Alwaght – A couple of days after the Western media started their speculations about possible US deployment of the troops to West Asia, President Donald Trump finally on Friday said that he will send 1,500 troops to the region to serve beside the already-operating US forces there. He said that the new forces will have “mostly protective” role, adding that 900 of them will be new to the region and the remaining are returning to the region as their service is extended. According to the Pentagon, the fresh forces will include engineers as well as experts with the expertise to operate the Patriot missile systems and reconnaissance aircraft.
In a situation that over the past few weeks the Western media, and the White House officials inducing National Security Advisor John Bolton, have launched a propaganda about the massive deployment of the US troops to the region to counter Iran, the move to send a small number of troops signals that the US has shifted to the defensive and de-escalating mode after two weeks of aggressive positions. But what is making the White House war hawks retreat?
Threats of large-scale damages to US interests
In the US foreign policy prioritization of the goals and vital interests for expansion of the US presence and influence across the world, West Asia region since the WWII has been of great significance to the American strategists. This importance stems from the huge energy reserves and the region’s impact on global developments. That is what has driven Washington over the past decades to engineer the regional security system or even redesign the geographical borders with the aim to synchronize the regional developments with the US pursuit of interests, using hard power and military action.
However, the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, as well as the Arab uprisings that ushered in a period of Islamic awakening, pushed the American decision makers to the vision that war and chaos cannot necessarily bring them favorable results. Rather, their policy may backfire and pose dangers more than ever to the US and its regional allies’ interests. Syria and Yemen conflicts are two main exhibitions of Washington’s experience of failure.
The US is well aware that with regard to the sway of the Iran-led Axis of Resistance across the region, risks to its, and allies’ vital interests are very close if they choose to escalate the tensions with Tehran. The consequences, the Americans know, will impact the global economy and oil prices to Washington’s detriment.
The US presidential election race officially started last week. The Democratic rivals of Trump started their inter-party competition for a final challenger of the president. Trump embarks on the presidential campaign while over the past three years, except for economic promises, he failed to realize his campaign vows. In fact, Trump’s policies are suffering from lack of a clear strategy of implementation before the 2020 race arrives. Examples are the trade war with China and the South Korea denuclearization. So, Trump’s rivals will be largely openhanded to challenge his track record in broad internal and external areas.
In the middle of this, any adventure, plot, or confrontation in the Persian Gulf will bring full collapse for his already-faltering political position in the home politics.
The broad home opposition to Trump’s unilateral actions, including the withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal which many argue was in stark contrast to the American interests was another factor driving the White House leaders away from further escalation of tensions with Iran.
Trump blasted the nuclear agreement, signed by the US and five world powers with Iran, under the previous president Barack Obama and pulled out of it. He hoped he could secure a better deal through pressuring Iran economically and without making the past concessions to Tehran. But predictably, the Iranian officials negatively responded to the talks calls under pressure and military action threats. That is what has driven a large number of home strategists and elites to oppose the president’s escalatory moves.
On the other hand, it should be taken into account that the US public are not ready to approve of involvement in another war, mainly serving the interests of the arms corporations and the wealthy pro-Israeli lobbyists and leaving the economic burden on the taxpayers. After all, one factor helped Trump win the 2016 race was his argument that the last decades’ military spending and wars in West Asia were damaging to the Americans’ welfare and economic conditions.
Pressing with the deal of the century
Yet another reason that White House seeks to ease the tensions with Iran is the preparation to unveil “the deal of the century”, an initiative that is expected to officialize occupation of the Palestinian territories and strip the Palestinian refugees of their right to return to their motherland. While all of the Palestinians have unified their voice against the Trump-sponsored initiative and brought to an impasse the US hopes of the deal implementation, Washington last week announced it will co-host an economic summit in Bahrain on the investment in the Palestinian territories. The aim is obviously to gain legitimacy to its plan by engaging the Arab countries in the project and bribing the Palestinians into accepting the deal. Prerequisite to this is relative calm in the occupied Palestinian territories and prevention of a war between the Israeli regime and the Palestinian groups, Lebanon, and Syria. Of course, a confrontation between Washington and Tehran in the Persian Gulf will prompt an encounter between the Israelis and Axis of Resistance in the region, that could be a final nail into the deal of the century’s coffin.