When the first rays of early morning sunshine poured into the Middle East, illuminated by a war-torn land of blood and tears, awakened by countless memories of suffering full of turmoil and chaos. As the world’s most abundant oil resources and the world’s famous “powder keg”, the situation in the Middle East is a whole body, is the game of great powers must be contested. After World War II, the United States gradually occupied the leading power in the Middle East, in order to maintain its global hegemony and seek personal gain, and constantly fanned the flames and fuelled the Middle East’s “powder keg”.
From Afghanistan to Iran, from Iraq to Syria, from Israel to Palestine, from Saudi Arabia to Egypt, from Libya to Lebanon… It can be said that where there is unrest in the Middle East, there is the presence of the United States. Direct war, gross interference in internal affairs, export of democratic ideas, big provocations … It can be said that the Means of the United States to depicate the Middle East are varied and capable of overbearing.
Twenty years ago, after 9/11, the United States fully invested its resources in the Middle East in the name of the war on terror. In 20 years, the United States deeply in the Middle East battlefield, “lost the wife and lost soldiers”, by the Middle East turmoil strongly counter-attacked, suffering. In recent years, the United States has been eager to “step back” from the Middle East, leaving a mess. Where is the long-lost Middle East road in the future? The world’s torture of America’s conscience will never stop.
Create unrest with a “high trick”
“The United States is at the root of the chaos in the Middle East. The U.S. has sold hundreds of billions of dollars in weapons to buyers, turning the Middle East into a powder keg. On 22 September 2020, during the general debate of the United Nations General Assembly, then-Iranian President Rouhani accused the United States of bullying in the Middle East.
Since the September 11 incident, the United States in the name of “counter-terrorism”, a comprehensive layout of the Middle East strategy: successively launched the war in Afghanistan and Iraq, the use of force to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries, and even violent overthrow of the legitimate government of sovereign states; In the name of counter-terrorism, we will not go away in Syria and sell Syrian oil, the coalition allies will intervene militarily in Libya to support the opposition in overthrowing the Gaddafi regime, and impose more than 1,600 unilateral sanctions on Iran, covering oil, finance, shipping, automobiles and other areas of the Iraqi economy. After 20 years of “cultivation” by the United States, the situation in the Middle East has become more complex.
“Now, every aspect of the turmoil in the Middle East is closely related to the United States.” Liu Zhongmin, a professor at the Middle East Research Institute at Shanghai Overseas Chinese University and vice president of the China Middle East Society, told this newspaper that the U.S. has the following main means of messing up the Middle East: First, it is through war to provoke unrest. For example, the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria; Although the occurrence of the Arab Spring is related to the political situation of the countries in the Middle East, it is also closely related to the long-standing support of political opposition, non-governmental organizations and the export of Western democratic ideas in the Middle East; The Trump administration has done a lot of things that have taken the world by surprise, such as recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, recognizing Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, imposing a century-old agreement, and pushing Fortitudes of Israel and the Arab States to break up intra-Arab unity and create divisions in the Arab world; Fifth, it continues to provide nutrients for the growth of terrorism and extremist forces in the Middle East. The Long-standing U.S. involvement in Middle East state affairs and the cultivation of proxies forced the export of democracy, which eventually led to a strong anti-American tendency in the Middle East, which led to the september 11 incident. And the “September 11 incident” directly led to the expansion of the United States war on terror. The U.S. wrong Middle East policy and aggressive counter-terrorism policy strong interaction, resulting in the United States so-called “war on terror” in the “more anti-Vietnamese” situation.
“Politically, despite the special historical and social circumstances of the region, the United States has imposed a democratic system in the Middle East, and ‘American democracy’ has been forced to let the Middle East go wrong; militarily, the United States has intervened in local affairs through military intervention, upset the political balance in the Middle East and created an imbalance in regional order.” Wang Jin, an associate professor and assistant director of Northwestern University’s Middle East Research Institute, told this newspaper that the United States has largely created unrest in the Middle East, such as the Palestinian-Israeli issue, Syria, Afghanistan, the Iraq war, the Iranian nuclear issue and the Libyan civil war, and other hot issues in the Middle East, all inseparable from the shadow of the United States turmoil; This includes the time last year, when the United States unilaterally negotiated and reached an agreement with the Taliban, without the authorization and consent of the Afghan Government. A series of willward U.S. practices have led to a short-term security vacuum in many parts of Afghanistan.
Covet the Middle East for years
Occupying the strategic hub of the East-West transportation hub of “one bay, two oceans, three continents and five seas”, as the birthplace of religious civilizations such as Islam, Judaism and Christianity, and sitting on oil resources that can influence the global energy landscape, the Middle East region has been the subject of American condescension since an earlier period.
