US President Donald Trump in his first annual address to the Congress “on the state of the country” on January 30, assessed the state of the US economy, opposed the cut of the military budget, declared the need to modernize the country’s nuclear arsenal and noted that Russia and China threaten the interests of the United States.
In the Budget Message of the President to the Congress released recently Donald Trump “requests $24 billion to modernize and sustain the three legs of the nuclear triad—land, sea, and air—as well as nuclear command, control, and communications systems”. The overall budget of the DOD for 2019 should be $686 billion – 13 % more than in 2017. China and Russia are again mentioned as a problem to America’s security.
A year ago, Donald Trump won the presidential elections claiming the USA is going the wrong way, and it was mainly about economic, tax and social policy. “America first” – then sounded his famous and victorious slogan. His foreign policy precepts were also largely reduced to economic issues. Now, a year later, in his statements about the future prosperity of the United States under his leadership we clearly witness a call for strengthening the country’s military component. He stated that the idea of a nuclear-free world is unattainable in modern conditions (which one can agree with!), there are a lot of enemies and rivals around the world, and they threaten the welfare of America. What has changed in the US foreign policy since Donald Trump’s inauguration to the White House a year ago?
At home and overseas many acknowledge that the foreign policy rhetoric of the White House has become more aggressive and at the same time more reckless. Trump has set a course for active interference in the policies of other countries, claiming he is ready to use military force where necessary without hesitation. His first objects of attention were such countries as Syria, Afghanistan and North Korea. He stubbornly follows this path, threatening to abandon the nuclear deal with Iran, pointing to the possibility of using force against the regime in North Korea and transferring troops from Iraq to Afghanistan. Threatening Russia with new sanctions the United States has plans to impose new sanctions against North Korea as well.
It is understandable that the current aggressive presidential rhetoric and increased attention to foreign policy issues are Trump’s response to his domestic problems -the investigations that have been initiated with regard to his electoral past. His one-year- after growing anti-Russian stance is used as a tool of defense in the exhausting struggle with his multiple opponents.
At the same time Trump’s attitude towards the possible use of nuclear weapons has raised more concerns among Americans about the President’s authority to order a nuclear attack. Many experts believe that as a result Trump will inevitably begin to lose the votes of his supporters within the country.
“..a poll commissioned by the Committee for Responsible Foreign Policy revealed that nearly 71 percent of Americans want their representatives in Congress to constrain Washington’s interventionist impulses. Americans believe that war is a last resort. They desire “clearly defined goals to authorize military engagement overseas, including a timeline and what will contribute victory; [and] oversight and accountability from Congress in regards to where troops are stationed and what is being accomplished abroad.”A solid majority of Americans, according to the poll, also want assurances that weapons and equipment provided to others are not used in ways that harm innocent civilians”- writes Christopher A. Preble in the National Interest.
But these warnings do not stop the White House. Domestic problems force the administration to constantly “pedal” the bike of external threats and need for an American response to them.
“The Pentagon released a new nuclear arms policy” – Paul Sonne writes in the Washington Post, – “….that calls for the introduction of two new types of weapons, effectively ending Obama-era efforts to reduce the size and scope of the U.S. arsenal and minimize the role of nuclear weapons in defense planning”.
The US intends to modernize its nuclear arsenal in order to deter Russia, – says the new nuclear strategy of the Pentagon. In Moscow, such plans were considered confrontational, also noting that Washington’s intentions would lead to the launch of a new arms race, which has many direct and indirect consequences. Trump already receives warnings from many experts that the possibility of unleashing a nuclear conflict is not a toy with which to play and throw away. The inevitable response on the part of the opponents of the United States can transform this conflict from regional to global one. History teaches us that wars are easily unleashed, but they end very hard.
” In dealing with our Middle East adversaries—and China, Russia and especially North Korea—President Trump ought not to assume that they will respond to his bluster and blandishments in the same way partners and rivals in the business world did ” – warns George C. Herring and Michael C. Desch in the National Interest.
A year has passed, but Trump, in contrast to his predecessors, until today has never taken any initiative on nuclear arms control. It can be assumed that his administration’s strategic report, which paints a gloomy picture of America’s weaknesses, only strengthens the President’s opinion that the nuclear component should be urgently strengthened, Europe included. But European experts are hesitant on the issue, worrying about the danger of being an unwitting victim in a confrontation unleashed by the US far from its borders. In a new possible nuclear arms race, Europe may find itself in the middle, as a potential region of military tension, which causes concern for many EU countries.
In an article in Neue Zürcher Zeitung journalist Andreas Rüesch writes: “There are enough vulnerabilities along NATO’s Eastern border, but it is the issue of conventional arms. Strengthening tactical nuclear capabilities can be not only a false signal, but also a waste of money, which at a time of limited military budget the United States need in other areas”, – sums up the author.
Moreover, Russia, apparently, is not going to get involved in this “game of the past.” “The nuclear doctrine of the United States is an attempt to draw Russia into an arms race and to confirm the USA superpower status” – says Vladimir Shamanov the Chairman of the Russian Duma Defense Committee. According to him, by this doctrine “the Americans are trying to restore their superpower status quo as a result of the next round of the arms race. President (Putin) has already said how we are going to react. We have our own strategy: it is balanced and reasonable. The most important for us is not to repeat the mistakes of the Gorbachev period, not to get involved in the arms race, but to implement our own concepts and evaluate what is happening in a balanced manner, effectively at the same time,” – Shamanov told TASS Agency.
