This Thing With North Korea, Iran and Syria.

Hate Trump or love him, the fact is, with what seems like the entire world being against him The Donald cares none for nothing and is out to deliver his results notwithstanding. He is delivering results but there are no real ways as of today to be sure that they are either good or bad – we just have to wait and see. But with the international mess in grand proportions that has befallen the Middle East and has persisted for as long as it has, from the beginning of the uprising against Al Assad to the rise and fall of ISIS; the skirmishes in the gulf between Saudi Arabia, the Emirate States and Yemen; Donald’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel amidst the persisting political situation with Palestine and the Arab front (which ironically have Saudi and the Emirati states in it) and finally, US’ relations with China especially as it affects the relations with Japan and the Koreas.

Beginning with the situation on the oriental front. A few months after his inauguration into office, it was reported that The Donald, having very little understanding, asked for explanations as to the reasons why there was divide between North and South Korea which led to suspicions that fuelled North Korea’s dedication to ensuring that it developed nuclear weapons for “self-defence” and as a probable counter measure against the Southerners, their American allies and their incessant “military drills” which have been common since the institution of the demilitarised zone. Tensions rose quite quickly and curiously enough, North Korea after working on developing nuclear technology and making little progress for the better part of almost five decades, made a startling series of breakthroughs in a matter of months. As of today however, North Korea reportedly has dismantled its nuclear test facilities and is heading for peaceful resolution to the persisting situation with South Korea and perhaps in time a reunification of the peninsula. To highlight the role Chain has played and continues to play in these development is absolutely key. It is veritably within the realm of all reason to infer that North Korea’s progress with nuclear tech including the funding to booth (China and Russia are NoKo’s only trading partners in the world) were both sponsored and fast-tracked by China for the main purpose of augmenting China’s sphere of influence on the Asian continent by either luring current US allies and delivering them safely into the Chinese orbit (i.e. South Korea, Japan) or courting and reassuring the US’ adversaries like it has done with the Philippines and North Korea. Providing NoKo with nuclear assurance while convincing the south of their security with the terms of agreement between NoKo and China did this trick as for the first time in a very long while, it was in 2018 that the heads of North and South Korea amicable met with an aim of fostering diplomatic relations between their estranged states. Amusingly enough, the world sought out ways of giving Donald credit for the development when in truth, Donald was about involved in the resolution as this observer was. But then again, Donald has been particularly big on Thoughts and Prayers, so who knows but if anything, it might be more prudent to understand that along with his American cabinet, Donald and his America have been/are being played out of their historical influence in Asia. Of particular interest to this discourse is the situation with Taiwan and the triangle of disputes that surrounds the territorial rights in the South China Sea (China, Japan and Taiwan, then the US). The US was interested in keeping military hardware in the heart if the Asian continent because that was logistically more sensible especially when the security interests of their allies were concerned and for another fact that to be a global militaristic super power, the naval capabilities of the States have to literally stretch and touch every end of the globe. It was recorded on several occasions that the US held military strategy meetings in association with the Japs and the Koreans on the disputed South China Sea and on one of those occasions, the Chinese crashed the party in stealth mode: they showed up uninvited and undetected by even the US’ top of the line hardware. In addition to the Chinese, boots on the ground in Asia helped the US keep tabs on places like Pakistan, Bangladesh and India some of which in addition to having bases for terror linked cells like the Al Qaeda, have functioning nuclear programmes and also tenuous truces that underline the politics of the region and a move like the imminent loss of military influence in the region obviously cannot bode well to the national security interests of the States even if it begins with distant events as pivotal to global peace and security as North and South Korea being friends. The United States was played out of Korea and is being played out of Asia all together as China looks to lay serious claims to political and militaristic influence and cement its place as a world power in the years to come. I get the strong feeling that the foreign policy intricacies of the US being the strongest military power in Asia was something that every POTUS since JFK has understood and might have even been part of the reasons why the Obama administration did well to greatly improve the relations between the US, Japan and South Korea while sustaining talks with North Korea without any real resolution to solving any real issue. But Donald doesn’t care about these things or maybe he just didn’t understand.

