Trump and the Middle East: back to the Past

Posted: May 22, 2017 in Uncategorized

President Trump made his first trip to the Middle East and in a second wiped out 8 years of President Obama legacy and reneged his non-interference campaign promises.

Saudi Arabia and Israel are the old best friends and Iran is the big baddie.

Saudi just bought its way in with an $100 billion US weapon purchase and pledges of USD40 billion investment in US infrastructure.

Apart the morality of this deal (zero available), this is an undoing of President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton.

While the morality is zero, it does make sense as President Obama practically lost the entire Middle East to Russia and Iran (Syria, Libya, Egypt, Iraq) and also Israel was wavering (in the last two years there have been many more visits between Israel and Russia than Israel and US).

The big loser is naturally Iran that again is the big terrorist sponsor.

Again the line is quite fine. If you are talking about religious terrorism this is not exact (Islamic State and Al Qaeda are Sunni and derive from Saudi’s Salafism), if you talking about political terrorism (versus Israel, in Yemen etc) this is correct.

Hopefully the posture against Iran is just a posture and not an escalating issue like North Korea – Iran is potentially harder nut to crack than North Korea.

North Korea is strategically isolated and can damage just China, South Korea and Japan. Plus its army, while scary, has never seen a real conflict and technologically is outdated.

Iran is in the midst of the oil-heart of the world. Its army and asymmetrical warfare strategies have been proven successful against Iraq, US (Iraq war), against Israel (Lebanon), against Saudis (Yemen) and against Islamic State and Turkey in various proxy war. Its Army is not at the West standard, but it has a lot of up to date Russian technology as it is a direct protege of the Russians.

Moreover, North Korea and Iran share at least some weapons technology. In early May Iran test fired a submarine cruise missile from a midget submarine of North Korean design. And a lot of Iranian missiles have a North Korean resemblance (or vice versa).

So while a war US/North Korea could potentially be contained, a US/Saudi/Israel war against Iran will not be contained.

The good thing is that tensions between the West and Iran started since 1979 and never escalated in direct wars (a lot of proxies as Israel knows only too well).



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