In this regard the main question arises: is the United States ready for the extension of existing arrangements in the field of nuclear arms control? Signals on this issue are different. Uncertainty is in the air. The START treaty is valid till February 2021, and if agreed upon, and the period of validity may be extended for up to five years, until 2026, – the nuclear doctrine of the United States says.
There are no serious threats to the implementation of the current agreements within the START framework, and over the past seven years the parties have already made the arms reductions stipulated in the Treaty, Russian political scientist Alexey Arbatov believes. “The only threat to START – is the break of the Agreement on medium-range and short-range missiles: if it will collapse, START will collapse too”, – the expert believes. As for the extension of the agreements, the situation is uncertain. “Earlier, Donald Trump was critical of the START, however, the nuclear doctrine mentions the possibility of extending the Treaty until 2026,” – said Arbatov.
American experts also agree that the recent statements of the US administration on nuclear weapons do not make the world safer. Andrew C. Weber, an assistant defense secretary during the Obama administration who directed oversight of the nation’s nuclear arsenal, called “the new plan a dangerous folly that would make nuclear war more likely”.
In their turn analysts Michael McFaul and Jon Wolfsthal write in the Washington Post: “That’s a mistake. The lessons of the Cold War are that nuclear wars must not be fought and that arms races cannot be won. Of course, we must preserve a strong and effective nuclear deterrent to protect us and our allies. The United States’s nuclear forces and planned modernization are already more than capable of sustaining that deterrent for decades. But arms control agreements such as the New START treaty, also advance U.S. security interests….We cannot predict whether new arms-control talks will produce results, let alone what the next arms-control agreement might look like. But we know what happens when we lack the predictability and transparency that verified treaties provide. And we know that the next deal will not happen without direct negotiation with our Russian counterparts”.
Besides there is evidence that the US military distort facts in an attempt to get bigger budget.
“Pentagon chart misleadingly suggests the US is falling behind in a nuclear arms race”- says the title of the article by Glenn Kessler in The Washington Post.
He continues: “The chart purports to show that Russia, China and North Korea have raced ahead of the United States in developing new nuclear systems since the last NPR was released in 2010……..
The chart clearly was ginned up to cast the U.S. nuclear arsenal in the worst possible light. By dint of its timeline and its exclusion of U.S. life extensions and future systems, the chart offers a highly misleading picture of the U.S. strategic position, suggesting the United States has allowed its delivery systems to atrophy. The chart should be replaced with a more accurate representation of the facts — and officials such as Mattis should not cite it in congressional testimony to claim a 34-to-1 advantage for adversaries over the United States. From such flimsy statistics bad policies may be born”.
It seems very likely that the current US administration is again trying to win the next round of the global game and get the “Superpower Cup”. But for this, in the current circumstances, they do not have the main thing – geopolitical and economic superiority. In the 21-st century we know – it’s this, rather than the number of nuclear missiles and other weapons that allowed the US to win the cold war and try rule the world for a while complacently. Much has changed since then. More countries possess nuclear weapons and their delivery systems nowadays, the United States is divided into two camps of opponents and supporters of the current administration, its European allies do not share Washington’s new foreign policy, do not understand and do not believe in its ally in many respects. China is on the verge of economic victory and tries on the role of a superpower, Donald Trump, mindlessly destroying NAFTA, loses friendship of American neighbors, and Russia is not going to repeat its mistakes of the past in the field of the arms race, stubbornly and successfully overcoming economic difficulties of the post-sanction period. It’s for this reason that the old-script game, apparently, will not take place.
In conclusion, it makes sense to recall the statements of two famous characters of the past. “War is a continuation of politics by other means,” said the famous Prussian military commander Karl Clausewitz. And this has a direct bearing on the US current foreign policy. But the German writer Thomas Mann decided otherwise. “War is only a cowardly escape from the problems of peace time” – he said. And it’s a much more precise definition of what President Trump is trying to do – to solve problems by force. But there is another way to solve the “problems of peace time.” And it is well known.
First published in our partner International Affairs
Biden’s credibility restoration plan
Although damages of the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan cannot be easily undone, by taking a series of wise steps, Biden can send a strong signal that America is coming back.
Joe Biden’s botched withdrawal from Afghanistan has shattered his reputation as a safe haven for allies. This is while, he pledged to restore U.S. leadership after Trump by confronting China’s and Russia’s growing totalitarian ambitions, restoring historic alliances with European allies, and ending the never-ending conflicts in Afghanistan and the Middle East.
But he is not the only President whose decision has eventually damaged the United States’ global reputation. Donald Trump’s capitulation deal with the Taliban, Barack Obama’s indolence in Syria, and George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq have all tarnished the United States’ credibility around the world. The question now; however, is no longer whether Biden and his predecessors should have acted differently. It’s how the United States can minimize the damage.
Biden should begin by speaking the truth. So far, the President has failed to admit the failure of his withdrawal plan. Biden ought to be straightforward with himself, the American people, and the whole world.
Biden’s policy should, of course, vary depending on the area and global conditions. To promote its interests in the Indo-Pacific area, the United States should station a few ambassadors, including a Navy or Coast Guard attaché, in the Pacific Island countries of Tonga, Tuvalu, and Kiribati. In addition, a considerable number of troops currently stationed in Afghanistan should be redeployed to the Pacific. Finally, Biden’s administration should engage with U.S. defense contractors to speed up the transfer of military equipment to Taiwan. Getting Taiwan its armaments swiftly would be a powerful show of support as a steadfast ally, as well as provide modern platforms to prevent a Chinese amphibious invasion.
