Middle East and Asia Geopolitics: Shift in Military Alliances?

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Written by Prof Michel Chossudovsky; Originally appeared at Global Research

A profound shift in geopolitical alliances is occurring which tends to undermine US hegemony in the broader Middle East Central Asian region as well as in South Asia.

Several of America’s staunchest allies have “changed sides”. Both NATO and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are in crisis.

Turkey and NATO

NATO is characterized by profound divisions,  largely resulting from Ankara’s confrontation with Washington.

Turkey –which constitutes NATO’s heavyweight– is now fighting US-supported Kurdish rebels in northern Syria, –i.e  the US which is member of NATO is supporting and financing Kurdish rebels who are fighting a NATO member state.

While Turkey formally remains a member of NATO –which has an integrated and coordinated air defense system–, the Erdogan government has purchased Russia’s S400 air defense system which is slated to be used against America’s Kurdish proxies in Northern Syria.

A NATO member state is now using the air defense system of an enemy of US-NATO against US-NATO supported rebels.

In turn, Turkey has dispatched troops to Northern Syria with a view to eventually annexing part of Syria’s territory. In turn, Moscow and Ankara have established an alliance of convenience.

Israel is a firm supporter of the formation of a Kurdish state in Iraq and Northern Syria, which is considered as a stepping stone to the formation of Greater Israel.  Tel Aviv is considering the relocation from Israel of more than 200,000 Jewish ethnic Kurds to the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

In turn the bilateral military cooperation agreement between Turkey and Israel is in jeopardy. Needless to say these developments have also led to the reinforcement of US-Israeli military cooperation including the setting up of a US military base in Israel.

Meanwhile, Turkey  has established closer links with Iran, which ultimately contributes to undermining US-NATO strategies in the broader Middle East.

The New Middle East

Washington’s strategy consists in destabilizing and weakening regional economic powers in the Middle East including Turkey and Iran. This policy is also accompanied by a process of political fragmentation (see map below)

Since the Gulf war (1991), the Pentagon has contemplated the creation of a “Free Kurdistan” which would include the annexation of  parts of Iraq, Syria and Iran as well as Turkey (see US military academy map below). 

Under these circumstances, will Turkey remain an active member of NATO?

Middle East and Asia Geopolitics: Shift in Military Alliances?

Qatar and Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s economic blockade directed against Qatar has created a rift in geopolitical alliances which has served to weaken the US in the Persian Gulf.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is profoundly divided, with the UAE and Bahrain siding with Saudi Arabia against Qatar. In turn Qatar has the support of Oman and Kuwait. Needless to say, the GCC which until recently was America’s staunchest Middle East ally against Iran is in total disarray.

While the largest US military base in the Middle East is located in Qatar, the Qatari government has close links to Iran. Moreover, Tehran came to its rescue in the immediate wake of the Saudi blockade.

While US Central Command (USCENTCOM) has it’s headquarters at a US military base outside Doha, Qatar’s main partner in the oil and gas industry including pipelines is Iran. In turn, both Russia and China are actively involved in the Qatari oil and gas industry.

Iran and Qatar cooperate actively in the extraction of  maritime natural gas under a joint Qatar-Iran ownership structure. These maritime gas fields are strategic, they constitute the World’s largest maritime gas reserves located in the Persian Gulf.

Middle East and Asia Geopolitics: Shift in Military Alliances?

In other words, while actively cooperating with Iran, Qatar has a military cooperation agreement with the US, which in practice is directed against Iran. US Central Command based in Qatar is responsible for military operations against enemies of  US-NATO including Iran, which happens to be Qatar’s main partner in the oil and gas industry. The structure of these cross-cutting alliances is contradictory. Will the US Seek regime change in Qatar?

Meanwhile, Turkey has established a military base in Qatar.

