Alwaght- In the years after World War II and the beginnings of the Cold War, in order to confront communism and to create a bulwark against the Soviet Union, US shifted its focus to West Asia. In US’ eyes, this region was a battlefield for capitalism. During the arms race with the Soviet Union, US adopted the policy of establishing military bases in different areas all over the world, one of these areas was the West Asian region. At first, most of the important bases were located at the vanquished states of World War II, countries such as Japan, Germany, and South Korea. But gradually, due to confrontation with the Soviet Union, the West Asian region became one of the most vital areas of interest to US’ authorities. After a short while, the region became US’ so-called backyard. In the past few decades, US not only successfully took control of the region, but has taken advantage of West Asia in order to maintain its own hegemony in the international system. Currently, US’ military bases have been scattered all over West Asia, especially in Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Kuwait, Bahrain, and such countries.
Based on the number and type of US’ military bases in the West Asian region, and doctrines of this country’s foreign policy in the new millennium, It is clear that the US military bases in the region are not created just for military purposes or offense and defense applications. The fact is, the existence of these bases during the Cold War was for confronting and controlling the influence of communism in different areas of the world. But after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, the issue of communism became redundant. In this era, these military bases did not reduce in number, in fact, they further expanded in size and number. Considering the number and the span of US’ military bases in the region, the objectives of creating them could be explained in the following five subjects:
1. US’ military presence in West Asia and especially in the countries bordering Iran, has increased a lot in the past decades. US achieved this by establishing new military bases in these areas.
2. Fundamental Identity-Historical tensions in West Asia, and the creation of crises by US in the region, are two main factors that raised the existence of US’ military bases as a necessity. To the point that currently, even if the US seeks military withdrawal, Arab leaders will express their opposition towards it. These Arab leaders will try to convince US to stay in the region, by providing US with economic donations.
3. After the Cold War, the main purpose and objective of establishing and extending military bases in West Asia for US, has been the country’s international hegemony. The emergence of transregional competitors in the late 90s and early 2000s was also very influential in this regard.
4. Maintaining allied regimes, dealing with hostile regimes in the region, and ensuring the security and integrity of the Israeli regime, are among the most important objectives of US’ military presence in West Asia. By the establishing military bases in various countries in the West Asian region, US has assured its dictator and stooge leaders in the region that they will be supported against any external and internal threat.
5. One of the most important functions of US’ military bases in the West Asian region, is ensuring the transit and export of energy from this region to various parts of the world. US and Western Liberal agents of capitalism, make use of their military presence in the region to promote cultural programs and to weaken the already-established traditional norms. This can be clearly seen in US’ invasion of Iraq in 2003, in which the project of the expansion of Western neo-liberal ideology was at the helm of US’ schemes and plans for the social and political reconstruction of Iraq.
By Al Waght