The Biden administration should also do all in its power to rebuild relations with European partners. For the very first time, NATO invoked Article 5, which identifies an assault on one member as an assault on all. Since then, soldiers from a variety of countries have fought and died alongside US troops. Nonetheless, Biden decided to leave Afghanistan without consulting the governments of these countries, leaving them to plan emergency rescue efforts for their populations. Close allies of the United States are understandably enraged. America’s behavior is being chastised in Paris, Berlin, and the British House of Commons on both sides of the aisle.
Last month, at a meeting of regional leaders in Baghdad, Macron made it clear that, unlike the Americans, he was dedicated to remaining in the Middle East. “Whatever the American choice is,” he stated in public remarks in Baghdad, “we will maintain our presence in Iraq to fight terrorism as long as terrorist groups function and the Iraqi government requests our assistance.” It was a clear example of Macron’s idea of “strategic autonomy,” which implies European independence from U.S. security policy, and an attempt to use the United States’ humiliation to underline that Europe and Washington were not always on the same page. At an emergency G7 summit, Mr. Biden is said to have turned down allied requests to extend the August 31 deadline for exit.
The Biden administration’s recent decision not to penalize Nord Stream 2 pipeline participants has enraged Europeans as well. Poland and Ukraine underlined their worries in a joint statement about the ramifications of choices taken on the pipeline without the participation of nations directly impacted, claiming that Nord Stream 2 poses both geological and ecological risks to Europe.
As a result, whether it’s diplomatic recognition of the Taliban regime, humanitarian aid for the Afghan people, or any other major issue, the US should not take any more action without engaging partners. Mr. Biden should also dispatch senior members of his national security team to Europe and other regions of the world to reinforce America’s commitment to their security.
As to the Middle East, Jake Sullivan, Biden’s national security advisor, in a Foreign Affairs article described “America’s opportunity in the Middle East,” suggesting that diplomacy may work where previous military interventions have failed. The United States’ involvement in the area is frequently portrayed in military or counter-terrorism terms, and as a binary option between going all-in or going all-out. Instead, Sullivan advocated for a strategy that relied more on “aggressive diplomacy to generate more long-term benefits.”
Accordingly, the President and his team in Vienna should get the new Iranian administration back to the negotiating tables and rejoin the JCPOA and ease the tensions in the Middle East. Also, the United States should do all possible in Afghanistan to secure the safe transit of Afghans who qualify for U.S. visas to the Kabul airport – and to keep flights flying until they are able to leave. This should apply to both Afghans who dealt closely with the United States’ military, and to those who engage with U.S. media and humanitarian organizations and must get visas from a third country. In addition to ensuring that the United Nations and humanitarian groups have the resources they need, the United States should cooperate with its Security Council allies to guarantee that the Taliban does not hinder the free flow of help.
Moreover, to follow any influx of jihadists to Afghanistan, intelligence agencies will have to rededicate resources and increase surveillance. They must be pushed to coordinate their efforts on the Taliban in order to keep the most threatening groups under control. The United States could set an example by agreeing to accept a fair share of any displaced Afghans. Neighboring countries like Iran and Pakistan, which already have millions of Afghan refugees, are closing their borders.
Biden may not be able to prevent all of the disastrous repercussions of the Afghan catastrophe, but he must act now before the harm to U.S. interests and moral stature becomes irreversible. By taking these steps, he can send a strong statement to the world that he has learned his lessons and that America is coming back.
Of Friends And Countries
“The bird, a nest; the spider, a web; man, friendship,” William Blake reminded us in 1790. Much earlier, Confucius warned in the 5th century BC, “Have no friends not equal to yourself.” Seneca was ahead of his time and certainly not thinking of the business lunch when he noted that cultivated friendships for personal gain were of limited duration.
When it comes to countries, we have been informed repeatedly, there are no friends … just interests. So it is with Afghanistan, from which the US decided to withdraw unilaterally and quickly. Allies such as Britain who still have a presence there were caught off-guard. Not altogether happy, slang words like ‘doolally’ have been used to describe President Biden who was also reluctant to respond promptly to British prime minister Boris Johnson’s urgent calls, and kept him waiting several days. So much for the ‘special relationship’ between the two countries.
It wasn’t always a cosy relationship. Quite frosty for the first hundred years or so after American independence, it included an attack on Washington and the city’s temporary capture. During the Civil War they helped the Confederacy surreptitiously but as American power and industrial might continued to grow, the British realized an accommodation would be to their advantage and proceeded to emphasize ties of kinship, language and even democracy. In the event, they even persuaded the US government to help in two world wars and even join them eventually.
Next, consider the case of England and France. After the Normann conquest in 1066, French became the court language and continued so for a good three hundred years. But the relationship also started a rivalry often with claims and counterclaims of being the rightful ruler, which sometimes led to war. Following the French revolution came the Napolionic wars and their devastation, culminating in the 1815 Battle of Waterloo and French defeat.
The 19th century also saw the German states being united by Bismarck, and, through industrialization, turned into a single powerful country. Viewed as a threat by both Britain and France it brought about an entente cordiale … a rapprochement between centuries old implacable enemies.