These new alignments also have a direct bearing on oil and gas pipeline routes. Qatar has abandoned the pipeline route project through Saudi Arabia and Jordan (initially sponsored by Turkey) in favor of the Iran based pipeline route out of Asuleyeh through Iran, Iraq and Syria, which is supported by Russia.

Russia’s geopolitical control over gas pipelines going to Europe has been reinforced as a result of the Saudi blockade.

Middle East and Asia Geopolitics: Shift in Military Alliances? Middle East and Asia Geopolitics: Shift in Military Alliances?

In turn, Qatar is also slated to integrate the pipeline routes linking Iran to Pakistan and China via Iran’s port of Asaluyeh.

Middle East and Asia Geopolitics: Shift in Military Alliances?

Pakistan, India and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO)

Another major shift in geopolitical relations has occurredwhich has a profound impact on US hegemony in both Central and South Asia.

On June 9, 2017, both India and Pakistan became simultaneously members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), the Eurasian economic, political and mutual security organization largely dominated by China and Russia. Needless to say, the membership of India and Pakistan in the SCO affects their military cooperation agreements with the US.

While the SCO with headquarters in Beijing is not officially a “military alliance”, it nonetheless serves as a geopolitical and strategic “counterweight” to US-NATO and its allies. In the course of the last few years, the SCO has extended its cooperation in military affairs and intelligence. War games were held under the auspices of the SCO.

With Pakistan and India as full members, the SCO now encompasses an extensive region which now comprises approximately half of the World’s population.

Middle East and Asia Geopolitics: Shift in Military Alliances?

SCO Enlargement

The simultaneous instatement of both countries as full members of the SCO is not only symbolic, it marks a historic shift in geopolitical alignments, which has a de facto bearing on the structure of economic and military agreements. Moreover, it has also a bearing on the inner-conflict between India and Pakistan which dates back to the countries’ Independence.

Inevitably, this historic shift constitutes a blow against Washington, which has defense and trade agreements with both Pakistan and India.

While India remains firmly aligned with Washington, America’s political stranglehold on Pakistan (through military and intelligence agreements) has been weakened as a result of Pakistan’s trade and investment deals with China, not to mention the accession of both India and Pakistan to the SCO, which favors bilateral relations between both countries as well as cooperation with Russia, China and Central Asia at the expense of  their historical links with US.

In other words, this enlargement of the SCO weakens America’s hegemonic ambitions in both South Asia and the broader Eurasian region. It also has a bearing on energy pipeline routes, transport corridors, borders and mutual security, maritime rights.

With the development of Pakistan’s bilateral relations with China, since 2007, the US clutch on Pakistan politics — which largely relied on America’s military presence as well as Washington’s links to Pakistan’s military-intelligence establishment– has indelibly been weakened.

Pakistan’s full membership of the SCO, its links with China and Iran should contribute to reinforcing the powers of the Islamabad government.

Concluding Remarks

History tells us that the structure of political alliances is fundamental.

What is unfolding is a series of contradictory cross-cutting coalitions both “with” the US as well “against” the US.

We are witnessing shifts in political and military alliances which largely contribute to weakening US hegemony in Asia and the Middle East.

Is Turkey intent upon opting out of NATO? It’s bilateral relationship with Washington is in disarray.

Meanwhile, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) which constitutes America’s staunchest ally in the Middle East is no longer functional. Qatar has not only aligned itself with Iran, it is actively cooperating with Russia.

In turn, America’s bilateral military cooperation agreements with both Pakistan and India are also affected following the accession of both countries to the SCO, which constitutes a de facto military alliance dominated by China and Russia.

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  • SG

    Egypt and Syria aspire to join the SCO as observers, this is required for them to join as member states.

    http://www.fort-russ.com/2016/06/syria-egypt-israel-apply-to-join-sco.html

    http://www.interfax.com/newsinf.asp?id=683491

    Expert believes Egypt, Israel, Syria and Ukraine are interested in rapprochement with SCO

    More: http://tass.com/world/914038

    I can’t see Israel and Ukraine joining anytime soon, Israel never.

