To begin this post with the statement that Our Dear Leader plans to leave troops in Syria indefinitely….
According to State Department officials, President Trump has recently abandoned his desire to “get out” of Syria and bring US troops home. He has signed a new strategy, which includes new military goals, and eliminates all timelines for removing troops from Syria.
US troops are in several parts of Syria, mostly in the Kurdish-held northeast. An estimated 2,200 US troops are in Syria, though official numbers are being withheld from the public. Special Envoy James Jeffrey said the old plan was to leave Syria by year’s end, but now the troops are committed to an “indefinitely extended” stay.
The new goals are substantial as well, with the US now focusing on forcing Iran out of Syria and “enduring defeat” for ISIS. Jeffrey says the US is “not in a hurry” and that Trump is now on board with this idea.
The Middle East is one of those regions that few people understand….most people just write off the Middle East as a region that has always been in conflict and nothing will ever change.
With that oversimplification I do not agree with in any shape or form.
The reason these types of characterizations abound is because few people understand the Middle East and fewer attempt to understand.
By why is that?
A recent editorial in the Washington Post, written by columnist David Ignatius, offers a shining example of the United States’ difficulty in understanding today’s world and, most of all, the Arab world.
Ignatius conveys a genuine concern for “The Unintended Consequences of US Disengagement in the Middle East”, quoting worried comments made by a member of the Arab elite allied with the US.
The journalist expresses uneasiness about the fact that “American power and values won’t matter the way they once did”. His position is steeped in the typical intellectual milieu of American exceptionalism, a position based on the hardwired assumption that the condition for an ideal existence and a stable world order are ensured only when American power and values are strong and shared.
While the US drags its feet on the diplomatic front…China is not wasting any time to fill all diplomatic holds that the US creates…..
Tensions between the United States and China seem to be defining the bilateral relationship between the two countries these days. From a growing trade war to the Trump administration’s characterization of China as a “strategic competitor seeking to undermine U.S. power and influence” in its 2017 National Security Strategy , political and economic relations appear to have settled at a recent nadir.
But great power competition between the two most powerful militaries and economies is not geographically limited. China is indicating its intent to shape the Middle East’s regional and military landscape through trade relationships with regional states as well as through projection of its own military might. Below are three areas to watch where China’s more assertive Middle East engagement may lead to tensions with America.
The US is having to take to the sidelines…..although it is arming and propping up several countries in the region in the event that they are needed to fight a proxy war for the US…..Saudis, UAE, Jordan, and cash sucker Israel.
If the US loses the Middle East to China then I believe that the consequences will be great.