Their efforts to choke off German growth could have only one result in the end — war. And the 20th century suffered two with devastating loss of life. The plan to help Germany (at least the western half) recover after the Second World War had flattened it, brought it within the US ambit. Lest anyone think the aid was entirely altruistic, far from it, for a new threat had arisen … that of the mighty Soviet Union, and a quivering Western Europe was trying to shore up its side. Yes indeed, countries do not have friends … only interests.
And so the Afghans who helped the US (the translators and such like) tried to get away during the withdrawal; with the rapid Taliban takeover, they could feel the threat to life and limb in their bones, and some knew they were on lists. Many did leave on the American planes but out of the crowds packing Kabul airport, most were left behind.
20 years after 9/11: American decline in the Islamic world and China- Russian emergence
The main headlines and axes
- The first axis: American strategy in the Islamic world, to draw a new political and economic map for establishing the (New Middle Eastern order)
- The second axis: The developments of American strategy in the Islamic world after the events of September 11
- The third axis: The internal and external overall results of American policies after September 11
- The fourth axis: The implications of American withdrawal from Afghanistan on the image of the USA in the Islamic world
- The fifth axis: The “ideological and religious clash” between the Islamic world and the USA after the American accusations to the “Saudi Arabia’s responsibility” on the September 11 events
- The sixth axis: The impact of “Chinese automatic control and Russian disobedience theories” on the theory of “American hegemony” in the Islamic world after September 11events
The American strategy towards the Islamic world was not the result of the events of September 11, 2001. Rather, the United States of America has a tight strategy towards the region that has crystallized clearly since the beginning of the Cold War era and to this day, but the events of September 11 formed a sign, on the world arena and in the field of international relations in particular. It prompted the United States of America to announce a new strategy based on the so-called (War on Terror).
Although the American strategy in the Islamic world is based on a set of constants represented in “controlling oil, maintaining Israel’s security and protecting other American interests”, the post-9/11 world has produced new American goals in the region, such as what led to changing the means of achieving the strategy’s goals. The American approach in the Islamic world towards the direct use of military force to protect and preserve these goals or to achieve new goals has become the core of this strategy in the region.
Based on the mentioned facts, the American strategy towards the Islamic world after the events of September 11th came to briefly address this strategy through a number of axes:
The first axis: American strategy in the Islamic world, to draw a new political and economic map for establishing the (New Middle Eastern order)
The end of the Cold War constituted a major international variable in its impact on the American strategy in the world in general and in the Middle East and Islamic world in particular. We mean the Islamic world as a wide region, which enjoys its specifications, structures, complexities and paths that link the East to the West and are composed of a group of diverse regions. It is located in southwest Asia, which is in the middle of the world, and there are several seas extending into it. It has an international strategy. The “Islamic world” in particular is one of the richest regions in the world with its oil wealth, and it is in the middle of the near and Far East.
The Islamic world is considered a strategic region from a political and economic point of view because it contains the most important sea straits in the world. In addition, this region contains the most important American interests in the world, represented by the presence of Israel in it, and the richness of the Middle East region in oil, as it possesses the largest production and oil reserves in the world, and the schemes show the political and economic importance of this region.
The end of the Islamic world and the accompanying international and regional changes contributed to the achievement of most of the goals of the American strategy in the Islamic world, because the change that took place at the level of the regional regions, particularly the Middle East, through what the transformations of the international system made possible for the United States of America and the advanced industrial countries from New mechanisms are used to possess a growing power to control the internal and external interactions of the region and the events of strategic change in it, since the Islamic world is one of the regions most affected by the strategic shifts in the structure of the international system. The events of 1990 and the end of the Cold War between the American and Soviet poles had a prominent impact on The emergence of the new American strategy in the region, especially after the success of the American administration in the events of the comprehensive and massive mobilization of the coalition forces against Iraq in the second Gulf War in 1991, which showed that American power was built on the fact that the United States of America is the only country that possesses very huge capabilities in diverse fields militarily politically, economically and diplomatically.
If these events open the way for “drawing a new political and economic map” for the Islamic world and establishing (the new Middle Eastern order), through the basis of settlements between the Arabs and Israel and in the light of the Madrid Conference in 1991, accompanied by American efforts to keep Israel stronger than the Arab countries in order to achieve its goals in the Islamic world, after the “destruction of Iraq’s power”, which, from the American point of view, was the greatest danger to Israel’s security and existence in the region.
The United States of America, at the beginning of the nineties, and after the collapse of the Soviet system, put forward a set of ideas and the foundations of its systems on the basis that it is the new world order based on what they call “democracy and human rights, and openness to the free world under intellectual and ideological justifications of totalitarianism, and the imposition of American hegemony on vital areas”, such as: the Islamic world and the Arab Gulf region, after the Madrid Conference, a dangerous methodology was followed with the aim of weakening the Arabs’ political, economic and cultural power and their defensive ability, and preaching the “Islamic world and the Middle East new system as a regional system in which Israel would have a central role”, it was an actual attempt to “marginalize the regional Arab and Islamic role and squander the sources of its true power”. It also sought the American administration, as the leader of that regime, prevented the dismantling of some Arab countries and regions in accordance with the so-called Israeli peace desire and the development of special policies for some countries, such as the “policy of double containment towards Iraq and Iran”.
After the second Gulf War, the United States of America began to consolidate its direct military presence in the Islamic world as an application of the principle of the “new international order”. On this basis, the American strategy in the Islamic world after the Cold War was based on several concepts, the most important of which, are:
- Deterring and repelling any external or internal aggression or aggression that harms the interests of the United States of America and its allies and friends inside and outside the Islamic world and Arab Gulf region, according to the American perception.
