Point of information

How would the Iranians be likely to think about a show of force by the U. S. Navy in the Gulf?  More generally how would people who live in a shame culture be likely to react?  Differently than in a guilt culture (like ours)?

3 comments… add one
  • The Iranian interpretation would probably take account of three recent events: the Democratic election victory, the firing of John Bolton, and the Baker report. In the light of these events, the interpretation would be: the Americans can show off their military hardware, but they don’t have the resolution to actually *do* anything with it.

    The stridency of internal political dissension has made it difficult for the Administration to conduct forceful diplomacy short of actual war.

  • David:

    The problem is not American internal dissent, it is administration incompetence and fecklessness.

    If they took note of anything it would be the fact that on 9-11 we did not choose to increase the size of the military but took a tax cut instead. They would note that we started with 700k ground troops — a force we thought adequate for emergencies — and left it almost untouched as we conducted two hot wars.

    They would note that we attempted to occupy Iraq with a force of 140k, a ratio of 1 GI to 200 Iraqis, or about a half to a quarter of what standard doctrine holds is necessary for an anti-insurgency war.

    They would note that not until we were three and a half years into a losing proposition did it begin to occur to us to ramp up a badly strained military force.

    They would note, in short, that while we talk tough we try to win on the cheap.

    They know we can’t take them out effectively with air power alone, and they know that we don’t have the men to invade them.

    I wouldn’t be scared of us, either.

  • Fletcher Christian Link

    M. Takhallus:

    “They know we can’t take them out effectively with air power alone”.

    YES, WE CAN. And we will – sooner or later – and a billion Muslims will be dead, and the West will have a scar on its soul that will never heal.

    We’ve already lost (if you define “winning” as keeping our culture as it is); we just don’t know it yet. The Muslim world is going to lose too.

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