8 July 2019   Leave a comment

Alex Ward has written an article for Vox entitled “‘A nasty, brutal fight’: what a US-Iran war would look like”. At this point I believe that a war between Iran and the US is extremely unlikely: neither side has any substantial benefit from a war. Nevertheless, it is clear that in both countries there are constituencies that have an interest in such a war and have been arguing in favor of one. So it is instructive to think systematically about what such a war would involve. Ward does a good job of describing the various scenarios that might lead to war. Even though the US has superior firepower (as it did in the Vietnam and Iraqi wars), the Iranians have capabilities that would make the idea of a US “victory” moot:

“In other words, Tehran can’t match Washington’s firepower. But it can spread chaos in the Middle East and around the world, hoping that a war-weary US public, an intervention-skeptical president, and an angered international community cause America to stand down.

That may seem like a huge task — and it is — but experts believe the Islamic Republic has the capability, knowhow, and will to pull off such an ambitious campaign. ‘The Iranians can escalate the situation in a lot of different ways and in a lot of different places,’ Hanna [a Middle East expert at the Century Foundation in New York] told me. ‘They have the capacity to do a lot of damage.’”

There are no outcomes to a war that would leave either side better off.

What used to be on of the most important investment banks in the world, Deutsche Bank, has announced extensive layoffs in an effort to avoid insolvency. It was founded in 1870, largely at the behest of Otto von Bismarck, as Germany tried to extricate itself from the control of British finance. Throughout the many years since, Deutsche Bank has been a central pillar of Germany’s rise to global economic power. However, it did not manage the economic stress of the Great Recession in 2008-09 well, and has been in steady decline since. Since that time, moreover, it has been embroiled in illegal and unethical business conduct. It was also one of the very few financial institutions to have any business dealings with Donald Trump before he became president. The bank will probably survive in one form or another, but it will be many, many years (if ever) for it to regain its former status.

Posted July 8, 2019 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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