- Preventing the Iranian military adventure in the region.
- Containing Iraq and Iran by following the policy of “dual containment and preventing the emergence of new regional powers capable of threatening American interests in the region”.
- As well as setting new security arrangements for the Islamic world and maintaining a continuous and permanent US military presence, and relying on local allies such as Israel and Turkey, in preparation for “linking the Middle East with a security-economic-military alliance led by the USA”.
- Maintaining American hegemony over the oil, financial and investment markets and encouraging “American political, economic and cultural penetration”.
- Seeking to “change the political discourse towards democracy and human rights”, rejecting all forms of individualism, terrorism, arbitrariness and injustice, and working to create a “new social system for progression and development”.
- Facilitating of the “cultural and economic normalization with Israel for the sake of peace” between the Arabs, Islamic world and Israel.
- There are many American several measures that could lead to the path to lasting peace in the Islamic world, including the following:
- Ending the Arabs once and for all, what he called the “illegal boycott of Israel”, this constitutes an “economic war”.
- Establishing economic and commercial relations between Israel and its neighbors.
- Forming “multilateral agreements to protect the environment in the Islamic world and Middle East region”, with an emphasis on ensuring that each country has adequate supplies of water resources.
The American strategy towards the Islamic world continued on the above-mentioned foundations, some of which it inherited from the Cold War phase, where it has not changed significantly except the “issue of containing the communist influence in the region, which ended after the collapse of the Soviet Union”, but the issue that affected the change in the American strategy is represented by the means and tools used by the United States of America to achieve its main goals, so that the “American direct use of military force has been activated in achieving American goals and consolidating American influence in the Islamic world and Middle East region”.
The second axis: The developments of American strategy in the Islamic world after the events of September 11
The events of September 11, 2001 are a “decisive point in re-formulating the American strategy in the Islamic world in particular”, as the events of “September 11 were considered a “transit point between two different international systems, crossing the post-Cold War order to the new order, which so-called “war on terror”.
On this basis, the “events of September 11, 2001, were an influential change on the American global strategy in general and the American strategy towards the Islamic world in particular”, as these events produced the reality of military power as a force that controls the situation and sets it on the American tone.
As a result of the so-called “war on terror”, the United States of America began to market daily the new political geography that it intends to impose on the world by military force to achieve its goals and hegemony. On the so-called “war on terror”, as it was the “starting point of the American strategy to redraw the map of the Islamic world, Middle East and Central Asia to expand the area of American hegemony”.
The Islamic world is not only the field in which the United States of America demonstrates its strength and tests its weapons, but it is also the site from which the United States of America circulates a “new formula for the new world order, under the pretext of what so-called “war on terror” as a justification used by the United States of America to resort to military force in Islamic world”. In this regard, “Daniel Babis” said that:
“Islamic fundamentalists are challenging the West with greater force and depth than the Communists, and they are violating our policies”
Referring to the statement led by “Edward Dejerejian”, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs says:
“The United States, as the only remaining superpower that is looking for an ideology to fight it, should move towards leading a crusade against Islam”
Here, we can as well notice the same expression used by the American administration at the beginning of the new American campaign against the Islamic world, which began in “Afghanistan and Iraq”.
This vision was “prepared even before the events of September 11”, which confirms that the “developments were prepared and the ideas were ready and was waiting for the moment of their theatrical release into existence”.
The events of September came to be the “opportunity for the emergence of this American scheme”. As is clear, the “ideological dimension” is clear in the American vision that was clearly expressed by politicians and thinkers in an important book which entitled: (America and political Islam, a clash of cultures or a clash of interests).
The third axis: The internal and external overall results of American policies after September 11
The events of September 11, 2001 constituted a “major turning point in the history of the United States”, whether in terms of its domestic or foreign policy, or in terms of international relations, especially “what links the West with the Arab and Islamic world”.The war on terror became the primary focus of international relations under the pressure of the United States after the events of September 11th. The latter organized a “military campaign in Afghanistan and then invaded Iraq under the pretext of fighting terrorism”. The war on terrorism has changed the situation of many countries in the world, such as Pakistan, which has transformed from a pariah state subject to economic sanctions to a preferred partner in the fight against terrorism and the “Al-Qaeda” organization it represents, so, we can identify the whole results of the American strategy after September 11, on the American internal and external policies, as follow:
The defense budget is constantly increasing
In its infancy, this war provided the administration of US President “George W. Bush” with a cover to do whatever it wanted. This administration got all the money it asked for from the US Congress for a national missile defense program, the “Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense Treaty” was abolished without internal or external fanfare, and it got big increases in the Pentagon’s budget.
The economic effects of the September 11 attacks on the United States
Except for the loss of life, the two towers and the four planes hijacked by the terrorists, there are no direct and negative economic effects that led to a crisis. The effects did not exceed what was mentioned, with other immediate losses, including the closure of the American Stock Exchange for some days, and the effects on airlines and tourism for a period of one or two years. As for the only direct impact, it was in the American and global insurance sector, which rose after the events by 400 percent as a result of the compensation paid by the insurance companies. There was also an increase in the amount of risks in air and sea transport and life insurance.
