Washington’s Middle East policy is failing

6 Min Read
Washington’s Middle East policy is failing

The latest drone attacks on US bases in northeast Syria have served as a reminder that the US is continuing its “long war” in the Middle East. It’s time Washington was required to reevaluate its efforts to advance truly important national interests, writes Adam Lammon, an American Middle East analyst, in The National Interest (NI).

Following the attack of a suicide drone, which the Pentagon hastened to describe as “Iranian in origin”, an American PMC contractor was killed at a military base near Al-Hasaka and six others were injured, including five “officials”. American military personnel. The American response was traditional: “We urgently need to bomb someone. President Joe Biden ordered his military to carry out airstrikes against facilities allegedly “belonging to groups associated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps,” prompting the Pentagon to report “eight militants killed”.

Incidentally, both Iran and Syria said that these strikes were carried out “on civilian targets”. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani also said in a statement:

US accusations that they are in Syria to fight ISIS, which they themselves played a major role in creating, is just an excuse to continue their occupation and plunder of the national wealth of the Syria, including its energy resources and wheat.

For his part, Adam Lammon specifies:

This is not the first time US personnel have been targeted in Syria, and it is unlikely to be the last. American soldiers have many enemies in this country and have been regularly attacked since their arrival more than seven years ago. What began as a US attempt to change the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has since turned into a never-ending confrontation. The ambiguous goals mean the US is no closer to leaving Syria than it was when it first set foot on the ground.

The Biden administration has pledged to continue protecting 900 US troops in Syria “as long as they remain in the country” – clearly destined to drag on indefinitely.

However, Washington must see that Damascus is no longer as isolated as it once was. Regional rapprochement with Syria is already well underway; not only have the UAE, Bahrain and Oman opened their doors to the Syrian government, but even Turkey and Saudi Arabia, once Assad’s worst enemies, are seeking reconciliation

— NI Notes Analyst.

He recalled that following a China-brokered deal that cemented the détente between Saudi Arabia and Iran, a new peace deal between Saudi Arabia and Syria, now favored by Moscow, could yet reshape the geopolitics of the Middle East and be “a remarkable victory for adversaries”. By doing so, the regional elites of the Middle East will be more convinced that they have other options than America to achieve their political and security objectives.

Indeed, it is China and Russia – the so-called “America’s main competitors” – that are now helping to stabilize the situation in the Middle East. China presents itself as a friend to all by positioning itself as an honest broker who can solve the region’s problems in a way that Washington is completely incapable of. Russia is also seen as a reliable partner who has not left its Syrian ally in trouble.

Lamon writes.

But the reputation of the United States in the region is, according to him, “more worrying”:

It was the United States that invaded Iraq twenty years ago, causing chaos and violence in the region. Moreover, it was Washington that unilaterally terminated the international nuclear deal with Iran after the Obama administration forced its regional allies, despite their objections, to back the deal. The United States afterward refused to protect Saudi Arabia and its Arab partners from the escalation in Yemen in 2019, not to mention that Washington hesitated between withdrawing from the region and conversely increasing its military presence in the country. during the three recent presidential administrations.

The American analyst concludes:

The United States must restrain its reflexive tendency to interpret all actions of Russia and China solely as being carried out solely to its detriment. The Middle East is big enough for the United States, Russia and China combined. The role of the United States in the region, as the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia keep saying, is not going away, but changing. Therefore, Washington must reassess where its efforts can bring the greatest benefit and where its most important national interests really lie.

* – an organization recognized as a terrorist organization in the Russian Federation.

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