Listen to what the U.S. Joint Forces Command has to say in its Joint Operating Environment (JOE 2008 ) report (pdf) (page 36, left column):
In terms of worse-case scenarios for the Joint Force and indeed the world, two large and important states bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse: Pakistan and Mexico…
The Mexican possibility may seem less likely, but the government, its politicians, police and judicial infrastructure are all under sustained assault and press by criminal gangs and drug cartels. How that internal conflict turns out over the next several years will have a major impact on the stability of the Mexican state. Any descent by Mexico into chaos would demand an American response based on the serious implications for homeland security alone.
Hey wait a minute. I thought you said this post was about Russia? It is. Question: who would like most to see the U.S. tied up in knots close to home? Recall what Stratfor had to say on the subject back in September. I summarized as follows:
Russia’s best bet to remain on offense and not be nibbled-to-death by dozens of defensive conflicts around its edges is to harass, as best it can, the only power that can possibly contain it: the United States. That involves a three-pronged strategy centered in Latin America: 1) threaten the Panama canal, 2) empower drug traffickers, and 3) destabilize Mexico.
I will not stand hard against the argument that the Mexican destabilization threat validates the border fence-builders (an issue on which I’ve been largely agnostic but nominally supportive). Yet to say that a fence would be sufficient (or sufficiently pro-active) against what looks more and more like a truly strategic and global geopolitical and military problem involving far more than just Mexico is… well… way too limited a way of looking at it. Back up a step.
An even-more-hamstrung U.S., forced into fighting a messy not-quite-war ‘thing’ down in Mexico, (if for no other reason than that they’ve become, both socially and economically, a kind of out-of-control extra state) would be even less capable of protecting our only real democratic, Judeo-Christian values-repository in the Middle East: Israel (if the executive will were still there in the age of Obama; an open question).
Hunh? Why bring that up in this context? I thought we were talking about Russia. What am I, some kind of Israel monomaniac?
Take a deep breath. Back up another step. God is an Israel monomaniac. Always has been. Always will be. Don’t believe God exists? Don’t believe there’s just one of Him and that the Torah and Bible are true? Just stop reading here.
Russia was considered, for many years, during the latter half of the 20th century, as one of the best modern candidates for the Gog (‘g’, not ‘d’, note bene) referenced in Revelation 20, and elsewhere, e.g., the spine-tingly apocalyptic stuff in Ezekiel 38 and 39. With the implosion of the Soviet Union, that notion fell into disfavor in some circles. As America weakens and Putin exerts an ever-firmer grip on power, and evinces ever-more global, unilateral ambitions, it’s time to brush off that old notion.
Russia would like nothing better than to see our power bases (read: democratic, free, economically liberal states) in its region either gelded or demolished. Georgia (the country) was one of them. Israel is another and it is no ordinary prize. Russia has already played a shrewd, quiet role in helping, through proxies (e.g., Iran) to ensure that the pieces are in place for that ultimate showdown:
Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves.
Note that Israel’s opponents will come from far and wide. The U.S. will not be able to stand in the way, even if we wanted to (again, an open question as of 1/20). As much as we have played a positive role in the world these past 230+ years, we are just a nation. Someone far more powerful and virtuous than any nation — the one who creates all nations — will be the one to win this supra-national, extra-worldly battle. In fact, he already has.