Written by Ibrahim Gharaibeh

Many analysts believe that the US strategy was created by major circumstances and events, many of which are no longer effective.

Many studies have been published discussing upcoming US policies and strategies, including the work of a symposium held by the US Air Force, in which a number of experts and researchers participated, including the former US intelligence expert on Middle East affairs, Graham Fuller.

The study was translated and published by the Emirates Center for Strategic Studies in 1997 under the title "Strategic Evaluation".

In fact, since the end of the Cold War, the American tendencies have started to conflict with three directions. The first is that the United States be the first dominant power, and that it seeks to prevent any other power from competing with it, even if it is one of the friendly and allied countries.

The second: establishing a balance of power that prevents the emergence of a new hegemonic power in a system in which Russia, China, Japan and Germany may participate, and other countries such as India may join, and other countries may emerge destined for weakness and perhaps to disintegration, such as Russia.

The third trend is isolation and self-reflection.

This controversy imposed itself after the collapse of the Soviet Union, America's uniqueness in leading the world, and the collapse of the bipolarity that had dominated the world since World War II.

In fact, never before has the world order been unilateral, as it was dominated by pluralism.

Despite the wars and conflicts that accompanied pluralism, unilateralism has proven incapable of achieving global stability.

As for the United States, after a period of hesitation, it took upon itself the task of containing the Soviet tide, and the conflict known as the Cold War erupted.

This was accompanied by the development of weapons of mass destruction, and the atmosphere of the Cold War dominated US foreign policy and national security strategy, and cast a shadow over defense decisions, the size of the military forces, the military presence and alliances abroad.

But the Cold War ended resoundingly when the Soviet Union collapsed and the relative balance of political and military power shifted in favor of the United States.

It can be said that the United States and its allies have established a zone of peace in which the outbreak of war between them is considered out of the question.

The United States did not choose a new strategy in line with the new reality that differs greatly from the previous one, and instead resorted to dealing with each issue or event separately according to the prevailing local and international data and conditions surrounding the issue, without this necessarily being consistent with an overall grand strategy.

The American visions summarize the current international climate after the end of the Cold War as follows:


1- Some Asian countries have achieved great economic growth, such as China, India, Malaysia and Thailand, and this may cause a shift in economic power, political geography and military.

2- Many countries around the world are witnessing political transformations towards democracy and market economies, as is happening in the countries of Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, Central America, and to some extent the Arab countries.

3- There are many countries and regions witnessing political conflicts and being engulfed by civil wars, famine and tyranny, followed by wars, migrations, and major economic and political effects.

4- Some countries such as Iran, Iraq, China, Pakistan and North Korea, with their military and economic capabilities, and their political and cultural differences with the United States, represent a constant concern that they seek to contain.

5- Technological changes, especially in communication and information technology, lead to major transformations in the economy, political and cultural influence, and changes in the balance of power, resources and competition, and affect the mobility of societies and power.

6- The intensity of economic competition and international trade frictions between the United States and its allies since the days of the Cold War may complicate future relations.

7- There are countries that are not satisfied with the new world order, such as Iran, Iraq, North Korea, China, Russia and Cuba. Russia and China may seek to achieve a balance with the United States.

The viewpoint of the American military is that America must remain hegemonic, and that plans and budgets are built on the basis of maintaining hegemony.

Can the United States maintain this strategy?

The military believe that this is also possible and obligatory, and they admit that the matter needs popular support that may not be available with the growing tendency to isolate and withdraw into oneself.

In addition to popular support, the US administration needs to build a new strategy based on controlling space, and to establish new concepts that are compatible with new technologies such as information warfare.

The second Gulf War gave an idea of ​​what could be achieved in the future, and this also required that the United States be an economic power and not allow others to compete with it.

Proponents of this option bet that the people will support a strategy based on supremacy and monopoly on hegemony if it is presented in a framework of reducing expenditures, achieving economic gains, and using new military technologies that reduce the loss of soldiers, and also if the potential losses are presented in other alternatives that the United States can take.

It is clear that it is a choice that places additional military and economic burdens on America.

If America abandons this option, it fears that it will lose the opportunity to determine the shape of the future by losing the necessary capabilities and preparations to face potential conflicts in the world, and will become in a weaker position when setting its long-term plans.

This option contrasts with the tendency to isolation, a strategy that was prevalent from the seventeenth century until the middle of the twentieth century. James Monroe, one of the first presidents of America, expressed this strategy by drawing a map of America around it with barbed wire and in front of it the slogan “We welcome visitors as long as they do not have guns.”

This strategy provides advantages that are acceptable to Americans, such as reducing the exposure of American soldiers and citizens to danger, reducing expenditures to address the budget deficit, and improving the economic competitiveness of the United States.

Supporters of the former option respond that isolation will lead to the return of the Cold War, and threaten the United States in the long run.

One of the possibilities in this case is the return of the national character to the security policy of Japan and Germany, because the US withdrawal will make both countries take charge of their own security affairs and rebuild their military capabilities, which leads to the return of the arms race and the consequent possibility of acquiring nuclear weapons.

Because of its technological superiority, Japan can quickly turn into a nuclear state if it so decides. It is also known that Japan can manufacture long-range missiles and naval fleets that include aircraft carriers.

