Why Are Washington's Clients Getting Cozy With Moscow?

Submitted by Nauman Sadiq,

Turkey, which has the second largest army in NATO, has been cooperating with Russia in Syria against Washington’s interests since last year and has recently placed an order for the Russian-made S-400 missile system.

 

Similarly, the Saudi King Salman, who is on a landmark state visit to Moscow, has signed several cooperation agreements with Kremlin and has also expressed his willingness to buy S-400 missile system.

 

Another traditional ally of Washington in the region, Pakistan, has agreed to build a 600 mega-watt power project with Moscow’s assistance, has bought Russian helicopters and defense equipment and has held joint military exercises with Kremlin.

All three countries have been steadfast US allies since the times of the Cold War, or rather, to put it bluntly, the political establishments of these countries have acted as virtual proxies of Washington in the region and had played an important role in the collapse of the former Soviet Union in 1991.

In order to understand the significance of relationship between Washington and Ankara, which is a NATO member, bear in mind that the United States has been conducting air strikes against targets in Syria from the Incirlik airbase and around fifty American B-61 hydrogen bombs have also been deployed there, whose safety became a matter of real concern during the failed July 2016 coup plot against the Erdogan administration; when the commander of the Incirlik airbase, General Bekir Ercan Van, along with nine other officers were arrested for supporting the coup; movement in and out of the base was denied, power supply was cut off and the security threat level was raised to the highest state of alert, according to a report by Eric Schlosser for the New Yorker.

Similarly, in order to grasp the nature of principal-agent relationship between the United States on the one hand and Saudi Arabia and Pakistan on the other, keep in mind that Washington used Gulf’s petro-dollars and Islamabad’s intelligence agencies to nurture jihadists against the former Soviet Union during the Cold War.

It is an irrefutable fact that the United States sponsors militants, but only for a limited period of time in order to achieve certain policy objectives. For instance: the United States nurtured the Afghan jihadists during the Cold War against the former Soviet Union from 1979 to 1988, but after the signing of the Geneva Accords and consequent withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan, the United States withdrew its support to the Afghan jihadists.

Similarly, the United States lent its support to the militants during the Libyan and Syrian civil wars, but after achieving the policy objectives of toppling the Arab nationalist Gaddafi regime in Libya and weakening the anti-Israel Assad regime in Syria, the United States relinquished its blanket support to the militants and eventually declared a war against a faction of Sunni militants battling the Syrian government, the Islamic State, when the latter transgressed its mandate in Syria and dared to occupy Mosul and Anbar in Iraq in early 2014.

The United States regional allies in the Middle East, however, are not as subtle and experienced in Machiavellian geopolitics. Under the misconception that alliances and enmities in international politics are permanent, the Middle Eastern autocrats keep on pursuing the same belligerent policy indefinitely as laid down by the hawks in Washington for a brief period of time in order to achieve certain strategic objectives.

For example: the security establishment of Pakistan kept pursuing the policy of training and arming the Afghan and Kashmiri jihadists throughout the eighties and nineties and right up to September 2001, even after the United States withdrew its support to the jihadists’ cause in Afghanistan during the nineties after the collapse of its erstwhile archrival, the Soviet Union.

Similarly, the Muslim Brotherhood-led government of Turkey has made the same mistake of lending indiscriminate support to the Syrian militants even after the United States partial reversal of policy in Syria and the declaration of war against the Islamic State in August 2014 in order to placate the international public opinion when the graphic images and videos of Islamic State’s brutality surfaced on the social media.

Keeping up appearances in order to maintain the façade of justice and morality is indispensable in international politics and the Western powers strictly abide by this code of conduct. Their medieval client states in the Middle East, however, are not as experienced and they often keep on pursuing the same militarist policies of training and arming the militants against their regional rivals, which are untenable in the long run in a world where pacifism has generally been accepted as one of the fundamental axioms of the modern worldview.

Regarding the recent cooperation between Moscow and Ankara in the Syrian civil war, although the proximate cause of this détente seems to be the attempted coup plot against the Erdogan administration in July last year by the supporters of the US-based preacher, Fethullah Gulen, but this surprising development also sheds light on the deeper divisions between the United States and Turkey over their respective Syria policy.