    • LR captain

      yes with so many Arabic states that support the Independence of palatine, Israel may never be granted observer status.

    • Gary Sellars

      Nazi Ukrops have nothing to contribute. Let them rot in a shit-hole of their own making.

  • Brother Ma

    Turkey , nato heavyweight since when? It cant even win against kurds who are armed with nothing more than anti tank gun!

    • RGtz98

      Its the 2nd biggest in numbers and they were somewhat good before the huger purges

      • dutchnational

        Israel has shown in six war it is not numbers that count, at least not in the MENA.

        • LR captain

          what is Hezbollah?

          • Tommy Jensen

            Turkey will not leave. Why should they as long as its comfortable balancing on two horses.

        • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

          Yes an every single war they started and when losing cried to the US and UK to bail them out. Please spare me your naivete on the subject and stop being a distracting Hasbara troll.

        • SG

          As U.S. Army Col. Douglas Macgregor (ret.) explained, the Turkish army possesses the strongest land force in NATO. They still utilize tracked armor en masse, prioritizing tracked vehicles such as the ACV-15, modernized M113, etc over their wheeled counterparts like the Pars, etc.

          https://www.fnss.com.tr/en/products

      • LR captain

        if turkey leaves NATO, they will have to pour money into Greece to so they can try to use it to project power. but sadly Greece is in some serous money troubles so for all the military camps, air port, navy bases needed to house enough troops in order to invade turkey and seal Russia in the black sea. The rest of the member states will need to pay out of their own pocket. Plus give Greece extra money to keep the country stable and try to erase the pro Russian support there. (Russia was willing to give Greece a major loan so that they could secure the rights the pipe line.) that was during the time the European banks were thinking of cutting Greece off.

        Because if Nato tells Greece to pay for new bases Greece might quit.

        Now since Nato already tried to overthrow turkey legitimate government. Turkey will most likely ask Russia for help if the CIA tries that again. So it is unlikely that they will try an overthrow again.

        • Mortal

          As a Greek that favors Russia over US I can tell you that there is but little support for Russians over here. It is also untrue that Russia was willing to give financial help to Greece, since when GRexit was talked about, we tried to get help from outside EU (China, Russia). Anyway, the country is totally bound to the NATO policies, and politically we are bound to the EU, much like a protectorate that has lost sovereignty.

    • RTA (Bob or Al)

      They haven’t even fought the Kurds yet, so what are you on about.

      • Brother Ma

        Been fighting kurds for thirty years in turkey and kurds and isis in opearation euphrates.: they did shitly.yes i know it is not a word.

    • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

      The Turks have never fought the Kurds and every time the PKK/YPG Kurds attacked the Turks they flee to Syria and Iraq after being pushed back. It’s the PKK/YPG Kurds can’t win against the Turks , things are always deceiving about who the Kurds really are as most are not really the same people.

  • Zainab Ali

    zio lapogs and non zio lapdogs are evident worldwide …. the difference is immense … the choice of either perm hell or heaven stay is clear as day now

  • dutchnational

    This professor is writing towards the end he wants to see and disregards all fact he does not want.

    Fi saying the GCC does not function anymore as its smallest member with some 200k citizens (out of altogether some 40 million?) is “out” is weird reasoning.

    Putting India, Pakist and China in the same group is like putting oil and water in a vase and start saying you have a vase of unified fluids. Nonsense.

    In the end though, Russia is an almost second rate power because of its lack of population and an industrial base.

    The coming superpowers will be China, India, Brasil, US and a unified Europe if it can gets its act together. I am dubious about Nigeria and Indonesia. Russia will be halfway between a first rate and second rate power.

    Just saying.

    • RTA (Bob or Al)

      Next time, you decide for a “just saying”; do us all a favour and say it in you head.

