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The Next Big Thing


RampItUp46
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I wanted to ask you guys... Where do you think the next world conflict is going to erupt? Where will our SF boys be sent next? I'd like to hear your ideas and comments...

Here are some possibilities...

Abkhazia-Georgia -- Georgia is located in the Transcaucasus region between the Black Sea and Caspian Sea, a veritable jig-saw puzzle of diverse ethnic and religious groups forged into a single state by the Russians. Abkhazia is located in the Northwest region of Georgia, bordering on the Black Sea and rising into the high Caucasus Mountains in the east. Abkhazia was incorporated into Russia (1810), and in 1931, the USSR merged Abkhazia and Georgia into a unified socialist republic of Georgia. Georgian language was made compulsory and Abkhazi culture was assimilated and dissipated. Abkhazis felt their culture was on the verge of extinction. With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Abkhaz rebels rose in rebellion, seeking independence from Georgia. During two years of fighting an estimated 200,000 Georgian refugees fled from Abkhazia and Georgians leveled charges of ethnic cleansing. In 1993, Abkhazi guerrillas captured the key city of Sukhumi and declared their independence. A ceasefire agreement was arranged but political disputes remained unresolved and the international community has not recognized Abkhazi independence.

Russia-Chechnya -- Chechnya is located in the mountainous Caucasus region between the Caspian Sea and the Black Sea, a land-locked area bordered by the Russian republics of Dagestan and Georgia. Formerly a part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), Chechen separatists have waged a war for independence since the break-up of the Soviet Union, although the Chechen struggle against the Russians dates back to the late 1700’s. The current war has similarities to Russia’s misadventures in Afghanistan, including near total destruction, conflicts between local factions, the rise of Islamist terrorism and corresponding state terror by Russia, with deadly and continuing consequences for all parties. Chechnya holds a strategic geographic position linking Russia by pipeline and rail to the rich Caspian Sea oilfields.

Ethiopia-Eritrea -- Basically, this is the plot to Desert Siege, but Ethiopia has long had designs on the much smaller northern neighbor. Under pressure from its other African neighbors and also offering access to the sea for the landlocked Ethiopia, the future of Eritrea is precarious.

Haiti -- After a successful slave rebellion in 1804, Haiti was became the first independent state in Latin America. Since then the country has endured 200 years of relentless tyranny, conflict, poverty and racial discord. In early 2004, U.S. Marines returned, once more, to restore order amidst chaos and anarchy in one of the world’s poorest, most hopeless states. Haiti has been exploited as a French and American colony, before falling victim to U.S. backed, anti-communist dictatorship. Haitian politics is traditionally conducted at the barrel of a gun, or the blade of a machete. Bowing to rebel demands and U.S. pressure, the ineffectual, but elected President Aristide has been forced into exile, as the U.S. has led a multinational force to restore order, in a nation that has known neither order, nor hope.

India-Pakistan (Kashmir) -- The disputed territory of Kashmir shares borders with India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and China. Kashmir was partitioned as a result of the Indian Independence Act of 1947. About 65% of the territory is administered by India, the remaining 35% by Pakistan. Jammu Kashmir is the predominately Muslim state within India, which is mainly Hindu. This conflict, between two of the world's most populous countries, both with nuclear capability has the ominous potential to escalate into theater nuclear war, or beyond. Tensions between India and Pakistan increased after a series of nuclear tests in mid 1998, as both states sought to demonstrate military parity. In May 1999 hostilities flared when India launched military strikes against Kashmiri insurgents.

Azerbaijan-Armenia (Nagorno-Karabakh) -- The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh has surprising similarities to the dispute between Israel and Palestine, and equally disturbing strategic implications. The region provides a toxic mixture, combining oil, Islamic fundamentalism, old-fashioned cold-war alliances, a religious holocaust, claims of genocide and an irredentist movement by ethnic Armenians, stranded on a Christian island, in an Islamic sea. Azerbaijan claims Nagorno-Karabakh (N-K) is an integral part of Azerbaijan, Armenia has declared N-K part of Armenia and N-K has declared independence from all. Meanwhile, Russia, Turkey, Iran and the U.S. lurk in the background, supplying financial and military backing in pursuit of their own national agendas.

