By Vladimir Gujanicic – “We lost our lead” was a sentence repeatedly uttered by Senator McCain during the last years of his life. Few people understood what he really wanted to say. A few years after that, it gradually became clear to everyone. Breakdown of the patterns of interventions by America and its allies in Syria, and the Middle East in general, was a key moment, after which the very concept of American alliances began to disintegrate. Even after the first cruise missile strike approved by President Donald Trump, Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu declared “Turkey is ready to follow America.” American leadership was at stake that night. Since the Pentagon’s military analysts realized it was impossible to gain air superiority over Syria and at the same time wage a regional war against Iran and Russia, America has given up on the regional war. That moment became a watershed – “America lost leadership.”
Given that the entire “Arab Spring” operation was designed to satisfy America’s interests in the Middle East and Europe, as well as those of its allies, the only option was for the operation to succeed. The fall of Syria would allow the Persian Gulf’s energy resources to be linked to the European Union, Erdogan would receive his neo-Ottoman empire wherever the Muslim Brotherhood came to power, while Israel’s main enemies would be destroyed with a single major blow. But the opposite happened.
Loyalty without cover
As it became clear that America could not win and maintain foreign policy synergies between itself and its allies, a tense situation arose. The need for US allies to formulate a new foreign policy to meet their existential needs and for America to maintain them in their political course, to prevent or, better, slow down the plans of countries in the opposing “bloc.” For example, Iran’s entry into the Mediterranean and its closer ties with Iraq, the construction of Russia’s gas pipelines for the European Union, connecting Russia, Kazakhstan and China with a giant network of highways, etc. Of all US allies, we can say that only Israel remained firmly attached to US foreign policy in the Middle East for the simple reason that the projection of Israeli policy was not only calculated for economic gain as in the case of other US allies, but also for its bare existence, considering the perspective of the development of the Middle East. Seeing how America could not pursue its goals and their interests, the US allies realized that only America and Israel were benefiting from the waste of their resources trying to stop the formation of the New Middle East, while there will be nothing to satisfy their interests. Along the way, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Turkey and other EU members who wanted to meet their energy demands started leaving the whole operation. In doing so, abandoning the outlined foreign policy course did not go directly against America, but was adjusted in those areas that matched their mutual interests. Germany has made it clear that Nord Stream 2 will be built, Turkey has gone too deep co-operating with Russia in building the Turk Stream and buying the state-of-the-art S-400 air defense systems, Qatar has officially recognized Iran as a real power of the Islamic world in the Middle East, while the United Arab Emirates were among the first to return the ambassador to Damascus and begin investing in the Syrian economy.
The US, of course, could not stand idle while all these processes were underway, but the US allies also became aware that a direct American intervention against any of them would further put American foreign policy in question, so they continued to pursue their own foreign policy. What we have seen is that America can only slow down processes but not reverse them. The Italians became aware of these facts as they joined the Chinese Silk Road, as did the Germans with the Nord Stream. The Turkish leadership almost lost its head, but has shown that sovereignty policy within NATO is possible, even to the extent that by their opposition they have put the very existence of NATO in question. “We lost the lead,” John McCain said. These words of the late US Senator, an ardent advocate of the “Pax Americana” policy echo in the ears of many.
Even though a new global war will not be fought in the same way as World War II (Thank God), parallels can still be drawn in some processes. When Germany was losing World War II, its allies were trying, at crucial moments, to leave Germany and formulate a new policy to save their nations from certain destruction, to break away from the losing team. And even though Germany slowed down this process with the interventions in Italy, Hungary and other countries, general development on the fronts doomed German politics and German satellites ended the war the way they had to. And even though the situations are not fully comparable, we must conclude that similar processes are taking place in America when it comes to its allies, with the fact that US military retaliation would have catastrophic consequences on its own policies, while economic measures (sanctions) and political intrigues do not halt the existing process of the disintegration of US foreign policy, they do slow it down. Some already see that America, with a planned creation of the “Transatlantic Zone” with the UK, which is finally leaving the European Union, is restarting from new, although reduced positions. Still, there are those who believe that America will “miraculously” manage to reverse the process. Time is on the side of the multipolar world, which is waiting for a definitive American response.