    • observerBG

      The US is projected to have growing and growing debt untill it bankrupts itself. China is projected to have an economy twice as bigger than that of the US.

      Europe is in severe decline, half of it is bankrupt, and projections show that at some point there will be no european countries among the top 10 economies of the world.

      Europe is projected to decline from 20 percent of the world economy today to 7 percent of the world economy in 2050. Similar decline is occuring in the US.

    • Mortal

      Damn, that was such a shallow pile of thoughts! What does it even matter if Qatar got 200k population, if it has control over a huge amount of resources? And also, how can you make that paradigm of the SCO, when NATO comprises of nations totally heterogeneous with each other as well. Strong alliances are created in time, through cooperation. Russia a second rate power? You gotta be nuts. When it comes to conventional warfare, none can even make a comparison. Maybe now is the era of “smart” war, but you should know that real war means men fighting in a battlefield, not drones bombing towelheads. Also, as an EU citizen, unless the neoliberals and their right wing extremist pets stop gaining ground, you can say bye to the union soon enough, and the state of EU will be nightmarish afterwards.

      • Kell

        Globalists losing to Nationalists is a god send for the people of this world, what you are seeing now in Syria is an attack of Globalism on Nationalism in Europe the people are finally fighting back.

        • Mortal

          In my opinion, nationalism is the lesser of two evils. History has taught us unforgettable lessons when it comes to nationalism. I do not believe there is any future in isolated states with belligerent tendencies towards each other. We are living in an interesting era of transition. The outcome is uncertain, but I keep hoping that something better will rise. As for Europe, I highly doubt there is enough fighting back. I see more and more divisions happening instead of a united European front of peoples against the oppression of the current EU regime, spearheaded by Germany. Look at the rise of right wing movements in the continent. Do you really believe that’s the way to fight back against the notions of globalism?

    • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

      His analysis is quite accurate in describing the situation as he does not take anything lightly as the US and EU are on the decline but the US being in the worst shape of the 2. Russian industrial base keeps steadily improving, whereas in the US that is only tied to war and nothing else suicide for an economy in the long run. Russia and China will be the 2 leading superpowers as the US steadily becomes a second- third rate power as their debt will continue strangle them and their military.

      The rise of other groups will supplant the US and EU as decision makers and economic powerhouses. Jews and Israelis are making the shift already as they go where the money is and not where it’s not.

      • SG

        I hope that Russia and China persecute them, they’ve been terrifically critical of Rothschild, Soros, and others. In the meantime I fear they won’t give them what they deserve.

        • Terra Cotta Woolpuller

          The Jew bankers move their money to this monetary system as even they see the petrodollar falling, but they will try to manipulate this banking system but gold is the buy in not US dollars.

          • SG

            The member states of EEU, BRICS, and SCO are creating multiple monetary payment systems to replace the petrodollar; China will be the dominant economic partner, but will maintain its close relationship with Russia and continue to cooperate with its closest geopolitical partners.

            Rothschild and the rest will be at the mercy of their hosts who have proven to be particularly critical of the globalist clique’s behavior, they welcome their investments and relocation of gold to China. Once the dollar collapses, Russia and China will spring their trap to seize apprehend them and freeze their wealth and assets.

          • SG

            The governments of the United States, NATO/EU, Israel, and Saudi Arabia will be at the mercy of China and Russia close behind them. This will lead to the Western world being leveraged into drastically shifting their policies to a drastically new direction focused, on the best possible development towards a free, open, prosperous, respectable, and morally responsible society.

            The mask of the Satanic globalist clique ideologically that is founded on Sabbatai Sevi’s lunacy (and other sources of influence) will come off and many of the crooked kleptocrats of the Western world across all governments, businesses, and industry will be at the mercy of the emerging superpowers at hand.

  • RTA (Bob or Al)

    An interesting article thanks.

    may I also add:

    – that Pakistan declined the wish of Saudi Arabia to join the genocide project in The Yemen.