After the United States reversal of “regime change” policy in Syria in August 2014 when the Islamic State overran Mosul and Anbar in Iraq in early 2014 and threatened the capital of another steadfast American ally, Masoud Barzani’s Erbil in the oil-rich Iraqi Kurdistan, Washington has made the Kurds the centerpiece of its policy in Syria and Iraq.

Bear in mind that the conflict in Syria and Iraq is actually a three-way conflict between the Sunni Arabs, the Shi’a Arabs and the Sunni Kurds. Although after the declaration of war against a faction of Sunni Arab militants, the Islamic State, Washington has also lent its support to the Shi’a-led government in Iraq, but the Shi’a Arabs of Iraq are not the trustworthy allies of the United States because they are under the influence of Iran.

Therefore, Washington was left with no other choice than to make the Kurds the centerpiece of its policy in Syria and Iraq after a group of Sunni Arab jihadists transgressed its mandate in Syria and overran Mosul and Anbar in Iraq in early 2014 from where the United States had withdrawn its troops only a couple of years ago in December 2011.

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, which are on the verge of liberating the Islamic State’s de facto capital, Raqqa, and are currently battling the jihadist group in a small pocket of the city between the stadium and a hospital, are nothing more than the Kurdish militias with a symbolic presence of mercenary Arab tribesmen in order to make them appear more representative and inclusive in outlook.

As far as the regional parties to the Syrian civil war are concerned, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the rest of the Gulf Arab States may not have serious reservations against this close cooperation between the United States and the Kurds in Syria and Iraq, because the Gulf Arab States tend to look at the regional conflicts from the lens of the Iranian Shi’a threat.

Turkey, on the other hand, has been more wary of the separatist Kurdish tendencies in its southeast than the Iranian Shi’a threat, and particularly now after the Kurds have held a referendum for independence in Iraq despite the international pressure against such an ill-advised move.

Finally, any radical departure from the longstanding policy of providing unequivocal support to Washington’s policy in the region by the political establishment of Turkey since the times of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk is highly unlikely. But after this perfidy by Washington of lending its support to the Kurds against the Turkish proxies in Syria, it is quite plausible that the Muslim Brotherhood-led government in Turkey might try to strike a balance in its relations with the Cold War-era rivals.

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Nauman Sadiq is an Islamabad-based attorney, columnist and geopolitical analyst focused on the politics of Af-Pak and Middle East regions, neocolonialism and petro-imperialism.

Comments

El Oregonian historian40 Fri, 10/06/2017 - 22:34 Permalink

Because the fiat dollar is only backed by debt and the Trillions, upon Trillions of unbacked I.O.U.'s that can NEVER be repaid. On the other hand Gold, which is a hard currency, is being scooped up hand over fist by the East and Moscow. Heck, even the Saudi's are currying favor to China and Russia...The emperor has no clothes... or, Gold either...

In reply to by historian40

skbull44 loebster Sat, 10/07/2017 - 09:09 Permalink

"The only reason the American EMPIRE is in decline is because of IsraHell."Way, way too reductionist. Every empire eventually falls and if you read archaeologist Joseph Tainter's The Collapse of Complex Societies, you'll find it is inevitably due to declining marginal returns on investment in complexity. It could be that an 'allie'/vassal state contributes to this phenomena, but it is never the sole reason. 

In reply to by loebster

bass ackwards 07564111 Sun, 10/08/2017 - 18:10 Permalink

Russia's friends..syria, north Korea, Venezuela,  Cuba, Belarus,  As of now most wealthy nations have sanctions on Russia..haha.. what joke.. In due time the USA will get it's shit together, just like russia did after looosing the cold war. When the US is rebuilding it economy and this multiple world you are building blows up in your face, youll be asking us for help. Iran Saudi and turkey are not Russia's friends. They are playing Russia for their own strategic interests. When they all have nukes and missiles, they won't need Russia.

