (U.S. backed) coalition is just one type of tactical asymmetry. The U.S. is a fearsome military force and the Russians and Chinese know that on a head-to-head force-on-force contest the U.S. Military is far too well-trained and equipped to be intimidated into submission however even with its formidable capacity targets of opportunity exist, weak spots are inevitable. Expect that a prudent adversary will study each intensely.

Large, full-scale military incursions are over, welcome to the era of asymmetrical warfare where tactical strikes, confiscatory targeting (economic sanctions/plundering) and surgical assaults on infrastructure have a far more immediate effect and far less expensive.

Curtis C. Greco, Founder


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