    – that Pakistan declined the wish of the USA to join the genocide project in Afghanistan.

    – Germany has moved its base out of Turkey.

    – India as usual sucks up and buys both US and Russian military hardware. I would not trust them as far as I can throw them.

    – The US has turned against their beloved one, the women President of Myanmar (Burma).

    – The Philippines, Venezuela, NK and many others including European Countries are now fighting back “diplomatically” against the US.

    – Your images are misleading; South Stream (Turk Stream), is well under way, between Russia and Turkey.

    – Your images are misleading; Nord Stream II, is well under way, between Russia and Germany.

    You can no longer take just a region out of the Global business model.

    There will be many more examples of the changes and knock-on effects that are occurring, I mentioned but a few …. you can then also talk about the ditching of the Petrodollar and so on and so on………..but it all comes out to one common factor.

    THE AMERICAN EMPIRE IS IN DEATH MODE; in my view they committed suicide.

    • Tommy Jensen

      Dream on. America is stronger than ever.
      An US government of Military generals and Financial experts from Wall Street who owns all Western media.
      A military budget larger than the military budget of the rest of the world, and when our new colonies dont pay off, our allies Japan, Saudi and Europe pay 100´s of billions $ to fill our pockets up……LOL.
      And our allies like to be fo.cked, because they can brag about their friendship with the leading nation of the world….LOL.

      • Solomon Krupacek

        thus this is not so pink as you think ;)

      • RTA (Bob or Al)

        Don’t forget the excellent form of democracy it shows to the World.

        + The World’s respect for keeping the globe in a state of consistent growth, continuity and peace.

        ++++++++

        PS God I hope your comment was satire or sarcasm.

    • jklahsd32 laksd13

      -india acting for whats best for it, good
      -pakistan is chinas bro
      -burma is chinas bro which makes its genocides a bad thing, otherwise genocides are fine

  • Rob

    MIDDLE EAST AND ASIA GEOPOLITICS: SHIFT IN MILITARY ALLIANCES?

    This article is written so nice, true and in detail. SCO will defend poor countries interests. It will cause heart attack to Benjanyahu and Trump Zio establishment.

  • RichardD

    Jewmerica is a twisted perversion of America. With Jew pedophile rape cultists subverting America and using it to advance their Jew world order hegemony drive.

    This evil racist suppremisist pedophile rape cult and it’s scofflaw Israeli crime state should be eradicated to create a Jew free future of peace, prosperity and freedom for our planet.

    UN Committee for the Rights of the Child, UNHRC and ICC crimes against humanity investigations of Judaism oral suction circumcision statutory pedophile rape rituals of 1,000 Jew cult children a week should be commenced as part of the Jew cult eradication process. To get rid of these evil cult practitioners who are doing so much harm to humanity.

  • Rodger

    Russia did the thing smart kids do when they see another more dominant/aggressive kid playing with the toy they like (Turkey), they pick up another toy (the Kurds) and start loving the heck out of it. Pretty soon the more dominant kid will take that toy away from them and forget about the toy it had. The smart kid then grabs that. You see this behavior with Chimps too.

  • Solomon Krupacek

    very unserious article. that joke map with divided ME…
    i see, great jordan :DDD
    shia arab country and iran would merge the next day ;)
    and israel without golan… how lovely guys :DDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD

    and so on

    and so on ….

  • Solomon Krupacek

    the prognose is simply:

    there will be no new alliences.

    russia is not islamic country. this is the reason, why never made real alliance with syria, and will much less with iran. with china they are competitive antagonists in central asia and far east.

    india is india. china is lepra for countries around. has no potential to form alliances.

    turkey will never leave nato. they now, how many is 2 x 2 ;)

    maybe ukraine, deorgia will enter nato. this is the most probably.

    and maybe IL will enter EU and NATO. negotiations are about this step. and nato offered membership for australia.

    so, this is the reality.