In reply to by 07564111

Broken_Trades TahoeBilly2012 Fri, 10/06/2017 - 20:54 Permalink

US finally made a deal to deliver howitzers and small arms to the Peshmerga in Kurdistan...  Now this is being withheld.Further the US agreed (under obummer) to pay a small salary to the Peshmerga (because they fight for free) while they were doing everyones dirty work and kicking ISIS ass.  The agreement was supposed to be extended, but now the Trump administration has decided to either delay or not renew the agreement.Fuck me once shame on you, Fuck me twice, shame on me, Fuck me three times? Fuck it. I'm declaring independence and signing earth moving energy deals with Moscow and removing your influence in the region.BT

In reply to by TahoeBilly2012

HRClinton ScratInTheHat Fri, 10/06/2017 - 21:16 Permalink

Why are DC clients getting cozy with Russia (and China)?Because a Charm Offensive ("Friends with Benefits") works better than our Bark Offensive. Asia, Europe and the ME is finally waking up to the reality of business, profits and lifestyle of a Eurasia Silk Road 2, over what Zio-USA has to offer: Endless wars, misery, debt and poverty. I think that even a retarded ME goat can figure that one out.

In reply to by ScratInTheHat

NoDebt Fri, 10/06/2017 - 20:43 Permalink

Policy wonk crap.The US, in the eyes of many, certainly in the ME, has gone insane.  Our promises and alleginaces are worth nothing and can change on a monent's notice.  Putin shows up shortly after we prove to be idiots and makes new friends by acting in a more sane and rational manner than we do.  He is winning and he deserves to.  We are losing and we deserve to.Questions? 

BobEore Bay Area Guy Fri, 10/06/2017 - 21:46 Permalink

It DOES sum up the official, Exceptionalist alt-media party line ... exceptionally well. As such, it requires less 'questions' than corrections,

so as to spare as many zheeple as possible from the sorry fate of joining the suicidalist faction here who bray incessantly for the End to come quickly...

in accord with their media sheepdogs' herd redirection.

"The US, in the eyes of many, certainly in the ME, has gone insane."

The US, in the eyes of most states in the muddled east... has become expendable, and alliance with it a liability. The new deal on the table - brokered by tel aviv, as "lead lender," brings a promise of petro price stability, via an emerging Energy Cartel which will be a ME Despots' dream.

In accord with this talmudist doctrine of throwing old allies under the bus, the incipient CIVIL WAR now being started off by its' agents stateside... will occur in parallel with a rolling back of Merikan influence and bases all over Asia.

As Merika reels from the shock of FINALLY realizing it is no longer immune to the same forces of dissolution as it's Sraeli-led foreign policy has bred all over the muddled east.... the CORRECT attitude of the zheeple fanbouy faction the talmudists use as their 5th column will be to moan on about how 'we deserve it' - we're so screwed - Putin is God... etc.,

jus like our furry lil friend has scribbled it out here.

"He is winning and he deserves to. We are losing and we deserve to."

\\\merika///...whatever its' problems... was always "fixable"... with a bit of will and good faith. Both have gone by the wayside, replaced by a social media driven passion for false contrition and complicity in terror... terror which now arrives home.

What comes next - far different than that script written out on sites like this one.... eg... an era of "multipolar peace n prosperity for all,

will be the completion of the agenda put into full speed during the OBAMANATION interval. The fall of the west to Communo-fascist talmudism, a replication of the fall of Russia to same - one hundred years ago - awaits the sad sack cheerleaders convinced that THEY - somehow - will be borne up to hog heaven whilst all around them are destroyed... the same script by which dupes of all AGES past have been used - then disabused - of their pretensions to

EXCEPTIONALISM

buttons/muttons. Tis all ye have left!

In reply to by Bay Area Guy

Itinerant NoDebt Sun, 10/08/2017 - 21:46 Permalink

Yes. The article is all crap. Reading it I kept asking myself if this was tongue in cheek or sarcastic.The idea of Arab sunni's , shia's, and Kurdish Sunni's all at each others throats is BS. Shia and Sunni had their last war before the present troubles 1300 years back.The idea that DC deftly controls various jihadi forces and takes their hands off as soon as the noble humanitarian goals are no longer being served is all crap. The CIA has been grooming these assets for 4 decades, and DC does not control them, they are instigators of chaos, and as the White house keeps saying, the aim is to destabilize the region. DC foreign policy is a comedy of errors, but played by unaccountable cynical forces wreaking untold bloodshed in various countries around the world, with crazy ideological blinded geopolitical designs that never pan out.Terrorrism is an American invention.

