Syria-Iraq-Iran: Several news outlets reported information from US sources that US Intelligence has confirmed that Iran is airlifting supplies across Iraq to Syria with the permission of the al Maliki government. Vice President Biden supposedly talked by telephone with al Maliki about this issue.
Comment: So… at the time the US is preparing to send F-16 fighters to Iraq as a pledge of the strategic alliance, Iraq’s government is allowing Iranian transport aircraft to fly critical supplies to the Syrian regime which the US opposes. Official, direct protests by the US Vice President have been rejected.
There are two implications. The Iranian airlift is the lifeline the Syrian government needs to defeat the opposition. Secondly, based on experiences in Pakistan, any modern US weapons technology transferred to Iraq will end up as a technology transfer to Iran and then China.
Iraq is not a US ally. Al Maliki is a satrap of Iran, more than a friend of the US when it really counts. That is not a positive return on investment.
Phi Beta Iota: Around the world, from Southeast Asia to South America to Africa to the Middle East / North Africa, the US is being pushed back and at the end of its imperial overreach era. China and Russia have done a much better job of developing soft power alternatives, including investments in infrastructure that the US militarization of foreign policy has always neglected. Brazil, India, and Indonesia have their own complex strategies that the US is largely unwitting of. The entire energy situation is going to change radically in the next ten years, with the far north and the far south acquiring influence and power beyond any US intelligence analyst’s wildest expectations [note: analysts that get too "wild" in the eyes of their bureaucratic mandarins are pushed out of work, one reason the secret world continues to get it wrong--the other reason is secret collection dog wagging the young uninformed analyst tail with no legs (processing) in between].