The Steps in the US Middle East Policy Shift


By Scott Morgan

The Mainstream media was all agog when it was Announced that the Trump Administration at first wanted to withdraw US Forces from Syria. Then it was revealed that the US would cease providing aid to groups operating in Northwestern Syria. It is now clear that these were just the first two steps in a potential shift in US Middle East Policy.

Just before Congress went on its Memorial Day recess, on May 25th, the House of Representatives passed the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act). Buried deep within the legislation is a provision that will provide $290 Million in Aid to the Peshmerga. This is good news for the Kurdistan Regional Government in Erbil. They have been clamoring for greater assistance from the United States for years.

There are two trains of thought here. First, is the idea of the US hedging their bets when it comes to Governance in Iraq. The Cleric Al-Sadr appears to be in a position to dominate the Parliament in Baghdad. He has taken positions that can be seen as both Anti-American and Anti-Iranian. This may put the US in search of new partners to work with in Iraq.

Developing this train of thought even further is the status of one minority that also has sought assistance not only from the United States but also from other Western Powers. The Religious Minorities in the Nineveh Plain region have believed that their concerns have not been taken into consideration. These Assyrians, Chaldeans and Yezidis also bore the brunt of the ISIS Offensive back in 2014 as well. These groups have also sought assistance from the United States. It is time for Washington to cement ties with these long suffering people.

It is clear that the actions committed by Turkey have not been forgotten either. Since the failed coup in July 2016 relations between Washington and Ankara have been strained to put it mildly. One of the major areas of contention has been the Civil War that has been raging in Syria. Although both countries seek an end to the Assad dynasty they back different factions seeking to remove the current sitting Syrian President.

There has been a response from the United States regarding the actions taken by Turkey. First is the legislation currently moving through Congress that will prevent Turkey from receiving the F-35 fighter plane. The facade of a trial regarding Pastor Brunson is just one of the reasons that has inflamed some ire within Washington. Suspending or cancelling the sales is a quick easy victory for those working against Erdogan.

Another move has been made by the Pentagon and the CIA that should have some analysts intrigued. It is now being reported that the US is moving some of its RPVs (Remotely Piloted Vehicles) from Turkey to Greece. The short term drawback is that it may reduce the time that these weapons are available over the Levant, which can be seen as another sign of growing distrust between Washington and Ankara. These two nations are supposed to be allies under the NATO banner as well.

Clearly, the Trump Administration seeks new options in a post-ISIS Middle East. One thing to remember is that change is always constant as allies and adversaries can change on a moment's notice often with little or no warning.

(Image: Middle East Map[Ed] - Google Images)

[The views expressed in this publication are solely those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Dissecting Society. © 2007-2018 Author(s) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED]

Comments

  1. The Middle East is going through some incredible changes and many more are coming. What do you guys think of Kuwait blocking a condemnation of Hamas at the Security Council?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Morgan,

    The US is going in the right direction as far as I'm concerned, especially if it continues to tackle the bad guys. Erdogan is one of such bad guys: since when does Turkey arrest Christian missionaries? And why is this country even still considered an ally? Food for thought.

    Cheers

    ReplyDelete
  3. Apparently Turkey and the US reached an agreement.

    ReplyDelete

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