At the end of his first mandate as POTUS  Donald Trump is shifting gears in the foreign policy of the USA, playing hardball on four different tables.
The news about a new round of official peace talks between Taliban, the Afghan national government and US envoys are opening the door for some serious considerations about the future in one of the most troubled areas of the world. The Trump administration wants to get out of the country, without the American presence all the allies will withdraw as well, leaving the Afghan government on its own. By all means, Afghan armed forces aren’t ready to stand against the Taliban, nor they could be able to take back control from the warlords in the north.
A few days ago I was thinking about the worst case situation; a full reverse to 2001, with Taliban in control of most part of the country, with ISIS ready to set up shop in Kabul and Pakistan in the role of the unofficial nuclear-powered protector. By all means, it will be a nightmare. Then I made up my mind, realizing that a significant number of changes had occurred in the last 18 years.
One of the most recurrent topics in the action movies, back in the ‘70s, was the fighting sequence in a hall of mirrors. Hero and villain chasing each other in a long series of hit-and-miss, until the dramatic end. It’s a good metaphor for what’s going on in the Middle East. A pity that there are a lot of players inside the mirrored maze and I can’t see any hero ready to save the day.
As predicted, things are getting hairy all over again in Syria, a place where too many conflicts are going on. The casus belli this time is the little town of Manbij, in the northern part of the country. Actually is controlled by Kurds, with logistic support from the US. Russians and Americans found themselves together against the will of the Turkish government to seize the town, a move that greatly enraged the leadership of this regional power. Check here the story, from Stars and Stripes.
Words are important, so choosing the right word for the current situation in Syria is a way to anticipate my position. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a simple definition of deadlock is:
a situation in which an agreement cannot be made : a situation in which ending a disagreement is impossible because neither side will give up something that it wants.
Present days Syria’s crisis is a good start to think about how Putin’s Russia look at the whole Middle East in short and middle terms (from 1 to 5 years). After the shake down of USSR in 1991 russian presence in the Middle East and in the Persian Gulf has been close to be wiped out. No political sphere of influence was viable for a nation in rubble, not to mention the overwhelming military power of the USA that was already on the brink to squash Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq.
All right, we’re on the eve of a bombing campaign against Syria. Everybody knows it and all of us already got the commemorative T-shirt (My brother bombed Syria and all I’ve got it’s this lousy T-shirt?). What we have to remember is that they’re waiting for an opportunity to strike back.
Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen, are you ready for another dirty little war? A new conflict will start before the end of this week so be sure to have enough popcorn and soda for the non-stop flow of TV shows about that. Now, it’s time to get some information.
Last november, in 2012, Iran captured an advanced american UAV (RQ-170 “Sentinel“) on its territory; that was quite embarrassing for USAF, the unmanned aircraft was captured intact ant the potential for a technological leak was a real threat. Many hypothesis were considered about how Iranians could get their hands on an intact drone and no official statement has been done from USAF about it.
This world is gonna change again in the next few years, driven by economic challenges and by the different needs of geopolitical big players. Here’s a brief summary about the major operations:
TAFTA, the Transatlantic Free Trade Area; will force an alliance between NAFTA countries (USA, Canada, Mexico) and EU, preceded by a massive revision of national and international economic policies about agriculture, OGM, steel production, value fluctuation of currencies and so on.
Russia-China, money for oil/gas/coal; Russia desperately needs to invest billions of USD to develop its oil/gas/coal industry, to explore the artic fields and to upgrade its refineries. China needs more and more energy every year, with enourmous mass of money ready to be invested. Advanced trade agreements are already in place.
Turkey as a regional power; it’s already on the move, Turkey sphere of influence covers Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Armenia, Moldova, Azerbaijan. The future challenge is to confront Israel and Iran on different grounds, in order to expand its influence over Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. It’s an hard game, both on religious and geopolitical sides.
India and its future development; this asian giant will face dramatic changes in a matter of a decade. The need for deep and shocking reforms can’t be delayed anymore with about one billion citizens who are on the edge of a society collapse. The original caste order will not last long, not with Dalit on rampage and the pressure given from the sheer existence of western models of society. The industrial system got to evolve too, in order to avoid the current level of pollution and to raise its salary capacity.
As you may see, each and every one of this operations got serious consequences for geopolical and economic stability of our world. This decade will be remembered.