by Vladimir Gujanicic
The nuclear deal is cancelled, Iranians proclaimed that they restarted enrichment of uranium. Some countries continue to provide support to the deal, but some like US and Israel are strongly against it. The simple view on this matter almost always misses the real point. The nuclear program never was the reason, but excuse. The real reason is the New Middle East and its evolution.
Now, after 7 years of bloody war, the shaping of the new Middle East is visible. The Iraqi army and PMU units totally annihilated ISIL as a conventional force and degraded it to the level of partisan warfare. Muqtada al-Sadr created a coalition with pro-Iranian Fatah Alliance and stabbed Saudis and US in the back, and who have hoped that he will help them create a more neutral Iraq. At the end of the war, the US and their regional allies got an even worse nightmare.
Now it seems that nothing will stop Iran to get to the Mediterranean Sea. The program of highway from Iran to Beirut is no longer a secret just as it is not a secret that Syria, Iraq and Iran talked and planned to connect themselves, in the wake of US withdrawal, with gas and oil pipeline routes, which would turn these Middle Eastern states into economic and military “monsters”. Sure, this is the biggest problem for Israel, and here is why.
The demographic image of Israel is shifting negatively in the terms of a goal to turn Israel into a state for Jewish people only. Some prognoses go to the point that in 10 years Arab speaking population will be 30% of Israel. Israel’s prime minister said that going beyond 20% is very dangerous to Israel’s existence at this point. The plan to destroy Axis of resistance with massive hybrid warfare combined with Arab spring movement and coordinated with Gulf monarchies and other regional US allies is doomed. Recent attacks confirm that there are no capabilities for broader regional war. So, what is left? As Iran is entering Syria as a key ally of Damascus and expanding its military presence in form of rocket capabilities and paramilitary groups which are under its control in Iraq and Syria, the Axis of resistance is strategically winning. The Syrian army is very experienced as it is in the war for 7 years. The military capabilities of the resistance movement are getting stronger, while Israel has only an air force as the very active part of its military with non-stop active combat and special missions in the region, especially in Syria. Israeli prime minister spoke several times that he will not let Iran enter Syria, and after that statement, Israel’s air force conducted several air raids from a long distance beyond Syrian airspace. But every military analyst knows that this tactical “success” could not shift any balance of power in strategic terms. Israel, due to strong Syrian air defence, is not capable to wage air camping and regional war, thus it is not clear what is the strategy of Israel.
Iran and its allies knew very well that the goal is the strategic victory in forming the new Middle East, so they will not respond with a total war on such provocations as they are winning the war already, the very same one that Israel is trying to stop in its favour. Due to the fact that they cannot do this, the question which constantly asked is why is Israel doing this attack if at the end it will be encircled?
Many Israeli politicians and secret service people say that this policy has no perspective and has no beneficial strategic gains in comparison with 1967. Although the potential victory might shift power to Israel’s favor, this time has long passed. The US army, as the leading power of the western world, has since not shown that it has any capabilities to start an all-out regional war.
Another issue is Israel-Russia relations. For now, Netanyahu succeeds in lobbying Putin to not deploy S-300 to Syria or at least to Damascus area, and which could be very dangerous for Israel as that would put an end to its rocket attacks against Damascus. Still, this “gift” to Tel Aviv is not resolving the key Israeli question, namely how to stop Tehran’s expansion on the Mediterranean and destroy any alliance against Israel. In terms of warfare, the strategy of Axis of resistance is very simple, they would block the path leading down to the Golan Heights and Lebanon and start a massive rocket attack from Syria, south Lebanon and Iran on Israel, while the Syrian air defense would keep Israel’s air force grounded or at long distance from the theater of war. The analysts who hint at this potential war, are not predicting results in favor of Israel in terms of conventional warfare.
The final stage of the Middle East conflict will be very interesting. Unless Israel does not start to play some secret card, not yet visible to the world, the Middle East will be evolving in a predictable direction.
NOTE: This article first appeared at Balkans Post.