Serbia-Kosovo -- Yugoslavia is a Federal Republic, consisting of two republics, Serbia and Montenegro. Slobodan Milosevic is President of Serbia and Momir Bulatovic is President of Montenegro. Kosovo and Voivodina are provinces within Serbia. Both were autonomous until 1990 and 1989 respectively. Kosovo has operated a government, but it is not recognized by Serbia, or Yugoslavia. The US does not recognize the union of Serbia and Montenegro. The impoverished province of Kosovo is predominately ethnic-Albanian, (about 90%) and Serb (10%). Although the ethnic Albanians are a majority within Kosovo, they are a minority within the Yugoslav Republic. Hence Kosovars are politically dominated by a Serbian government, under the authoritarian control of President Milosevic. When Milosevic was elected President, opposition parties boycotted the elections, with only slightly more than 56% of citizens voting. During his tenure, Milosevic has purged the government and military of liberals, moderates and dissidents of all types, while promoting a chauvinistic form of Serbian nationalism, strikingly reminiscent of Hitler's Nazi Party programs. Extreme Serbian nationalism has been promoted to unify a Serbian-controlled, Yugoslav state, suffering severe economic and political decline, while casting ethnic-Albanians in Kosovo as scapegoats. Political repression and economic depravation sparked Kosovar dissidence, opposition and revolution, in their struggle for self-determination by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA). The Serbian response has been an aggressive pogrom of genocide, or "ethnic cleansing", designed to purge Serbia of the ethnic-Albanians, terrorizing them to flee to other safe havens in neighboring countries.

Venezuela -- Despite its history of democratic government since 1958, Venezuela stands on the brink of potential civil war that could claim thousands of lives and plunge world oil markets into further chaos. If some observers are correct, the situation may be suspiciously similar to other cases of Latin American conflicts provoked and supported by the United States. As the world’s 5th largest oil producer the stakes are extremely high, which may suggest the dark motives behind the discord. Despite recent legislation to open Venezuelan industry to foreign investment, one of the propaganda themes used to criitcize the Chavez administration has been concerms that he intends to move the country toward a Castro-syle communist state. At a time when the Middle East is undergoing an uncertain transition, preserving the peace in Venezuela should be a priority, yet the discord threatening stability in the Americas, has received relatively little attention.

Congo/Zaire -- The Congo/Zaire is the third largest country in Africa, perhaps too large. It's comprised of four major ethnic groups and over 200 smaller groups, or tribes. Many of these ethnic or tribal groups have home territories that extend beyond the national borders and there are complex relationships between groups. Since independence in 1960, Congo/Zaire has been ravaged by near continuous inter-ethnic and civil strife, claiming untold lives, plunging the country into chaos and poverty. The Congo has enormous mineral resources, gold, copper, uranium, diamonds, manganese, cobalt and hydroelectric power potential, making it a country of great strategic value and potential wealth. To date, these resources have been of little benefit to the impoverished people, but have added to the countries problems and conflict.

I stole some of these summaries from http://www.flashpoints.info where you can go to read more on the above conflicts and more.

(Also a handy site if you're thinking about where to set your next GR mod...)

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I'm too young to comment *cough* :lol:

But, I can say... get on topic :P

Anyway...

I'm hoping that the Middle East stays as a hot spot... so I'll be ensured a job in the coming years! If not... I need to reorganize my thoughts... :(

The Middle East ain't going anywhere. It's always been a hot spot, and always will be. The US has always been there, and always will be. :)

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Thanks for the serious reply.

I don't know if the Middle East is really a hot spot outside of Israel/Palestine. Most of the Gulf States are pretty much under control and on our side, from the United Arab Emirates to Saudi Arabia. Iran, despite its inclusion in the Axis of Evil, is slowly making its way towards more reforms and, if not a pro-Western attitude, at least not outright Islamic fundamentalist hostility to the West. Jordan has its problems, but it's president is a smart guy. Syria crawled across the razor's edge in Iraq but I doubt Bush or anyone else would risk another "pre-emptive attack" on an Arab Muslim country anytime soon.

