Will the U.S. lose the Persian Gulf?
Following the results of the visit to Riyadh, Uthe U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry promised that Washington will orient to the development of a partnership with Saudi Arabia, considering it one of the main partners in the region. Indeed, the Gulf's largest monarchy remains the main oil supplier to the United States and one of the key buyers of U.S. weapons. Alongside with that, it continues to be a major sponsor of international terrorism, seeking U.S. complicity in the realization of their ambitions of the Arab World policeman. At this point John Kerry said in Riyadh that "the kingdom is the U.S. partner in the Middle East with its own independent position." This position will hardly suit Washington experiencing a number of failures in its Middle East policy.
For the White House it becomes increasingly clear that from the point of view of U.S. strategy in the Arab East, an alliance with Saudi Arabia is not only disadvantageous, but is fraught with the danger to lose the U.S. dominance in the region. Now Washington has avoided the deterioration of relations with Riyadh, but soon the Americans will have to deal with the Arab Caliphate beeng developed by the Gulf monarchies, which Caliphate is supporting terrorism throughout the world. The U.S. is simply forced to enter into a confrontation with the Saudi strategy to achieve regional leadership. All the more so the Saudi royal family, fearing to repeat the fate of the Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who was abandoned by Washington at the crucial moment, made haste to get ahead of events and was the first to decide to take care of its own interests without watching Washington's reaction.
Saudi Arabia's recent demarche to refuse the non-permanent seat in the UN Security Council is not so much directed against the very Security Council, in particular against Russia or China, as was a direct challenge to U.S. policy in the Middle East. The next blow to the White House was a decision of Riyadh insisting on solving the Syrian conflict by force, refusing to participate in Geneva 2 conference. At the upcoming international forum, the delegation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), most likely, would be relegated to the background and it would not receive a satus enabling it to forcefully state its position that is not perceived by other members of the diplomatic settlement of the Syrian crisis. Behind the Saudis' statements on implementation of theier historic mission of spreading the 'true' Islam there is Arabian sheiks' desire to become masters of the Arab world on the sole ground that they are the main financial sponsors of bloody turmoil in Syria made by terrorists. Money is coming to the fore in relations between Riyadh and Washington.
Most recently, the Saudis tried to buy the U.S.' consent to military action against Syria, now, after having been refused, the kingdom threatens to withdraw from the U.S. its dollar investments? Indeed, it is necessary to somehow compensate for the huge material losses from unsuccessful funding the Syrian opposition, taking into account that Saudi Arabia has not received the expected political dividends from cooperation with the 'rebels'. Riyadh's attempts to overthrow Assad without American military involvement are failing; there is the only prospect to stay in the inside-Syrian confrontation in a precarious alliance with the 'jihad warriors' from al-Qaeda, whose belief in the 'true' Islam has always and everywhere relied on terror.
It is a usual thing for the Saudis to maintain ill-assorted international terrorists, the novelty lies in the fact that this time they will probably do it without the blessing of President Obama. For Americans, the role of accomplice in genocide of the Syrian Alawites encouraged by Saudi Arabia and in destruction of Christianity in the Middle East has become unnecessary. The moral principles of American diplomacy are not the point; there are no grounds to speak of the refusal of Washington from its traditional policy of intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries. President Obama's administration will have to significantly reduce cooperation with Riyadh in the Syrian sector, and in some other issues to come out against Saudi Arabia for other reasons.
Now the Arabian monarchy in a varying degree directly interferes with the determination of future political destiny of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Bahrain. The favorite topic of Americans in the transformation of political structure of the Middle East is democratization but it can have no place in Saudi scenarios for these countries. Everywhere the existing regimes are to be replaced by radical political Islam, the power struggle between Sunnis and Shiites is an integral part of inter-state relations. Instead of secular authoritarian leaders, only the Islamists can come to power in the Arab countries and with the Saudi participation there are no other options. Iran laying a claim to influence in the region too, is opposing Saudi Arabia's plans in its most acute form. For the U.S., it is time to make a choice with which of the two countries to cooperate in the future.
America will "resist foreign aggression against its allies and partners, as it did during the Gulf War," President Obama promised, presenting at the September session of the UN General Assembly, the principles of his policy in the Middle East. It remains a puzzle who he means by the allies. Egypt is no longer among them, Libya remains a failed state with uncertain prospects, Iraq is increasingly deorbiting from the U.S. influence, Iran was expelled from the ranks of partners a long time ago, after the victory of the Islamic Revolution. The states of the Persian Gulf only remain, with the leader of which, Saudi Arabia, Americans have to conflict, and the other countries of this area are geopolitical dwarves that have become excessively belligerent with obtaining financial leverage of manipulating various international terrorist groups.
For example, Qatar, with a population of only 250 thousand indigenous people has 100 billion dollars of free money every year. Qatar phenomenon emerged at gas fields under the umbrella of U.S. military bases that covered the emirate from enemies and aroused superpower ambitions in this geopolitical dwarf. Washington's assertions that Qatar can make a significant contribution to U.S. actions in the Middle East seem ridiculous. The armed forces of the Emirate are inferior to combat power of one American aircraft carrier. Most of the ten thousand soldiers remain not in barracks, but in their homes, they not only do not serve, they do not work, as the whole country that has called more than one million Muslims from other countries to take service with it, to produce gas and provide other service. As can be seen, Doha appreciates Islamic solidarity: while fellow believers are working for Qatar here, the Qatari money is working throughout the Middle East, settling in the pockets of terrorists and arming them with sophisticated arms. But the fact that in Qatar there is no political party, as there is not a slightest sign of respect for human rights, does not confuse democrats in the U.S. and liberals from Europe.
Americans are satisfied with the emirs' generosity that spend billions of dollars to pay for the military orders in the U.S., Europe ? with the opportunity by means of Qatari gas to reduce energy dependence on Russia. When the Pentagon needed to replenish the aircraft ammunition reserve in the Persian Gulf, the Qatar gave $4 billion to supply 5,000 GBU 39/B bombs. At the end of 2012 the European states received 31.1 billion cubic meters of Qatari natural gas; Qatar invested the money mainly in support of terrorism.
Bahrain, proudly calling himself the royal house of al-Khalifa dynasty, deploying in its territory the headquarters of the 5th U.S. Fleet in Manama, relied on the U.S.' cover too. Now over a period of several years in Bahrain there are clashes between police and Shiites who make up about 60% in a state. Shiites have decided advantage here, and with the support of Iran this advantage can become overwhelming, sending the Bahraini monarchy into a deep knockdown. By supporting the king aiming for the further tightening of the regime and the armed struggle against the Shiite opposition, the United States can lose its base.
The White House has two ways out: to find a new headquarters for the U.S. 5th Fleet, or allow the regime change in Bahrain and begin to work with those who will replace it. The first option is more expensive, all the more so, there are no reliable platforms left in the Gulf. The second is impossible with retention of previous allied obligations to Riyadh that is again in path of American interests by bringing its troops into Bahrain and taking the royal family under the protection.
Secretary of State Kerry denies reports about a possible discord in U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia. The Obama administration is trying to maintain the image of patron of its allies in the Persian Gulf, claiming that the relationship with them is still strong and strategic by nature. However, tensions because of controversy on many issues of the Middle East agenda are more and more obvious. Not the Americans but the Saudis are now dictating their conditions. That shows their new, independent political course.