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Gen. McCaffery prognosticates
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, March 25, 2008

I found this over at Small War Journals where it was offered without comment. It's from a presentation that Gen. Barry McCaffery (24th ID commander in Desert Storm and Clinton's "Drug Czar" as I recall).

I'm interested - do you agree with what he lays out here. And if you do, what should or shouldn't we be doing to prepare ourselves to address/confront these possibilities?

 
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No idea what I think about it, really...

But I can guess what Erb will say...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
The last point is arguable. Iran will try to go nuclear, but depending on US and Israeli actions, may not make it. I suspect that Iran will not make it, because Israel would prevent it even if the US would not.

What happens with China depends on three factors, two short term and one long term. The short term factors are how North Korea falls apart and gets picked up, and what China does with Taiwan. If China bullies its way into political control of North Korea (to prevent a democratic Korea on its borders) or attacks Taiwan, relations with the US will be worse than GEN McCaffery foresees. On the other hand, if China plays a constructive role in easing the (inevitable, I think) North Korean collapse or stays away entirely (noninterference), and does not escalate the situation against Taiwan, then he is probably correct. The long term factor is how long it will take the Chinese populace to demand the political freedoms that are necessary to continue to enjoy the economic and property freedoms that the Chinese government has been introducing. If the Chinese democratize rather than re-instituting a totalitarian government and centralized economy, then relations between the US and China will improve dramatically.

Other than that, I think he’s pretty much spot on.
 
Written By: Jeff Medcalf
URL: http://www.caerdroia.org/blog
I think he is generally overly optimistic. His comments on Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan are pretty obvious to anyone, so no points for those.

If North Korea comes apart, and I don’t see why it should in the near future, I would love to see his plans for facilitating a soft landing.

I am puzzled by his confidence that the Chinese are our buddies. I don’t share it.

I don’t agree with him that Saudi Arabia will continue to modernize and maintain stability. I don’t think they will modernize and they certainly can’t do it and maintain stability.

Castro’s death will have no effect on the triumph of the revolution.

Iran will go nuclear, and we are going to have to learn to live with it.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Well, McCaffrey’s powerpoint presentation at least hits on a list of serious open items, so to speak. He’s focusing attention on real questions.

If he gets a third of them close to right, he will continue to collect his fee, for the foreseeable future.

That’s my prediction.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
On the other hand, if China plays a constructive role in easing the (inevitable, I think) North Korean collapse or stays away entirely (noninterference), and does not escalate the situation against Taiwan, then he is probably correct.
I think it is in China’s best interest to play that constructive role in easing NoKo’s collapse or suffer some consequences they don’t want to suffer. Being ever pragmatic then, I agree with you that it is inevitable.

With the election of the pro-reconciliation government on Taiwan, I see the possibility of Chinese intervention/interference to be less of a threat than previously.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
timactual:
Iran will go nuclear, and we are going to have to learn to live with it.
I’m betting that the Syria option will be used for Iran’s nuclear facilities. That’s the one where the Israelis do the work and everyone refuses to talk about it.

The Russians must be on board for that, as they apparently were last year when Syria was hit.

I think it’s the way of the future for hard items: Do it, but make absolutely nothing of it. Saving face being the salve rubbed on the wounds of national honor, including that of the Russians, for neither opposing it nor doing it themselves.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
I am puzzled by his confidence that the Chinese are our buddies. I don’t share it.
Yeah, I don’t either, but we are their biggest customer and as long as that remains the case, I think they’ll be less inclined to do things which might change or jeopardize that status (at least until they think they don’t need us anymore - which is decades down the road).
I don’t agree with him that Saudi Arabia will continue to modernize and maintain stability. I don’t think they will modernize and they certainly can’t do it and maintain stability.
I think this all depends on who, among the old princes, emerges as the top man after the King dies. But your point is well taken - they’ve sort of helped create the Islamic climate in which they live and changing it in today’s hyper-religious atmosphere (which has essentially replace the old secular nationalist pan-Arabic movement) will be very difficult.
Castro’s death will have no effect on the triumph of the revolution.

Iran will go nuclear, and we are going to have to learn to live with it.
Pretty much agree with you on both of these.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
"I’m betting that the Syria option will be used for Iran’s nuclear facilities."

Could be, but it won’t stop them. It might even precipitate what they wish to avoid.

"I think it is in China’s best interest to play that constructive role in easing NoKo’s collapse"

Sure, but how? Anything short of a massive military invasion would probably be useless. Iraq had a better chance of a soft landing. North Korea, from what little I know, has absolutely no other social structure that would prevent utter chaos. I doubt that the military, absent their political masters, would be cohesive enough. Anarchists worldwide would probably rejoice.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
It’s the new Mutually Assured Destruction - it is difficult to imagine what overt US-destructive action China could take that would possibly play to their advantage, vs. the economic destruction they would suffer. (Remember, it would cause them other problems too; even if the world celebrated a blow against the Great Satan on the surface, the world would have a hard time trusting China ever again.)

Militarily in particular; I suspect they are a long ways away from being able to totally deny us access to their airspace if they push the issue, and from there there are some rich targets available, if push came to shove.

Especially as they will probably believe that history is on their side. Which is good for us. Even if it is true. (Which I don’t believe, but as people say, sooner or later the US will not be the dominant power, and I’d rather our exit looks like Britain’s exit than Rome’s exit.)
 
Written By: Jeremy Bowers
URL: http://www.jerf.org/iri
Sure, but how? Anything short of a massive military invasion would probably be useless.
The longer NK is left to fester, the more likely it is that that becomes the only feasible course of action.

I for one would be fine with China simply absorbing them.

I hear a lot of rhetoric about how other powers are rising and the US should not be the only superpower, but I don’t see many countries hurrying to claim the responsibilities that come with the title of World Power. China can start demonstrating its readiness to take on the mantle of leadership by handling the NK problem.

...

They won’t.
 
Written By: Jeremy Bowers
URL: http://www.jerf.org/iri
34,000 US killed
So in the next 40 some months another 30,000 US will be killed ?
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
So in the next 40 some months another 30,000 US will be killed ?
McCaffery said 34,000 killed and wounded.

From what I’ve read that’s pretty accurate.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
I wonder if there is a reason that GEN McCaffery (former SOUTHCOM Commander) does not list on his official bio that he worked for Pres. Clinton at the cabinet-level from 1996-2001. Is there a reason for him airbrushing his CV? I find it interesting that he also left West Point as a professor as soon as he started doing these "fact finding" trips...but he still puts the USMA symbol on his work since he is an adjunct. Just some observations...
 
Written By: Observer
URL: http://

 
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