Reducing the freedoms of the American citizen
The war on terrorism during and after the Bush era led to a “curtailment of freedoms for American citizens and foreign residents alike”, as there were numerous of “harassments of public liberties and the American citizen became subject to extensive searches”, especially at airports, and electronic wiretaps and other modern means that enable the American authorities to follow anyone in a way minutes, whether by e-mail or mobile phone.
Cultural and intellectual monuments
The cultural and intellectual effects of the post-9/11 events have not stopped yet, and they are still multiplying and continuing. The phenomenon of terrorism after 9/11 revealed to the United States that it had another “enemy” that it had been searching for since the fall of the Soviet Union, and by that we mean Islam, especially “radical Islam”. These events showed great transformations at the “cultural and intellectual level among Americans and the West in general”, and led to the emergence of what is known as the “clash of civilizations” where “Islam, through this theory, became the enemy of civilization and peace”, because it represents, according to the proponents of this theory from among the hard-line conservatives, the “real problem” behind the emergence of terrorism In the world, which is reflected intellectually and culturally on the “image of Muslims and Arabs and their societies in the United States and the rest of the world”.
An imbalance of power in the world
One of the important effects of the attacks of September 11, 2001 was those that led to an imbalance in the balance of power in the world, as no country had ever controlled the world in this way, especially after the collapse of the Soviet Union. With the defense budget constantly rising, the United States has tightened its economic, technical, and cultural grip on the nations of the world. The United States has maintained its position as a superpower through nuclear weapons and the extent of their spread according to its defense strategy, and this is evident in dealing with the Iranian nuclear file, as a prominent example.
Emerging the new concept of “Preventive war” after the September 11 attacks
Prior to the September 11 attacks, political crises depended on solving these problems through international or diplomatic bodies. But after the events, the military sides became dependent on a new principle, which is “preventive war”, which relied on surprise strikes without waiting for confirmed evidence of the hostility of the target party.
Here, US Defense Secretary “Ronald Rumsfeld” said at an important “NATO meeting in Brussels” in 2002 that:
“The alliance cannot wait for irrefutable evidence to act against terrorist groups or countries that possess chemical, biological or nuclear weapons”
This statement was a prelude to the invasion of Iraq in 2003 and a “preemptive strike according to the new concept of the US military strategy”.
The fourth axis: The implications of American withdrawal from Afghanistan on the image of the USA in the Islamic world
The withdrawal from Afghanistan represents a “major blow to the prestige and confidence of the United States and its allies around the world, but especially in the Islamic world and Middle East”, as follow:
It is expected that after the withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan, the “Islamic world will witness more daring jihadist movements after the collapse of Afghanistan”.
The caveat here is that Afghanistan will serve as a “center of cooperation between terrorist groups, which will encourage various attacks in the Islamic world”.
The Taliban’s control of the Afghan arena is also linked to the “increased frequency of attacks launched by ISIS in the Islamic world after the withdrawal from Afghanistan in Iraq and Syria and the attack on Kabul Airport”.
It is expected that with the Taliban movement taking control of Afghanistan that the “extremist movements will continue to politically and militarily flourish in the Islamic world”.
America’s allies in the Islamic world have taken notice and benefited from the Afghan lesson, and “Washington’s allies in the Islamic world have increased fears that the United States will abandon its friends in the region when it becomes politically appropriate”, for example, while the corrupt Afghan government and army bear some responsibility for the Taliban seized power, but the Americans weren’t supposed to turn their backs on their allies just because they had a failed state.
As examples of the United States abandoning its allies in the Islamic world, the “Kurds in Syria who prepared Washington and played a pivotal role in defeating ISIS” can now be seen, as the United States continues to “abandon its responsibilities as a leader in the Islamic world in favor of China and Russia”.
The American failure at Afghanistan has also created a “regional vacuum in the Islamic world” that countries such as (Iran and Turkey) are trying to fill.
Here, we find that the right-wing establishment in the United States is the last political faction in Washington that understands long-term security goals. The reality is that “US allies in the Islamic world and Middle East cannot now count on a democratic administration or even within a conservative populist president”.
The US withdrawal from Afghanistan is due to a “long-decade bipartisan failure to achieve Washington’s goals and the loss of US support for the war”, but the way in which the Biden administration withdrew is inefficient, and US leaders have repeatedly exaggerated and claimed the ability of the Afghan army, and it is also clear That Washington had no plan to evacuate the Americans or the Afghans who helped the international coalition.
The United States is struggling now to take steps to “ensure that its allies have the ability and willingness to defend themselves, and work to build regional alliances that can defend each other against any threat”, particularly from Iran.
The “Joe Biden’s administration” is trying to ensure that major “U.S. deployments in the Islamic world are unlikely to change”, and that U.S. adversaries, whether “Iran, China, or Russia”, are expected to discredit the allies of the United States in the usefulness of their friendship in Washington.
We find here that tens of thousands of Afghans who risked their lives to work for freedom and a modern state in Afghanistan, their efforts went in vain, a situation similar when the United States withdrew from Iraq in 2011, where “USA has failed as well to protect some of the Iraqis who worked with it during the first years of that the war”.
The current priority in Washington is to “overcome the negative effects of the unorganized withdrawal, and work to prevent the emergence of security threats inside Afghanistan, which could spread regionally and globally, especially in the Islamic world”, as we witnessed in (Iraq and neighboring Syria with the rise of ISIS) in 2012-2014, with some fears and expectations that the “security dynamics can change dramatically with the influence of “extremist Islamic factions in the Islamic world”.
