If you ever thought that Barack Obama would change the post-Cold War/War on Terror assumptions and find a new direction for US global security policy, the last nail has been hit into the coffin of hope.
The Obama administration plans to bolster the American military presence in the Persian Gulf after it withdraws the remaining troops from this year, according to officials and diplomats. That repositioning could include new combat forces in able to respond to a collapse of security in Iraq or a military confrontation with Iran.
It is clear that the US ‘footprint’ in the Persian Gulf and Middle East will continue to expand with both the goal and justification of encircling Iran. Although overthrowing Saddam Hussein removed the ‘natural enemy’ of Iran, thus enhancing the latter’s influence in the region, it was also a war to clear the path of an aggressive US national security strategy. The US needed both an excuse and a place to establish a strong military presence in the region and was counting on a weak Iraq to provide both.
In addition, last year the Administration agreed to sell Saudi Arabia $60 billion in weapons and began building a tailored down ‘missile defense system’ against Iran. It will send more naval ships through international waters in the area and strengthen the Gulf Cooperation Council, composed of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other assorted emirships and kingdoms (do we still need to add ‘undemocratic’).
Nuclear issue only part of Iran story?
The US is actively challenging Iran on its nuclear program. But this is only half the story. The real goal is to halt China and Russia from expanding their influence and economic partnerships in the region.
This is the stuff World Wars are made of.