Terrorism is the big thing now, but I was thinking more in terms of a regional conflict between countries than clandestine cells striking from the shadows.

Personally, I think Chechnya will be the next big thing, as it's been going on for a long time and if you read about it, you hear all the keywords that describe a hotspot -- terrorist elements, genocide, prolonged and bloody strife. If things go on like they have even longer, international pressure is just going to grow and grow until the UN is forced to intervene, assuming they can ever get the guts to go against Russia's desire to handle the matter themselves.

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dang rampitup, youre pretty knowledgeable about foreign current events and policy. very nice. i dont know that chechnya would necessarily qualify as the next iminent hot spot. maybe pre-911 there would be a reason to intervene but as such, we would create too many rifts in sending out what would be a perceived double-standard (routing out islamic militants in one country while fighting on their side in another). moreover moscow is far too much of a foreign policy asset today to undermine (think north korea).

also, as you alluded to, i dont think we'll get the answer to the question anytime soon ... at least not during an election year.

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If we do anything regarding the Chechnya conflict, it should be on the Russian side. The tactics used by the Chechen rebels are terrorist-esque and they attack both civilian and military targets. Not to mention other geo-political concerns that make a unified Russia much better overall for them and the world :thumbsup:

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@Pyro... yeah, but everyone knows what I mean... I think. :)

Hmmn, two countries about to duke it out... that's tough. I don't know much about Eastern Europe so I wont speak about it.

I think the US and Canada need one good fight... for the West Coast of Canada. :lol: JK.

Seriously...

Oh, @Ramp...

Middle East is hotter than you'd expect. Anti-Israeli and Anti-American sentiment is pretty intense. Don't be surprised if Jordan, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon try to stick it to Israel. THey're not dumb enough to do that now... but it could happen.

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Don't be surprised if Jordan, Egypt, Syria, and Lebanon try to stick it to Israel. THey're not dumb enough to do that now... but it could happen.

yeah thats basically mass suicide on the part of egypt, syria and lebanon. if they could pull it off, they would have already done so.

mamon, i dunno if i completely subscribe to that concept. sure chechen rebels use the islamic militant m.o. however you gotta remember chechnya is under what they perceive as occupation by a has-been big brother. they look to other former satellite states and simply want what theyve got. thats not so bad, is it?

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mamon, i dunno if i completely subscribe to that concept. sure chechen rebels use the islamic militant m.o. however you gotta remember chechnya is under what they perceive as occupation by a has-been big brother. they look to other former satellite states and simply want what theyve got. thats not so bad, is it?

Anyone who takes over theatres and blowsup trains/kills innocent civilians, etc, etc. are terrorists in my pov. Doesn't matter if they consider themselves "freedom fighters"; any group which purposely kills innocents in order to influence policy is a terrorist. Government officials, police and military, etc. are fair-game, but civilians should never be. Besides, Russia has so many many, dozens of ethnic groups within its borders that if each group had its own country, the entire region would be so divided that it would not be economically/politically viable in the least. Hell, it's barely surviving as it is right now :thumbsup:

What do the former satellite states have? Poor economies, semi-dictatorial governments, discontented populations. But that's another topic :P

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@Ruin: I know how hairy things are in the Middle East in terms of anti-Israeli sentiment... I lived in the UAE for two years. But after the fiascos Egypt, Syria and Jordan got themselves into their past attempts at invading the country, I doubt they would be foolhardy to try it again, especially with all the backing and hardware Israel has supporting it. As far as Lebanon goes, that country has its own internal problems to still deal with. Israel will have to deal with terrorism 24/7, but I seriously doubt any Middle Eastern country would dare declare war on them right now or anytime in the future.

@Mamon: I realize that there are terrorists acting in the name of Chechen independence, but you can't wipe the blood off the hands of the Russians. All the Chechens want to do is separate and form their own country, and for whatever reason, Russia has refused to allow them to do what countries like Georgia and Azerbaijian did. They have brutally suppressed the Chechens, doing such things as torture them and force people into refugee camps. If you don't believe me, read any report by any human rights group that has covered the whole ugly mess.

