US Seeks to Establish New Security System in the Middle East

Monday, August 20, 2012

Mohammad Farhad Koleini
Former Iranian Ambassador to Armenia & Expert on Strategic Issues

As the world is gradually experiencing new conditions, the United States has decided to change its defense strategy. It has also decided to draw up new documents to delineate its new foreign policy approaches, especially under the incumbent President Barack Obama. In this way, Washington has been trying to continue to play its leadership role in view of the new circumstances and through a new definition. By doing this and in view of the track records of Obama’s Republican predecessors, Washington has been trying to change the United States’ international image. Therefore, Obama has put the lion’s share of his focus on efforts made to amend the United States’ strategic documents and change the country’s overall image abroad. As a result, the United States’ public diplomacy has gained new value.

The United States has been trying to manage emerging challenges in the best manner in relation to vacillations in its international standing. Therefore, in view of the election promise that Obama had made to take the US troops out of the Middle East region, he first tried to live up to that promise, especially before the American public opinion and ahead of the forthcoming presidential elections in November 2012. However, what is currently evident in the US behavior is that the United States seeks to change the location of part of its forces in the region. Therefore, Washington has been engaged in negotiations with some Central Asian countries in order to find a new base for part of its military equipment and forces through a new process by posting them in the Central Asia. On the other hand, we see that the United States is redeploying part of its troops that were previously present in Iraq, to other parts of the Middle East, including to Kuwait and Qatar. Therefore, due to its definition of new rivalries in international arena, the United States is trying to pay more attention to the Central Asia region.

Therefore, the Americans have taken a set of new measures in Asia one of which is to define a new gravity point for the United States’ strategic initiatives in Asia. In the past years, the United States had been trying to keep Asia, especially the Association of Southeast Asian Nations region as a strategic reserve while endeavoring to come up with new ideas. Therefore, the United States pursues to change its role in Afghanistan. In doing so, it is distancing from its past policy which was based on its diplomatic traditions, and is attempting to get closer to China. According to the new policy, geopolitical propinquity must be realized in such a way as to contain China in new areas and also to prevent its progress in geopolitical fronts. Concurrently, the United States is trying to engage India as a new player in its strategic puzzle in Asia. Therefore, the presence of the United States in Afghanistan is changing from a purely military presence to a military, security and somehow economic presence. As a result, new unilateral policies that Washington has been pursuing have made other players more sensitive. Since Washington has started to follow special policies in Asia, Russia, has also began to follow a new political model. Russian President Vladimir Putin knows that the United States is playing a new game of domino which will ultimately force China, Russia, India, and even Japan to change their medium-term policies in order to make them more attuned to the ongoing change in the US foreign policy behavior.

From this standpoint, the US foreign policy is looking for new areas of activity. In the Middle East, apart from the traditional support for the Zionist regime in Tel Aviv, the Americans are in fact seeking to establish a new security system which would cover the entire Middle East. This issue was persistently pursued through the Greater Middle East plan in the past, but the current focus is one changing security arrangements in the region to produce a new situation on the basis of a chaos-promoting viewpoint. According to this viewpoint, recent developments in the Middle East have caused the United States to lose some of its allies in the region and the past situation has practically changed.

The former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, or Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia, or Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen were totally under the umbrella of the United States. However, due to the new developments in the Middle East, the US is now having a sense of imbalance in this region. Therefore, US officials have been not only thinking about management of the transition period in revolutionary countries that are influenced by the sweeping wave of the Islamic Awakening, but are also trying to create new challenges. This is why the United States has been putting more emphasis on the Middle East and has made more serious efforts to find new allies in the region. As a result, they have been trying for the past one and a half years to change Turkey’s traditional role in order to get Ankara more attuned to Washington’s foreign policy approaches.

On the other hand, the United States has been also trying to define a new political organization in Saudi Arabia. This is why the security officials of Saudi Arabia have been changing in parallel to increased visits to Saudi Arabia by the American officials and their insistence on giving more room to pro-American political forces. Anyway, the United States has been trying to use Turkey and Saudi Arabia as the axis of its desirable changes in the new model of the Middle East. On the other hand, due to the potential of the existing movements in the Middle East region, Washington has preferred not to enter Israel into any new equation. As a result, the United States has prevented Tel Aviv from taking positions which may cause sensitivities in the Arab and Islamic environment. The reason is that the United States foresees a new period in which it will be able to make the most of the role played by its allies in the region.

For this reason, they are overlooking the roles of many regional countries while simultaneously trying to organize a new security puzzle which will be most beneficial to the West according to the security games that they have defined in association with their allies. As a result, the United States is currently feeling that it has less time to form the future. Therefore, it has increased pace of its measures to make some developments happen sooner. At the same time, it is seriously seeking to establish new alliances. This measure is a direct result of the United States’ professional approach to international arrangements. In part, also, it is the result of bilateral mechanisms used by the United States and Washington’s attitude toward its special interests in the region. At the same time, however, the United States is trying through its allies as well as through international organizations like the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to follow up on certain projects whose main goal is to create new processes in order to establish the United States’ role as the leader of NATO. As a result of the above facts, the US strategic goals can be currently best defined within a bilateral framework which is pursued through a low-cost policy within NATO and similar organizations. It seems that the US policy in modern times is characterized by a series of new qualities. It is natural for other countries to have their own specific positions and take critical stances on the US foreign policy, which will cause Washington, in turn, to react to them as seems appropriate. This is why a protracted period of rivalry and limited challenges will continue into the foreseeable future.

Key Words: US, New Security System, Middle East, Public Diplomacy, Central Asia, Asia, Greater Middle East, NATO, Koleini

Source: Mardomsalari Newspaper
Translated By: Iran Review.Org

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