The Wikileaks Backchannel Fiasco

It will be years before the full implications are felt from the unauthorized release of 251,287 U.S. State Department cables. (Of these, 15,652 of the cables were classified Secret or Secret/NOFORN.) In the end, the Wikileaks fiasco might even destabilize a number of governments, including those in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Bahrain, the U.A.E., Egypt, and Turkey. The most immediate effect may be seen in Saudi Arabia. Starting in the 1930s, a status quo developed there through tacit agreements between the House of Saud, its rival princes, and the Wahabbist clerics. In essence, King Abdulah ibn Abdul Aziz’s ruling faction is still paying off its rivals–as they have done for decades–with countless billions in oil money largesse. The Saudi government has also allowed radical madrassahs (training schools) of the Wahabi sect to remain in operation, but only so long as they discourage any attempted coups or terrorist acts inside the borders of Saudi Arabia. The recent Wikileaks revelations may endanger the status quo in Saudi Arabia. It will be interesting to see how all this plays out, and how alliances shift in the months to come.

The bottom line is that the destabilization of pro-western Islamic governments could spark civil wars or even a regional war. This could be very bad for Israel and the United States. Further, if general war breaks out on the Korean peninsula and in the Middle East, then BHO will have to make some very tough decisions. We no longer have a 6,768 ship Navy (we’re down to about 150 warships) or an 8 million man Army in 90 Divisions. (We now have just 10 active army Divisions–a total of only 48 combat brigades, at last report.) The most recent military cuts were courtesy of the Clinton Administration and the much-vaunted “Peace Dividend.” The rebuilding since then has been slow.) We can’t effectively fight a Third World War on three or four fronts. But that may be what is coming.

Thankfully, because of compartmentalization, the State Department is not privy to many military secrets or intelligence sources and methods–only a few sanitized intelligence products. Even still, the damage that these Wikileaks will do is tremendous. And just imagine what crazed megalomaniac dictators will do when they get hold of leaked documents about their own countries.