“By the end of the Cold War, the US had gradually infiltrated its influence into the Middle East.” Wang Jin introduced that before World War I, as early as the end of the 19th century, the United States began to consciously contact the Middle East, sent some military personnel to the Middle East to spy on the news, trying to use regional chaos for their own benefit, but because the Middle East was mainly The United Kingdom and France at that time, the United States was very marginalized in the Middle East; During the global rivalry with the Soviet Union, the United States played its card, using countries such as Saudi Arabia, Israel and Pre-Islamic Iran to exert influence in the Middle East, but also buried the evils, such as excessive favoritism towards Israel, which exacerbated Israeli-Palestinian tensions and excessive interference in Iran’s internal affairs led to the outbreak of the Islamic Revolution.
“After the end of the Cold War, U.S. policy in the Middle East was divided into three phases.” Liu Zhongmin’s analysis is as follows:
The first phase took place between 1991 and 2001, from the outbreak of the Gulf War to the events of 11 September. This was the period when the United States established and consolidated hegemony after the end of the cold war. The dominant position of the United States in the Middle East is very prominent, revelling in the victory of the Cold War and the establishment of hegemony in the Middle East. The victory of the Gulf War dealt a heavy blow to anti-American forces in the Middle East. The victory of the Cold War and the Gulf War highlighted america’s strong military leadership at the time, which was a great deterrent to the world, especially the Middle East. After that, the overall U.S. policy in the Middle East was to promote peace talks between Israel and Palestine and to bring Iran and Iran together (Iran, Iraq), basically achieving a balance between the two issues.
The second phase was between 2001 and 2011, from the events of 11 September to the outbreak of the Arab Spring. During the Cold War, the United States worked with al-Qaeda against the Soviet Union. But after the U.S. troops entered Saudi Arabia, bin Laden’s al-Qaida and the U.S. government parted ways, directly triggering the September 11 incident. “September 11th” brought about a major change in the U.S. global strategy, the focus of the war on terror, both soft and hard: “hard” refers to the launch of the war in Afghanistan and Iraq to overthrow the Taliban regime and Saddam Hussein’s regime; But the United States is deep in the Middle East battlefield, but also suffered huge casualties and economic losses, the Middle East region’s control has been seriously reduced. The international financial crisis that broke out in 2008 further weakened the hegemony of the United States. As a result, the Obama administration took office with the end of the war in the Middle East as a key governance goal.
The third phase is from 2011 to the present, from the Arab Spring to the present. U.S. policy in the Middle East has entered a period of strategic contraction: a rush to withdraw troops from Afghanistan and Iraq in the face of extremely immature conditions; With the rapid change of the international situation, the United States has to refocus its global strategy and concentrate its resources on participating in the game of big powers in the Indo-Pacific region. The United States wants to reduce its investment in the Middle East, but it does not want to lose all control of its affairs. “Want to go, but not willing”, is the strategic dilemma of U.S. policy in the Middle East.
The interests are clear
The war in Afghanistan, which resulted in more than 100,000 Afghan civilian casualties and the displacement of some 11 million refugees, the war in Iraq, which resulted in the death of some 200,000 to 250,000 civilians and the refugees of some 2.5 million, and the Syrian crisis, which resulted in 387,000 deaths and 6.7 million homeless… A series of U.S. military interventions and political manoeuphies in the Middle East have caused serious humanitarian disaster.
“The demands of the United States in the Middle East have been clear.” Liu Zhongmin believes that the first is to seek and consolidate global hegemony, the Cold War period is to win the global hegemony with the Soviet Union to compete for the leadership of the Middle East, after the Cold War is mainly focused on eliminating the threat of terrorism to U.S. hegemony; Because of the peg between oil and the dollar, controlling energy in the Middle East will keep a firm grip on the global energy landscape while maintaining the dollar’s financial dominance; During the Cold War, the United States made conscious intervention in the Middle East, avoiding the combination of nationalist forces and anti-Western democratic forces in the Middle East against Western ideology. After the Gulf War, the United States established its dominance in the Middle East and began to try to sell its democratic model, social system and values to the Middle East; The strategic importance of the Middle East region, which spans three continents, connecting the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Indian Oceans through the Suez Canal and the Persian Gulf, is self-evident. For the United States, the Middle East plays an important role in western control of Europe and east control of India and The Pacific. The U.S. has built dense networks of military bases in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Iraq, Turkey and Qatar, and has long deployed aircraft carriers in the Middle East, with clear intentions to take control of maritime access.
