Written by Maj. Gen. (R) Khalid Marshoud exclusively for SouthFront
The Biden administration is facing an arduous task within exceptional circumstances, represented by a national crisis and the continued coronavirus pandemic that is still out of control. Having come to power not so long ago, Biden has already signed a number of executive orders that defined the political course on urgent issues. He canceled many of Trump’s orders, such as a prohibition to citizens of some mainly Muslim countries from entering the United States, halting the US’ withdrawal from the World Health Organization and rejoining the Paris agreement on climate change, with a particular effort in grappling with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy and the country’s healthcare system.
Biden has already taken an important step in the Middle East, and temporarily halted arms sales to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. However, despite numerous claims during his electoral campaign, no significant steps have been done towards the normalization with Iran yet.
Biden faces critical internal political crisis, which resulted from mismanagement, reinforcement of hatred, suppression of the media, freedom of speech. This caused the storming of the Capitol accompanied with riot and violence, slogans and symbols threatening the American Union, reflecting a separatist spirit and a tendency to racism, which prompted the deployment of the National Guard to protect Washington, DC and secure a safe transition of power.
Biden can only manage this crisis and restore the American social path to stabilization by establishing stable cooperation between Democrats and Republicans. This is unlikely within the current political environment and the Republican majority in legislative councils. Trump’s ideology has been entrenched in minds of many Americans, and adopted as a political concept, indicating the fragility of democracy as Biden said, and the possibility of the US strength factors turning into weakness if not addressed immediately.
Evidence and events reveal that American society suffers discrimination in rights and freedoms. Social networks that represent the freedom of expression and are out of government suppression became platforms for the oppressed and actively contributed to the overthrow of dictators. Trump used it to turn against American democracy, but he did not find the freedom he wanted, so his account and thousands of pro-accounts were closed, what constituted a real coup against public freedoms under the pretext of inciting violence within an oppressive concept.
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America and the whole world are preparing for deepening of economic crisis as a result of debt pyramid collapse, economic decline and a decrease in global production as a result of epidemics and struggle for survival.
Military conflicts and wars are one of the best means for solving domestic crisis, uniting people to counter external threats, overcoming internal problems and disagreements. They contribute to the expansion of arms and military equipment trading, reviving the economy within limited wars beyond national borders, while completely avoiding direct involvement in conflicts that do not constitute a vital threat. These conflicts will shape the system of international relations during the next decade.
The most complicated and important issue for the United States is the Iranian nuclear deal, which collapsed due to Trump’s policy and the pressure from Israel and the Arab Gulf states. It has become the major concern to the countries in the region and Europe due to the obsession with increasing Iranian stockpile of uranium, which will be a stumbling block for bringing Iran back to the agreement with new conditions.
Iran enjoys critical importance in US policy due to its geopolitical position, its vastness, and demography; and at the era of the Mohammad Reza Shah , it was a strong ally of America in the Middle East and its police officer, and enjoyed distinguished relations with Israel. After the Khomeinist revolution, the relationship between the two countries deteriorated; but despite their dispute, the two sides shared common approaches to some regional issues, for example, as it was during the Iraqi aggression against Kuwait, or during the deployment of Soviet troops in Afghanistan.
The real disagreement lies within the Israeli interests and the panic of the Gulf States.
The media war raging between Iran and the United States with its allies is brinkmanship as a preapprehension to the negotiating table. In fact, Iranians realize that they cannot confront the United States; and Washington knows that disputes with Tehran cannot be resolved by military means; the war with Iran would be long-term, indefinitely wide and costly.
The Iranian issue is linked to the interests of many of America’s traditional allies in the Middle East. Besides Israel, there is Saudi Arabia, which suffers from problems related to the cruel and reckless behavior of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the Yemen war and the Biden administration’s stance towards it, a freeze of supply of some countries in the region with US weapons, and the Jamal Khashoggi file. The United States relationship with the Gulf is governed by US and Israeli interests and their continued financial blackmailing in exchange for American protection; it looks friendly but in fact it is superior – subordinate manner.
There is also the Turkish factor, whose political approach has become more independent; but Ankara remains a partner of the U.S. if its regional interests are fulfilled, and is used to counter Russian expansion in Syria and Libya.
The Biden administration is seeking to conclude a comprehensive and stronger agreement to ensure that Iran will not develop nuclear weapons and includes ballistic missiles as a means of threat to the region. However, Israeli position remains one of the main obstacles for normalization between Washington and Tehran.
Tel Aviv seeks to prevent the return to the 2015 nuclear agreement or any form of agreements that might enable Iran to develop nuclear weapons or obtain any related know-how. Israeli forces were ordered to step up preparations for possible offensive action against Iran during the coming year. The airspace, lands and military bases of the Persian Gulf countries will be used to counter Iranian objectives within the framework of the normalization agreements.
Thus, despite numerous claims, the U.S. President has not abandoned the military scenario against Iran in light of show-of-force tactics, putting its forces in the Gulf region on high alert. The US B52 strategic bombers are regularly patrolling the region and the CENTCOM’s commander visits the regional countries including Israel. In addition, Washington sets new tough conditions for returning to the nuclear agreement that it knows Iran will not accept.
Washington seeks to revive its traditional alliances to establish a united front under its leadership to confront China, Russia, Iran and North Korea. This is a sign to consider European interests in addressing global crises including the Iranian nuclear issue, and the expected emergence of American trend to increase its military presence in Iraq and re-employ ISIS to counter Iranian influence.
Biden will escalate the conflict with Russia and impose more sanctions, under the pretext of its cyber-attacks on sensitive American sites, as he sees it as the greatest threat to the United States.
There is no doubt that Biden faces complicated challenges on the domestic and global arena, which he inherited from Trump’s presidency within a political arrogance based on the principle of win and loss as the only equation. In the domestic dimension, there are several bold challenges, including the widening ideological division between the Americans that threatens the US democracy, as well as the uncontrolled spread of the Covid-19 pandemic and the potential economic decline and the rising unemployment.
Biden and his administration cannot ignore all these problems. The traditional solution may become a rapidly increased external threat for the US homeland security, whether it is real or fake. Therefore, the Iranian issue could be Biden’s important tool for reuniting the Americans, and appeasing Israel alongside with the American Jewish lobby by waging a limited war that prevents Iran from possessing nuclear weapons.
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