Naturally, there are going to be native criminal elements who will exploit the bloodshed to their own advantage, but you can't turn your head and allow mass murder by a regional power, however fragile the situation is in that part of the world. I personally am not a big fan of Putin and his leadership considering that he has further turned the Russian government into something more authortarian than free democratic republic, but the obvious excesses witnessed by the world in Chechnya makes it clear to me, at any rate, that a UN-backed multinational peace-keeping force would be far better suited than ruthless Russian generals whose atrocities will only inspire further terrorists taking over theaters and the like, until the whole thing gets bloodier for the Russians than Afghanistan was.

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I just read on the bbc news site that the US gov't is placing economic and possibly diplamatic sanctions on Syria for supporting terrorism. The economic sanctions include dual-use technology, ie any civilian product that can be used for military purposes. They did the same to Iraq after the first Gulf war (and blocked ridiculous things like medicines that could be refined for chemicals, and pencils because the graphite could be reprocessed formilitary applications).

Also, the bill demands that Syria pulls troops out Lebanon (sound familiar to anyone), and without Syrian soldiers, Lebanon may very well be crawling with Israeli ones (especially with the current Israeli gov'ts ... shall we say... lack of tact with its neighbours, Syria in particular). If Syria complies, Lebanon may be the new terrorist Disneyland (might take some heat of Iraq, too). If Syria doesn't comply, the white house gang may decide to invade them, as they've already alluded to Syria being next in line for ######-kickings (unless Kerry is in the white house by then *fingers crossed*).

So, yeah, Syria. Haiti is a stabilization mission that wouldn't be happening if you couldn't reach Florida on a raft from Port-au-Prince. I think the US would rather ignore it than wade in, and this may be very wise. As for Russia/Georgia, playing in Russia's yard is still too dangerous and stupid to contemplate (except for the blackest of black ops). The mayhem in and around Congo is something that should be stopped, but most likely won't be touched by any country's ten-foot-poles for a while. Another possibility is that Afghanistan will need more work once Iraq is stabilized (well, it already needs a lot more work; the question is whether it will get it.)

My 2c.

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@Ruin: I know how hairy things are in the Middle East in terms of anti-Israeli sentiment... I lived in the UAE for two years.

That's pretty cool man. :) I spent 3 years in Lebanon, after that, we tried for Jobs in the UAE, but it didn't work out.

Anywho... regarding mob's info.

Believe it or not, Syrian soldiers are worthless in Lebanon. They spend more time stopping Civilians on the road than they do anything else. They're poorly armed, under-payed, easily bribed, and lack discipline.

Syrian soldiers in Leb are almost as laughable as Lebanon's Air Force (an old WW1 fighter of some sort). Not to mention Leb's cavalry (I have pics somewhere), tanks in a big tall mass of concrete.

Lebanon's primary fighting force is Hizbullah. They're the real dudes in charge. They're closely affiliated with the Lebanese Army (which is fairly strong... all men of 18 are required by law to serve 2 years as a soldier). It's not too much of a force, but it is one none the less. And, they are/were trained but the USA. We met some guys there who I have nmo doubt in my mind were Spec Ops training Lebanese soldiers.

Lebanon is already crawling with terrorists. 9 of 35 (I think) seats in the country's Parlaiment is occupied by Hizbullah. A close family friend of ours had very close ties to Hizb. I'm surprised he didn't rat us, lol... nah. He was a good guy.

Things are slowly but surely cooling off. But then again, I haven't been there since this past war with Iraq.

The Lebanese people are more pro-American than the government is. It's only the uneducated population that is anti-American (which is fewer than you'd expect).

Anywho, just some info for you all. :)

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Czech probably. Doubt Africa/South America greatly. They've been in civil war for decades now. The middle east will forever be in chaos due to religious beliefs, and India is/was/will be a brewing pot. North Korea is a big spot too.

--Harrm

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Next Hot Spot? Easy...watch the uniforms of the US military. Prior to the orginal Gulf War, the 82nd Airborne wore regular old woodland cammo BDUs. About 6 months prior, they suddenly go with a new uniform..desert cammo (first chocolate chip then the "Well duh!" 3 color desert). Looking at the new USMC uniforms, I'm guessing probably Asia around Georgia etc. In a logical sense, it would be interesting to see say...an airbase up there in case the Korean scenario goes south.

