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US escalation in the Middle East

Feb 26,2018 - Last updated at Feb 26,2018

It is clear that the Trump administration in the US is adopting a new strategy in the Middle East that is far more engaged than the Obama administration.

This year, the US position in Syria has been very aggressive, both militarily and politically. This approach is likely to keep the crisis going, but it could also further spread chaos across the region. US policy in Syria has a real potential to fracture the country that would, at best, result in a federation of states, which is exactly what Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov suggested after US promised to withdraw troops following the fall of ISIS.

“It’s very likely that the Americans have taken a course of dividing the country. They just gave up their assurances, given to us, that the only goal of their presence in Syria — without an invitation of the legitimate government – was to defeat Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) and the terrorists,” Lavrov said.

The Russian foreign minister has expressed his concerns, calling on the US not to "play with fire" in Syria and emphasised that the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity must be preserved. He said, "Such fears arise when we get acquainted with the plans that the US is beginning to implement on the ground, primarily to the east of the Euphrates, on vast territories between this river and the border of Syria with Iraq and Turkey."

The change in US policy under President Donald Trump could lead to a spread of violence across the region, and as more groups join in, countries like Iran and Turkey will be impacted regarding their internal politics and security.

On his recent trip to the Middle East, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson gave the impression that moving the US embassy to Jerusalem is part of the peace process strategy for the Trump administration. Clearly, Jordan and Lebanon are fundamental to any strategy around Israel and Palestine, which puts Secretary Tillerson’s meeting with His Majesty King Abdullah into context.

Today, the major issues in the Middle East are centred around Syria, Iran, Hizbollah and Palestine. With the US return to Syria, and the obvious escalation with Iran and its allies, Jordan is key to US strategy. Further, the US is rebuilding its old regional alliances following Russia’s strong presence in the region. Given that we saw disagreement between Jordan and the US over the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem, this meeting and the discussions that took place are pivotal to both countries. The US needs strong regional alliances and Jordan seeks reassurances from the American administration regarding its role in the peace process, in order to avoid political isolation or a solution at the cost of Jordan.

With the increased US presence in the region, we will see greater engagement to maintain their allies. Pragmatically, one of the most effective ways to ensure the relationship stays strong is through economic support related to internal development, especially given the economic crisis developing in Jordan which, if it were to continue, would limit Jordan’s political options.

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Comments

I WISH TO REMIND MY FRIEND JACK THAT THE ISSUE IS NOT BECOMING OR NOT BECOMING A FEDERATION BUT HOW YOU CHOOSE YOUR POISON PILL. NO ONE CAN TELL ANY NATION HOW AND WHEN TO CHANGE THEIR CONFIGURATIONS NEVER MIND BY FORCE OF A MEMBER NATION OF UNDER THE UN CHARTER. THE IDEA OF WINNER TAKES ALL IA A BUNKER MENTALITY BASED ON GUN-BOAT DEPLOMACY WHICH WE ALL THOUGHT IA A HISTORY. DO NOT DO TO OTHERS WHAT YOU WILL NOT DO TO YOUR SELF. THE WORLD NEEDS FAIRNESS AND MAN'S HUMANITY TO MAN.

What , exactly, is wrong with Syria becoming a federation..? After all, =the boundaries are artificial.

YES, THE SITUATION IS VERY COMPLICATED, FRAGILE, DELICATE AND HAS EVERY POTENTIAL TO BLOW UP ON FACES. JORDAN DO DESERVE THE FOREIGN AIDS FROM EUROPE AND FROM US IN THE US BUT NO SUCH AID CAN OR SHOULD BE LINKED TO CHAOS THAT MAY FOLLOW FRAGMENTION OF A SOVERIGN NATION. IT IS A POWDER CAKE AND MR AMER IS WRONG BY LINKING 6.8 BILLION IN AID AS A NEUTRALIZING EFFECT BECAUSE IT COULD BE DANGEROUS EVEN CONTEMPLATE THIS BECAUSE MOST PEOPLE IN THAT REGION WILL REGARD SUCH AID AS A BRIBE FOR DIVID AND RULE.

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