Here, We can conclude that “Afghanistan is not just a war that went wrong, as the many mistakes in the American war in Afghanistan are shared by 4 American presidents”, and President “Joe Biden” bears responsibility for his decisions, as his administration failed in an orderly withdrawal, and is striving to ensure the safety of diplomats and other Americans in the country.
The fifth axis: The “ideological and religious clash” between the Islamic world and the USA after the American accusations to the Saudi Arabia’s responsibility on the September 11 events
The disclosure of the secret documents of the September 11 attacks, if (it is proven that Saudi officials were involved in them), may restore relations between Riyadh and Washington to their worst condition, especially if the US courts decide to impose huge compensation payments to the families of the victims against the Saudi government.
And this American crisis in the face of Saudi Arabia comes due to the pressures that US President “Biden” is subjected to respond to the continuous pressures from the American families of the victims, which sent a clear message to President “Biden” with “not aligned with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on this issue”, referring to the bias what was clear to his predecessor “Trump”, towards Saudi Crown Prince “Mohammed bin Salman” during the case of the assassination of opposition journalist “Gamal Khashoggi” in Turkey, and the events that followed.
Here, the US Department of Justice announced its decision to review confidential documents related to the September 11, 2001 attacks, which the US government had imposed (a cover of secrecy) on them for more than 20 years, following the warnings of the families of the victims of those attacks of the need to hold the Biden administration accountable. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is implicated in this matter, which has exacerbated the crisis between Riyadh and Washington in the recent period.
Here, the Biden administration is facing pressures to declassify US government documents, which they claim to show that “Saudi Arabia’s leaders were supportive of attacks against American targets”, with the US officials declaring that “a lot of investigative evidence has been revealed that proves the involvement of Saudi government officials in supporting the attacks against Washington”.
We find here that a “number of American agencies and various administrations sought to prove Saudi Arabia’s responsibility for the events of September 11”, which is what both (the US Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation) actively sought, while claiming that they maintained the confidentiality of this information and prevented the American people from knowing the full truth about 9/11 attacks.
President “Biden” and the White House staff welcomed the US Department of Justice’s decision to review the documents and reveal the facts to the American public, with President Biden’s affirmation that:
“As I promised during my campaign, my administration is committed to ensuring the maximum degree of transparency by law, and to adhere to the strict guidelines issued during the Obama and Biden administrations on invoking the privilege of state secrets”
With the Biden’ stress that: “In this context, I welcome the filing of the Department of Justice, which is committed to conducting a new review of the documents, as the government has previously confirmed the privileges, and to do so as quickly as possible”
We find that at a time when the families of the victims of the September 11 events are calling for Saudi Arabia to be held accountable, the latter has denied its involvement in those terrorist attacks against Washington. For several years, family members of 9/11 victims have sought “US government documents relating to whether Saudi Arabia aided or financed any of the 19 individuals associated with Al-Qaeda who carried out the devastating attack against those US targets”
Because of this “ideological and religious conflict between Washington and Saudi Arabia”, US-Saudi relations have been greatly affected, especially after the case of the killing of the Saudi dissident journalist “Jamal Khashoggi” in Istanbul in 2018.
In February 2021, the Biden administration issued a report that found that Saudi Crown Prince “Mohammed bin Salman” was directly responsible for approving the killing of “Khashoggi”, while Washington imposed sanctions on dozens of Saudis linked to human rights violations, and decided to “end American support for the Saudi war in Yemen”.
At that time, Biden and other officials confirmed that they would end the warmth that characterized the (Trump administration’s relationship with Saudi Arabia), noting their desire to end America’s blindness to human rights violations inside Saudi Arabia, but they also made it clear that the United States would continue to support, protect and work with the Kingdom because of their common interests.
Hence, we find that the “current negative relations between the United States of America and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia” have reached their lowest levels during the administration of “Joe Biden” and Saudi Arabia, as one of the most complex and problematic issues during the era of the Democratic US President “Joe Biden”, unlike his Republican predecessor “Donald Trump”, which takes the form or character of an “ideological or religious conflict” between American liberal values, especially that of the American Democratic Party followed by “Joe Biden”, and those American accusations of Saudi Arabia of adopting the “Wahhabi Salafi ideology”, and of its involvement in terrorist attacks against Washington.
Accordingly, all of these mentioned factors will definitely negatively effect on the “American- Islamic world relationships”, given that “Saudi Arabia is the leader and locomotive of the Sunni Muslim sectarian in the Islamic world”, and may lead to “ideological clash between American values in the face of Saudi religious ideology”, which Washington accuses of supporting terrorism and causing its victims, which in turn will lead to the “collapse of American influence in the entire Middle East and Islamic word, given Saudi Arabia’s regional position in it”.
The sixth axis: The impact of “Chinese automatic control and Russian disobedience theories” on the theory of “American hegemony” in the Islamic world after September 11events
The Chinese and Russian ideologies are similar in their view toward the (events of September 11th), a real change in the course and directions of international relations since the collapse of the former Soviet Union, and Russia and China agree that the scene of “unilateral American hegemony” is what brought the world to September 11, 2001. And that the direction of international relations for China and Russia represents the direction of (American hegemony) over the world, according to the “two theories” that are fundamentally important for Russia and China, namely:
The Russian theory of “contradiction” in the face of the policies of American hegemony, especially after the events of September 11:
This trend in international relations is based on (imposing the Russian method) in the international arena in the face of the (theory of unilateral American hegemony), especially in the Islamic world, in addition to this was clearly demonstrated by the “Russian rejection position to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003”, and the “Russian tendency towards rejecting Washington’s policies), Russia is trying to implement its violation of the United States of America through a “long-term strategy”, such as “containing American unilateralism and its failed policies in the Islamic world”, which caused the “emergence of terrorism and ISIS in Iraq and then Syria”, participating in efforts to combat terrorism in the Arab region, and to ensure the flow of oil and the stability of its prices, with the beliefs of the peoples of the Middle East and the Islamic world in the possibility of (Russia and China leading the world together), but they play a role Pivotal in confronting and violating the unilateral American tendencies, to contain the dangers of the American power of domination and hegemony.
