Trump Withdraws from the Middle East… Is this the end of the American Empire?
In 2010, before the outbreak of the Syrian crisis, I wrote an article in Al-Rai Al-Akher magazine entitled "Middle East 2010 - The Decisive Battle," in which I predicted that there would be a decisive battle in Syria that would have implications for the United States like the consequences of Nazi Germany's failure at the Battle of Kursk in 1943 in the face of the Soviet Union. Just as Stalingrad was the battle that determined the maximum extent of German progress eastward, Iraq was the maximum extent of eastward expansion of the United States. Just as the battle of Kursk marked the end of the Third Wish Reich, the sudden American withdrawal from Syria, which was a declaration of failure in the great battle on its territory, would lead to the end of the American empire.
Kursk 1943 … The decisive battle for Germany
In restoring parts of the article published in 2010, sixty-seven years ago in the Russian city of Kursk near Ukraine, the world was on a date with the largest tank battle in history between the German army and the Russian army. Germany suffered its first defeat in World War II when its besieged army surrendered in Stalingrad in February 1943, four months before the Battle of Kursk. By that time, German armies had defeated and occupied Poland in the autumn of 1939. They were then applied to Denmark and Norway in April 1940, followed by the defeat of the Netherlands, Belgium and France in June 1940, making them the undisputed lady of the European continent, not even the British harassment would have disturbed the mood of the Fuhrer Adolf Hitler.
In the east, an agreement between German Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop and Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov divided the influence between Russians and Germans in Eastern Europe. But this was not satisfactory to the German leader since Soviet leader Joseph Stalin refused to give up traditional Russian influence in the Balkans. Hitler accepted the terms of Stalin in 1939 because he intended to pounce on France, but after achieving his goals in the West, he had to regain what he saw as vital influence in the Balkans. This was the reason why two million German soldiers, backed by thousands of tanks and planes, invaded the Soviet Union on 22 July 1941. For about two years German armies were wandering in the Russian plains in search of a decisive victory that would make the Soviet Union surrender. The German generals settled in September 1942 to deal a decisive blow to the Moscow front, but Hitler's diligence settled on the strike on the southern front towards Stalingrad. The Führer considered that the capture of Moscow would be a symbolic but indecisive victory, he had the experience of Napoleon 130 years ago when the French emperor captured Moscow but eventually lost the war. However, the move towards Stalingrad would have allowed Germany to deprive the Soviets of the oil fields in the Caucasus and bypass Moscow by crossing the Urals and Siberia and separating the Russians from the Islamic republics in Central Asia. If Hitler had succeeded, his empire would have extended from the Atlantic Ocean along the line from Germany, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium and France, to the Pacific Ocean in the east along the shores of the Soviet state of Kamchatka to the Sakhalin Islands. The defeat at Stalingrad deprived Hitler of his dream and opened the door to talk for the first time about the inevitable defeat of Germany in the war. To avoid this fate, the Germans had to win a front-line victory in the east along a line from Leningrad in the north to Crimea in the south. To achieve this goal, they had to establish control of the city of Kharkov by achieving a decisive victory in the area around the city in the battle that would be known as the Battle of Kursk.
The United States is based on looting
In 1991, the Soviet Union-led Socialist bloc collapsed after decades of Cold War with the United States and its Western European allies. This event opened the way for Washington to dream of undisputed world leadership. This global leadership was vital to the United States not only to ensure a high level of well-being for Americans, but also to keep the United States ... united. One hundred and fifty years ago, American armies were fighting the biggest war in their history, the American Civil War. The northeastern states had begun industrialization since the early 19th century. By the middle of that century, new markets were needed. The nascent American capitalism turned to finding new markets and citizens to expand settlements as immigration to the United States expanded. The Yankees (North Americans) viewed the southern states as a new market for their goods, and a corridor for their expansion to the West. Until then, the union of the 13 states that became independent from Britain in 1776 was a weak confederation that kept the states almost completely independent. But the conditions for market expansion had to impose greater centralization and limit the autonomy of the states until the barriers to internal trade were removed. The civil war would have refused to give up their political rights. Six years later, northerners managed to win the war by strangling the south's economy after a blockade prevented it from exporting cotton to British factories. But later they gained satisfaction by engaging southerners in the economic gains of industrialization. Sharing economic benefits has since been the formula for strengthening American unity. This formula made the United States rely on "looting", and since that time the unity of the United States has become linked organically to the distribution of the benefits of this looting to its citizens. To plunder, America had to expand and fight wars, which necessitated an imperialist role. Since its inception in 1865, the unity of the United States has been associated with its transformation into a superpower. The "democratic" system was only a means to achieve this goal, says Peter Gran, the democratic system is the best system to manage a war economy.