...though...I did hear someone mention (some comedian..forgot his name) mention when the 2nd Gulf War broke out that Marines comming home could take the long way back across the Pacific and stop off in Vietnam. quote "There would be something. I mean it would be like "Surprise! We're back!". ;)

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Since you mention the Korean thing... I seriously doubt North Korea will ever invade South Korea. First of all, that DMZ between them is loaded with so many mines and defensive positions that the already slipshod N. Korean military would be cut to shreds. And even though they have one of the largest militaries in the world, they're also one of the most poorly equipped.

Also, since the vast majority of people are enlisted in some form of the armed forces, who will do the work? North Korea's economy, as you well know, is in the toilet... Having a war and little resources will cripple them even further, ESPECIALLY if such a war means heavy retaliation from the United States and other Asian countries.

You might play the China card and invoke the whole communist thing, but modern China is about as communist as John Wayne. Truth is, China is reaping the benefits of a free market economy and they would much rather have a strong relationship with South Korea, which has a stronger economy and more natural resources, than North Korea. Hell, every day on the news in China I see refugees from North Korea trying to cross into the border here in Liaoning Province.

With second-rate (or even third-rate) equipment and no real allies to speak of, North Korea just wants to rattle some sabers because that's all they got going for them. Imagine what they could accomplish if they put all that money they're throwing at nukes and the military to some actual good use. Unless Kim goes totally and completely crazy and decides to drop a bomb somewhere (he can't reach the United States, and if he did, it would mean the destruction of his country), I think North Korea is just a lot of smoke and no fire.

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Isnt there also suspose to be tunnels across the DMZ?

Anyhoo..wasnt saying Kores will be the next hotspot...just that a place in say Georgia (or the Ukraine really) would be interesting..sort of like watching someone over their shoulder.

@F'n New Guy : Somalia? Erm...dunno about that one. The US got into some heavy...erm "stuff" over there and I dont think they want to repeat it again. Sort of how we are handling things in Hati. Marines go in (more than likely FAST) and make sure the embassy is secure and that's that. Let the UN get their rears handed to them.

Also...in another post you mentioned you were/are a gunbunny? Did you do basic and AIT in "Hollywood" or "The Ghetto" at Sill? Back in 1986 I was down in the Ghetto when they were just going over renaming the training units from (for example) Fox Battery 1st Cannon Training Battalion to 1/19 Cannon Training...or so DSgt Packnet told us (which if the old goat is still serving..someone tell him he did a damn fine job with our bunch back in the 86-87 training cycle). Oh..I was teained on the M-109 but was put into an M-110A1 unit in case you were/are wondering.

ok, sorry..got off topic...back on the topic now...Ok, Syria is too PLO infested and since it's so close to Isreal, that would really light the Anit-Isreal/US fires more. granted, sometime we might go there (maybe as UN forces) but the norther part of Asia seems more like an answer...unless we hit deeper into Africa like in Zaire, etc...

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mine fields?

anyone with some xtra grenades

can make a path through a mine field.

if they wanted to get there, they could cross it.

:unsure:

Grenades eh...?

I wouldn't recommend it. After speaking with a few Advanced Assault Pioneer and Combat Engineer peers of mine they seem to be in consensus that this would be a good way to get yourself (and your buddies) killed... while it "could" destroy a mine (depending on the type) how would you know you got them all? :whistle:

Please don't try that at home or in your in own minefield! :thumbsup:

Back to the topic -

I think Haiti is an interesting place from a SOF perspective (and possibly from a mission creation perspective too). For example the Canadian JTF2 (see link below) was in place early to secure the airport and to evac Cdn Nationals... which is a different SOF role and kinda cool. Now that the USMC is there you can bet the Force Recon is present (USN Seals?) doing all sorts of recce and possibly close protection type work. These types of ops, while not neccesarily riddled with firefights, present different challenges.

JTF 2

Edited by MarauderMike
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