Chinese automatic control theory in confronting the ideology of unilateralism and spreading the trend of one American liberal values:
This is a Chinese theory formulated by the Chinese researcher “Li Hong Xing”, and known as “automatic control theory”, in his book “China will lead the world”, and he believes that China’s “automatic control” of international relations and the world is carried out through the following points of control, which are media control, China’s tough diplomatic confrontation with the United States of America, maintaining China’s energy and oil security against Washington, securing waterways, and others.
By integrating the two theories of “Russian Contradiction theory to the UA and automatic Chinese control theory in the face of American hegemonic policies in the Islamic world” after the events of September 11, we find that it has been able to undermine and control the unilateral, hegemonic American power, through:
The global Sino-Russian diplomatic and media blockade on the United States: in the sense of showing all of its negatives to the international community, and causing many crises in global international relations to carry out that task.
The expansion of Russian-Chinese blocs in the Asia-Pacific and Pacific region: by trying to control the oil of Asian regions, expanding economic activities through the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative and Russian partnerships for energy security, natural gas and oil across the axis of Siberian territories, in addition to working to establish political blocs It revolves around the Sino-Russian axis, such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and for collective security, and others.
China and Russia’s control over important strategic waterways: Here comes the work to create a reality of Chinese-Russian control over some important passages around the world, especially in the Middle East, to protect the interests of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative and Russian partnerships, and the Russian-Chinese military presence, especially in Syrian territory.
Chinese and Russian direct confrontation with American policies in the Islamic world and Middle East: in order to maintain the flows of “international energy security” to Russia and China, and to oppose the policies of American hegemony in international organizations, such as: the United Nations, by using the “veto” to confront any American political or military moves In the Middle East, and calling “the countries allied to Russia and China” to the Middle Eastern countries that cooperate with them, and working together to confront the American expansion in the Middle East, on several political and economic axes, to weaken the American hegemony to control the region.
Strengthening the Chinese presence in the Islamic world through the “Belt and Road Initiative” and Russian partnerships and increasing influence: It is an organized and long-term strategy based on Chinese and Russian projects, development partnerships, and China’s assistance to the Belt and Road countries in the Islamic world by modernizing infrastructure and working joint projects, in addition to provide grant support and training.
Attempting to restore Chinese and Russian power internationally in contrast of the decline of the USA: in an attempt to move towards force in international relations, as this has become an imposed reality in the world today due to the policies of American hegemony, and this trend uses (Asian depth) mainly, and (European depth) in a secondary, and that guarantees Russia and China the restoration of their strategic and political prestige in international affairs.
Sino-Russian energy strategy in the Middle East, Asia and the world: by following the “international energy security” approach, in which Russia and China are trying to strengthen their direct control over oil and gas transmission lines from (Central Asia, Caspian Sea, Iran and the Islamic world), and to establish future energy projects on their lands, “International energy security” depends on economic and political control by securing transit routes for the interests of Russia and China, subjecting them to Chinese-Russian control, and deploying missile shields, submarines and barges to secure these routes, in addition to security cooperation with Asian, Arab and Islamic countries, and encouraging the establishment of unions and economic development partnerships with all institutions and countries, and support the political positions of Arab, Islamic and Asian countries.
Through the overall previous analysis of the case before and after September 11 events, we conclude that what is known as “religious coups and the emergence of radical terrorism” is one of the most prominent transformations in the global scene after Al-Qaeda’s attack on the heart of modern Western capitalist civilization in the United States of America. After the return of the “Taliban movement” to power in Afghanistan, many questions are raised about the lessons learned from the post-9/11 years on the world.
Accordingly, we can conclude and reach out here that “all the wars led by the United States in the name of spreading Western values, democracy, modernity, human rights, the aid of allies and friends of Washington around the world)….etc., all of which are American strategies and tools that have proven to be unsuccessful, especially in the developing world. Therefore, many theories have appeared today, rejecting and emphasizing the futility of the theory of the “clash of civilizations”.
Noting that after two decades of the events of September 11, and the failure of the United States to achieve its goals in Afghanistan, the control of the “Taliban movement” and the strengthening of the Islamic State organization “ISIS” in the Islamic world, which led to the “collapse and decline of the power of the United States of America in exchange for the rise of the Russian Federation and the Chinese in the Arab Gulf and the Muslim world”, which has “lost confidence in the American machinery”.
In my concluded opinion, this is the general attitude towards Washington in the Islamic world and the Middle East region, especially after the “American escalation of its dispute with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its accusation, after two decades, of being involved in the events of September 11”, which led to the “religious, moral and ideological collision between the Muslim world and the Arab Gulf states in the face of USA”, due to the “failed American mechanisms” in the region in favor of the emerging of both “Russia and China” power.
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