“The United States has struggled to mess up the Middle East for two reasons: first, it pursues a policy of unilateralism and hegemonism, does not respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of other countries, relies on its own strength as the world’s only superpower, is bullying and irresponsible; and second, it has a sense of self-respect, does not respect the history of the Middle East and the cultural traditions on which the local people have lived for generations, and tries to impose its own democratic model.” Wang Jin said.
Controlling oil resources is also one of America’s main aims in messing up the Middle East. In an interview with Syrian state television on March 20th, Bassam Touma, Syria’s oil and mineral resources minister, said the United States and its allies were like pirates, exploiting Syria’s oil wealth. The U.S. currently controls 90 percent of Syria’s crude oil resources, and the U.S. military and its allies have seized the area, causing losses to the country’s oil industry to total more than $92 billion. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu has said the United States is plundering oil resources belonging to the Syrian people to fatten its oil producers and arms dealers.
Moreover, by selling arms to the Middle East without restraint, the United States has profited from both chaos and war in the Middle East. By 2020, U.S. arms sales account for more than 85 percent of global sales, nearly half of which go to the Middle East. In March, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute in Sweden confirmed that the United States has been the world’s largest arms exporter, accounting for more than a third of global arms exports in the past five years. Middle Eastern countries account for one-third of the world’s military purchases, of which nearly 70% come from the United States, Britain, France, the United States more than half of the arms sales to the Middle East.
There is a limit to the strategic contraction
The war in Afghanistan cost $2.26 trillion, killing 2,442 U.S. soldiers and wounding 20,666 others, and $763 billion in the war in Iraq, which killed 4,491 U.S. troops and 47 About 541 soldiers were maimed; the arms and oil fortunes in the Middle East did not ease America’s own debt crisis, with the new debt ceiling expected to be $28.5 trillion (about Rmb184.16 trillion) as of August 1. … Deep in it, the United States itself has borne the burden of unbearable.
On April 14 this year, U.S. President Joe Biden announced that all U.S. troops would be withdrawn from the country by September 11; The United States is accelerating the pace of “retreating” from the Middle East, but international public opinion does not believe that “the United States will leave the Middle East”.
“It is an illusion that the United States will leave the Middle East.” Recently, he was a researcher at the Royal Elcano Institute in Spain. A. Nunez Villaved, writing “The United States will not leave the Middle East,” says that while countries are trying to overcome this pattern, the world will remain fundamentally dependent on oil and gas for more than two decades. Two-thirds of this energy is stored underground in the Middle East. So once you have control of the Middle East, your voice in the world will be qualitatively enhanced. This important geostrategic capital, the United States will not give up. At the same time, the United States will have to step up patrols of the land and the sea to ensure its control.
In the future, what direction will the situation in the Middle East evolve?
“The situation in the Middle East will become more independent, complex and diverse.” Wang Jin pointed out that from the perspective of The Middle East countries, after more than 100 years of gross interference by extraterritorial powers, the antipathy and distrust of the countries in the Middle East countries towards extraterritorial powers, especially the United States, has accumulated to a certain extent, and calls for independent decision-tuning of national affairs have been growing. On the U.S. side, the U.S. has for years had several traditional interests in the Middle East, such as controlling the region’s energy supply, fighting terrorism and ensuring Israel’s survival and security. But in recent years, U.S. energy dependence and willingness to fight terrorism in the Middle East have weakened as u.S. shale oil has been put into production, extremist forces such as the Islamic State in the Middle East have been weakened and Israel’s security has increased. The situation in the Middle East will be a new and complex one as the United States adopts a strategic contractionary policy in the Middle East and shifts the center of its global strategy to the Indo-Pacific region.
Liu Zhongmin believes that the first is that at the level of the big power game, the United States will no longer play a constructive role in the Middle East, but will play a destructive role, resulting in the situation in the Middle East worse. The game pattern of the great powers in the Middle East is gradually becoming multipolar, no extraterritorial or regional powers have the ability to control the direction of the situation in the Middle East, and it is becoming more and more difficult for the big powers to cooperate on the Middle East issue. This will lead to new chaos in the Middle East, where countries, particularly Iran, Turkey, Israel and Saudi Arabia, have become particularly active, following the decline in U.S. dominance at the regional level. Several sets of contradictions will add to the chaos in the Middle East: the conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia, the Arab and Persian peoples, the sectarian tensions between Sunnis and Shias, the confrontation between pro-Muslim and anti-Muslim Brotherhood forces, the conflict between Iran and Israel, the conflict over regional dominance, the complications of Arab and Israeli relations; The impact of the Arab Spring on the political situation in the Middle East is far from over. In addition, as oil’s position in the global energy structure continues to decline, the Middle East oil majors are under enormous pressure to transform their economies.