In the aftermath of the Civil War, the Americans were due to the Indian wars that destroyed millions of Indians and confiscated their lands. The last of these wars ended with the defeat of Indian leader Geronimo in the late nineteenth century, until the Americans had another war with Spain that took them out of the Caribbean and lost their colonies in the Philippines, which came under American control. This period followed the stage of the carrot and stick policy adopted by Washington to impose its political control on Latin American countries. This was followed by the participation of Americans in World War I, which was the first harbinger of the United States becoming the world's first superpower to succeed Britain, which was achieved after World War II. After that war, Washington became the strongest military and economic power, and colonial powers such as Britain, France and others became its subsidiaries. The period from 1945 to 1990 was a glorious period in the history of the United States that was only troubled by the challenge posed by the influence of the Soviet Union and its allies.
Dream of world leadership
The US victory over the Soviet Union was a result of its economic exhaustion in an arms race. This led the Soviets to spend their savings on a weapon of no economic value that led them to the abyss. But this arms race also exhausted the United States itself. Washington found that while it was focusing on defeating Moscow, other powers such as Japan and Germany both deprived of armament were focusing on developing their means of production to be better quality and cheaper. On the eve of the Great Victory, America discovered that it was three decades behind Germany and Japan in developing the means of production. At the same time, China was on the verge of becoming a major economic power as Russia sought to restore its balance, which it was achieved with Vladimir Putin's coming to power in 1999.
How can a superpower survive in a world where the economy has become the first criterion of power? The United States had to find a way to catch up with Germany and Japan by making their production more expensive. The way has been to monopolize oil, the world's main energy source for centuries to come. The United States also had to reorganize the world's spheres of influence in proportion to its interests to become the main rapporteur in a multi-polar world. In his book The Great Chessboard, former President Jimmy Carter's national security adviser outlined Washington's policy for the post-Cold War world. In this book, Zbigniew Brzezinski argued that the United States should control the Middle East stretching from the Atlantic to the Chinese border. This control will allow the United States to control the sources of oil and make it blackmail the economies of Japan, Europe and China. It would also prevent the formation of the Eurasian pole by Russia's accession to Europe and would allow Europe to be isolated from Africa. Thereafter, control of Europe will be facilitated by maintaining an explosive area that threatens European security in the Balkans, and it will facilitate the control on Russia by linking it economically with the United States. By controlling these poles, it will be easier to control Africa and Asia, especially in the light of the Chinese culture, which has always pushed China to converge.
Throughout the 1990s, the United States was trying to achieve its strategic goal while other powers were trying to block that effort or defend their interests, but without clear strategic policies. The situation was very similar to the conflict between Germany and the Soviet Union on the Russian plains. The German strategy was trying to achieve its military and political purposes, controlling Europe until the Urals, and the Russian strategy was based on defense and reaction in an attempt to hinder the German endeavor and reduce its losses.
Germany as well as the United States, which was pursuing its strategy in the face of forces reactive and trying to obstruct without entering into a decisive confrontation with the United States.
