Friday, May 02, 2008

Global Systems Administration for Liberal Democracy?

Yesterday's "discussion" about the utility of warsocialist enterprise quickly crystallized into a focus on Africa and engendered a post at Cobb. In typical fashion, a prodigious amount of handwaving signifying nothing remotely approaching discoursive closure ensued. However, in the course of all this kerfluffle - a comment by Cobb's designated subject matter expert stuck out like a sore thumb;
But I don't know how much of this informs Frazer's attention to Zimbabwe. I'm sure Zimbabwe is something of a low priority for the current Administration in terms of dedicated resources, though it's a great subject for talking about the spread of democracy, etc.--from a more realpolitik standpoint, we don't have any major interests at stake in Zimbabwe, unlike in the resource-rich areas of the continent or in areas where there is a strong Islamist presence.
demanding follow-up, both, in the context of Cobb's claims concerning the morally proper global systems administrator for liberal democracy role which he insists (though never persuasively demonstrates) is at the heart of militarism in American foreign policy - and - which he exhorts us all to believe as the primary motivation undergirding warsocialist enterprise, former president Dwight D. Eisenhower's claims to the contrary notwithstanding. Of particular concern to me, and pivotal in a certain regard to the Cobbian thesis, is the gross factual error asserted by Cobb's subject matter expert concerning the lack of American interests at stake in Zimbabwe. Nothing could be further from the truth. The U.S. in general and the military and high technology sectors in particular have crucial interests at stake in Zimbabwe.
Since 1961, the U.S. has relied on foreign sources for 100% of its chromium needs. Major concentrations of chromium are in Africa, with the largest known reserves in the Republic of South Africa and the purest grades are in Zimbabwe. These two countries together account for 98% of the world's reserves. The only other significant sources of chromium are the Soviet Union, Turkey and Albania.

The extent to which other minerals can be substituted for chromium is quite limited. There is no material which can adequately replace chrome in the steel industry and no substitutes exist for its aerospace industry and no substitutes exist for its aerospace applications.8 In a crisis some consumers of chromium could continue to function by reducing their useage of the mineral. However, most critical industries, particularly defense, could not continue to operate without normal supplies.
So Cobb, as long as our strategic interests in the region are being met, we should consider our liberal democratic systems administration mission as having been accomplished? THIS explains so much of our foreign policy vis-a-vis the warsocialist enterprise.