In reply to by NoDebt

historian40 Fri, 10/06/2017 - 20:57 Permalink

Because the "Cold War" was a lie, just like the "War on Terror".They couldn't just go about building bases worldwide, overthrowing countries that resisted.  They had to have a big enemy to fit their big lie.I'm not convinced that Russia isn't still playing the role.Let's look at Syria, for example.  The original intent was to invade, occupy, and regime change.  NATO/empire has acheived all goals, except Assad being replaced, but Russia may have taken care of that tidbit.  Russia, despite Syrian complaints, were drawing up a new Syrian Constitution more than a year ago.  NATO occupies Syria, with Turkey invading and occupying territory, and the US setting up "outposts" on Syrian territory.  The zionist state has been offering aid and comfort to ISIS, has launched multiple attacks on Syria without Russia using their so-called superior air defenses, and the zionist state has tried to lay claim to resources in Syrian territory, using the excuse that the government doesn't have control over the area(rich since the zionists are the cause of the instability).Actions speak louder than words.  Nevermind all the claims, let's look at what has really happened.  I doubt anyone can deny that Syria is now a basketcase, with destroyed infrastructure and totally left dependant on foreign control/aid.

monk27 Ghordius Sat, 10/07/2017 - 11:19 Permalink

The West as in "the entire West" ! Explicitly, that includes North America (i.e. US and Canada), EU (minus some East European countries which just "go through the motions" but are ready to pull the plug when things get too crazy or money run too short), the Australia-New Zealand binome and, of course, Japan.Next question ?

In reply to by Ghordius

Davidduke2000 historian40 Sat, 10/07/2017 - 03:34 Permalink

Russia got back 91% of Syria to the Syrians, the us still controls 9% and is helping al-nusra. now Russia is cleaning up that 9% and within 6 month Syria will be totally liberated, with netanyahu out of power due to his corruption, the new government in israel will have no choice but to abandon all claims to the golan oil reserves which in reality is pledged to Russia as repayment for its help to liberate the country. israel has no more choice but to make peace with Assad because iran is at its border, with netanyahu gone, the liberals in israel will change the policy of helping the islamic state and al-nusra leaving both israel and the us defeated soundly by Russia .This is the reason the new boss of the middle east is president Putin in Moscow would not impose any orders on the arab states but will welcome his role as a protector of all states as long as they keep the peace, he is not trying to divide and conquer, he is more interested in trade and building nuclear plants as well as create a balanced power structure between india and pakistan, saudi and iran, israel and Syria and Lebanon. the odd ball Jordan has to choose between the us instability or the Russian umbrella protection while Egypt already shifted toward Russia,By 2018, Iraq will be totally free thanks to the Russian who provided planes to the Iraqi air force to start destroying the islamic state, Libya will be put together again by president Putin and the war with Yemen will be over.All this started when president Putin made a speech in the united Nations 2 years ago and delivered on his word to destroy isis.the days of divide and conquer by the zionists are over , they already fled the middle east and headed to Latin America where the Chinese are waiting for them to destroy them economically by providing financial coverage to the states that are threatened by the green horn in washington.   

In reply to by historian40

gmj Fri, 10/06/2017 - 20:58 Permalink

"against Washington's interests" ?  What are they?  "Our allies" ?  Who are they?  These things change every minute.  The only constant is that we keep fighting.

DjangoCat Fri, 10/06/2017 - 21:09 Permalink

"Finally, any radical departure from the longstanding policy of providing unequivocal support to Washington’s policy in the region by the political establishment of Turkey since the times of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk is highly unlikely. .."When the CIA, Fetullah Gulen and NATO betrayed Erdogan, the world changed.  Russia probably saved his ass with advance intelligence of the coup attempt.Turkey is moving away from NATO like a very large ship, slowly but with huge momentum.