Leadership passes through Afghanistan and Iraq
At the dawn of the new millennium, Americans had to make decisive decisions in order to resolve the issue of their leadership to the world unchallenged. It was this leadership that would have provided the United States with a new loot that would be distributed among the Americans. It was this distribution of the tunnels that would have ensured that the western American shores on the Pacific Ocean would not fall under the influence of China's rising star in that region. It was this looting that would have offered economic benefits to East Coast Americans in order not to fall under the charm of a culturally attractive Europe. It was this looting that would satisfy southern states, which have always sought to secede from the north through economic bribes. It was this looting that silenced the voices of hungry minorities such as Spaniards, blacks and Asians. Just as World War II was necessary to create vital areas for population growth and German industry, the war on terrorism was essential for the United States to take control of the Middle East. Germany fabricated in September 1939 “Polish attacks” by German soldiers dressed as Polish soldiers on German border villages as a pretext to fight the war, the United States used the September 11, 2001, attacks on the New York Twin Towers to invade Afghanistan and Iraq. The war in Afghanistan in the fall of 2001 was an opportunity for the United States to determine the extent to which it aspired to dominate the Middle East. The war in Iraq would have given the United States an opportunity to give depth to this Middle East as well as to control of oil. The next step was to overthrow or adapt the regime in Iran and Syria to complete control of the Middle East. The coups it supported were in Georgia and Ukraine to protect its front wings in the Middle East.
The US victory in Afghanistan, especially in Iraq, was inconclusive. The new pattern of asymmetrical warfare adopted by the United States during the Cold War against the Soviet Union was learned by other powers and adopted to block the American project. So, Iran and Syria supported the Iraqi resistance and made the occupation expensive for Washington, as for Russia it supported counter-coups to besiege President Mikhail Saakashvili in Georgia and to remove Viktor Yushchenko from power in Ukraine. This was accompanied by an economic crisis in the United States that was the most prominent factor in the election of Barack Obama as the first black president in American history.
Towards American Kursk
With Obama, the Americans have become aware of their limited capacity, so they pushed for a political agreement with a loyal Iraqi government to ease their forces so that they can focus on tightening their grip on Afghanistan. On the other hand, Iran has benefited from the American stumbling, not only to ward off the threat from its Islamic regime, but also to extend its influence on a number of strategic positions, whether in Lebanon through Hezbollah, or in Gaza through Hamas, or in Yemen by supporting the Houthis against both Yemeni and Saudi government forces. The US situation today is similar to that of Hitler following the Battle of Stalingrad. Just as the latter had hoped to reach the heart of Asia and the Pacific after his army surrendered on the banks of the Volga, the Americans realized that their project for the greater Middle East up to China's borders was out of reach. But as Hitler in the Battle of Kursk tried to establish his position in Eastern Europe in order to maintain a global leadership role, the United States is also aware that it must stabilize the lower boundaries of this Middle East that it wants by maintaining its control over the Arabian Peninsula and the Fertile Crescent, which includes Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan. For this, the United States must fight a final, decisive battle against opposing forces.
There is too much analysis that an imminent war will take place in the Middle East. Predictions abound in a US or Israeli strike on Iran on the pretext of violating nonproliferation laws. Diligence also multiplies in the nature of the course of this war. Above all, the United States should respond to Iran's expansion because it comes with Chinese and Russian support, but the war will not take the traditional form as it did with Iraq and Afghanistan because this would be too expensive for the United States, however a new form will be taken of an asymmetric war.
The support of the "reformists" in Iran in the last presidential elections was one aspect of this war. Other local civil wars could be formed in places of Iranian infiltration, such as Lebanon, Palestine and Yemen, as well as economic sanctions against Iran and its allies, and other aspects of this war that could strengthen these breakthroughs and will threaten US control of the Middle East and deprives them of the role of global leadership. If this leadership is removed, the looting on which the United States has relied upon since its inception will cease, and the spoils that can be distributed to Americans will be superfluous, which will push separatist movements to rise and threaten the unity of the American entity. Obama may be unwilling to fight this war because of its high cost, but he or others might fight it, or America will disappear as Hitler was defeated in the Battle of Kursk.