The New Rules: A Foreign Policy Wish List for 2012

The West’s embargo of Iranian oil succeeds . . . in making Iran China’s problem. Obama is working an ambitious angle: stopping all Iranian oil exports to the West. That won’t stop Beijing from stepping in further and securing long-term access to Iran’s vast oil and gas reserves — to the contrary, it will reinforce China’s position in Iran. But this way Obama can claim he did everything reasonable to stop Iran’s successful acquisition of the Bomb. So when Iran weaponizes — sooner or later — in response, at least we’ll have placed China in the same hot seat it currently occupies with regard to North Korea.

via WPR Article | The New Rules: A Foreign Policy Wish List for 2012.

via Thomas P.M. Barnett’s link which I didn’t have to subscribe to WPR to use.

A good read. I especially like the above rule-set. I think the embargo could very well succeed in making Iran China’s problem, although I think Iran has always been China’s problem. I believe that China loves North Korea, but, it would like to ignore Iran. I think Iran represents everything that China hates and possibly fear, God, while North Korea represents everything China loves, a benevolent leader.

Obviously China can’t ignore Iran, because of the oil. This means China’s problem of God over a benevolent leader is unsettled until the revolution in Iran is over. Change takes force, and I believe China is waiting for that force to appear, but can’t afford to wait too long, because of economics at home. To save face, China can’t afford to be the one in front of that force, but it can, in its economic interest, be the one behind that force.

Israel finally attacks Iran. The more it looks like Obama will win in 2012, the more Israel will be incentivized to proceed with its plans to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities before November. Convinced that Obama will never go all the way on this issue, Israel will prefer to take its lumps from Washington during an election season, when the GOP will clearly rally to its side. The combination of this strike and the West’s oil embargo will kick the can down the road a bit, and the time gained will be worth something as the Arab Spring continues to unfold.

Israel will be incentivized depending on if the US elects another Nixon, and not another Bush. If Israel finally does attacks Iran I would look for China to be in implicit agreement, through a Nixon like POTUS. An Israeli attack could be as good of way “in” as any,  for China, without losing face.

If not through Israel, then look towards Iraq, as China works at making Iraq and Afghanistan its problem also. Iraq and Afghanistan are two strategic areas for China, thanks to the US military, political elites, and the Carter doctrine. It would help if they had another US politician as corrupt and anti-elite as Nixon.

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