Tuesday, April 18, 2006

W.W.t.B.D.? Iran.

As the Moscow meetings get underway, Russia has again reiterated its opposition to using punitive sanctions against Iran, and China also signaled it does not yet support a move to sanctions.

So what would the Byzantines do? They would, I think, support the idea of backing opposition groups to pressure the regime, although I think they would go about it with a greater degree of finesse. Obviously, creating democracy would not be on the agenda, and their support of the opposition would be tactical, to be ended when needed.

I think, however, that they would have a much more direct and mercenary approach. How much would it cost to end the program? Is such a cost worth paying, and would there be adequate guarantees?

It seemed that the EU-3 was inching toward this approach, but in our modern world of "ethical" foreign policies outright bribery is seen as somewhat distasteful.

Covert operations? The Byzantines were big fans of the use of intrigue. They would probably have paid agents in place close to the centers of power.

Getting others to do the fighting. The lesson of the First Crusade!

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