He fears security threats to Israel if America withdraws from the Middle East, and Iran or Iraq may control the sources of oil and its supplies, so its prices will rise, threaten the American economy and reduce the standard of living of the American citizen.

Countries like North Korea and Iran could acquire nuclear weapons, and potential unrest in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East could reduce business opportunities.

As for the third strategic option, it is a middle ground between the two previous options, and is based on establishing a balance of power that prevents the emergence of a new hegemonic power. It is based on a balance of power in which major countries such as the European Union, Russia, China and Japan participate, and India, China, Indonesia and Brazil may join it.

To push the world in this direction, the United States will end its presence in Europe, as the Europeans complete their own capabilities and balance with Russia, which also prevents Germany from dominating Europe, and the Europeans will handle the events in the Balkans, Eastern Europe and North Africa, and the United States will not be involved militarily in conflicts local in these areas.

The areas of the former Soviet Union are left to Russian influence, a Sino-Japanese balance is established, and the two Koreas unite, which would prevent the regional hegemony of any country in Asia, and end the US military presence.

In the same context, America seeks to establish a balance in the Middle East and the Gulf between Iran and Iraq to prevent a regional hegemony, and the United States remains the dominant power in the Americas.

The balance of power system for the United States achieves a reduction in defense spending, reduces the need to deploy American forces in hot spots in the world, and enjoys greater freedom to pursue its economic interests without regard to political and military alliances.

In this case, America will develop its long-range space and missile systems, but this could provoke other countries to develop their defense, nuclear and missile capabilities, such as Pakistan, India, China, Iraq, Iran and North Korea, and may lead to the growth of the military power of Japan and Germany, which have the technical and economic qualifications.

In the Middle East and the Gulf region, an American withdrawal would threaten Israel and increase the chances of an Arab-Israeli war.

The US strategy in the Gulf and the Middle East will remain governed by considerations of securing the access to oil and its supplies at the lowest possible costs, and protecting Israel and securing a permanent superiority for it over the Arab countries combined.

And in recent years, a third element has begun to affect America's policies towards the region, which is the fight against "Islamic fundamentalism." Islamic movements in peaceful and public work and participation in electoral competition, even if this leads to the sacrifice of democracy and alleged human rights.

In his assessment of the future of American policy in the Middle East, Graham Fuller - a moderate politician - does not hide his support for any measures facing Islamic fundamentalism, and finds no reason to clarify these dangers and fears over the peace process and American interests accompanying the freedom available to fundamentalism, and he makes a great effort in theorizing about American policy. And the governments of the Middle East to strip the admiration and public support enjoyed by the Islamic movement without noticing the face of the public and popular logic that stands behind the great popular support for the Islamic movement.

The governments of Arab and Islamic countries - as Fuller suggests - need many improvements in their tactics to make their political systems more open and more receptive to criticism so that Islamists do not benefit from the deteriorating situation.

It is important that these political reforms are not fundamental because they will be in favor of the Islamist movements, and this is the dilemma that worries Americans as they think for their friends, as how can a reasonable amount of satisfaction, stability, and democracy be achieved while excluding Islamists from the system of political life.

Egypt is of great importance to the United States, as it is its main ally in the Arab world - and this estimate is adapted from the study of Graham Fuller - as it (Egypt) is the cornerstone of peace arrangements with Israel, and it has played the main role in the region in pushing other Arab countries to proceed It has moved forward in the peace process for the past fifteen years, as it is the most important Arab country whose policies affect all other countries in the region.

If an Islamic government takes over within the next few years, the peace treaty concluded at Camp David with Israel will be jeopardized, although it will not be automatically extinguished.

Although the Palestinians and Jordanians - and to speak to Graham Fuller - can move forward with the peace process, Syria could review its position, and Egypt may be in a position to help Islamist movements in the region.

As for the moral effect of Egypt's transformation into an Islamic state, it will be more important, as it will rearrange relations in the region, and Egypt may seek to end the presence of US forces in Sinai.

The United States is dealing with an unstable region according to the American analysis, but it does not want or cannot - as Fuller believes - to do anything to stop the deterioration and address the crisis situation in Iraq, Algeria, Turkey, Yemen and Somalia, and it seems that this situation is best for American interests.

But what worries the United States (and he speaks in his text to Fuller) is Sudan, whose "fundamentalist" government seeks to spread the Islamic call in Africa.

The Islamic Front in Sudan has links with other fundamentalist movements in the region, but Sudan has lost economic and political support from the Arab countries and is suffering from economic hardship, and the American intervention in South Sudan is both possible and required.

The division of Sudan into two states is a possibility, but the division of Sudan opens the way for ethnic divisions throughout the African continent and conflicts that have no other.

More than Sudan, Egypt rejects the establishment of an independent state in southern Sudan. Any hostile control of the Nile is a mortal danger for Egypt. Therefore, the unity of Sudan is a strategic issue that Egypt does not abandon.

It is not possible to exclude the occurrence of American intervention in some way in Algeria, Yemen, Kurdistan and Kuwait, and the military capabilities of Iraq and Iran will remain a constant source of concern, and it is possible that political conflicts will increase with time rather than ease as those countries tend to face the political, economic and social changes that have been delayed too long. .

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