Next up is the Middle East for which the graphical illustration below attempts to explain by isolating the involved states and quite simplistically, showing the balance of allegiances in the region. The first expression had Syria in the middle of it all and concurrently, the fact that all hostilities were bared in Syria and with so many other participants including the US, NATO and the EU, etc. just went on to show that factually, the one thing they all had in common was the only factor that would not affect much of the situation if it was taken away. It has become full on proxy warfare; everyone is fighting else but Syria is the battle ground and Russia is really just there to ensure that the expulsion of Al Assad’s regime isn’t one of eventualities that wasn’t planned for but happened nonetheless to the profits of a few others.

Middle east situation

However, another diagram that took Syria from the centre of the discussion and replaced it with Turkey, one of the few strong nations in the Middle East today that bears no real, active political adversaries (other than the US with whom they share a slightly strained relationship).

Middle east situation2

Turkey is the key to fixing the issues that plague the Middle East today and perhaps, a shift in the locus of influence that has overshadowed the region since time immemorial from foreign hands (The US, France and Britain) might just have found a strong and independent force of a nation in this Turkey which historically was the seat of militaristic and political influence for the Islamic world until the oil fuelled rise of Saudi and the change of allegiances that came with it since the end of the first world war. Turkey is also an interesting prospect for strong leadership in this troubled region because in the toughest of circumstances, seeing out a military situation with the US backed Iraqi insurgent movements (The Kurds, etc.), the country at this time and with the uncertainty of an election and a possible change of leadership hanging over President Erdogan’s administration, according to stats boasts the fastest growing economy in Europe. This comes even with the recent squeeze on the Turkish Lira – US Dollar exchange rates that have seen the country’s currency take significant hits in the past year. Erdogan has maintained his insistence on Turkish military actions in Syria as a means of protecting his nation’s security as they share a border with the troubled Syria – seems like reason enough doesn’t it? – but this hasn’t stopped the strategic economic squeeze from the US, part of which has affected weapons procurement as Turkish – US relations continue to endure. However, if peace is the actual goal behind the situation in the Middle East, rather than working against the Turks, pledging some degree of support while Turkey brings the Arab League and their satellite states to the table might be a way to go. But this is global politics, a lot of the time, peace is just a by-product of something else working and its arguable that no western state actually wants a unified Middle East.

After trying to incite civil unrest in Iran and failing earlier this year, even though the “perps” have denied the intention of forcing a regime change after the Iranian nuclear deal fell through and threw the confluence of international interests aligned with the situation into taking opposing sides. As it stands, a series of Israeli led strikes on Iranian bases in Syria and even more US led economic sanctions have introduced a new set of dynamics into the Syrian problem. The EU and China, in support of the nuclear deal have pledged some degree of support to an Iran that has been accused of harbouring terrorist cells like Hezbollah. If Iran and Israel go to war in Syria, in a way, it is also the EU and China going to war with the US and Israel. The biggest problem that might arise from this end would be resurgence the decimated ISIS and they profit off the conflicts between the two respective sides in this discourse. The problem with Iran is that Donald’s US is out to eliminate the Obama administration nuclear deal – that most of the world other than themselves and Israel seem to have gotten along with – due to suspicions that the development of nuclear weapons might be underway rather than nuclear fuelled energy like the Iranians have been detailing for a while.

There really is no easy way to put it, as of today, the US is the biggest existing threat to world peace and Iran is being made into another North Korea as practically the same issues that led US actions against North Korea for decades have been transferred to Iran.  The US biggest fear is that left to their own devices, Iran would develop nuclear weapons that would find their ways into the hands of terrorists who wouldn’t be afraid to use these weapons on the US and justifiably so as terrorists only have nation bases, not political allegiances; they can bomb you, but you can’t bomb them. The most sensible solution in this case was to turn Iran into an ally state and that may have been what Obama was up to with the nuclear deal but obviously Donald knows better. It should be expected anyway that as the US bleeds allies from all pores, the nuclear deal would be back on the table in the coming months. I also predict a situation with the United Nations, however, good or bad might be difficult to ascertain as of yet.

As for Nigeria, the biggest interest the nation might have with full scale war developing in the Middle East has to lay on the foreign policy imperatives of millions of small arms leaving the Middle East and heading into Nigeria in a similar way as the diversions from Libya between 2009 and 2013 led to Boko Haram becoming a global terrorism super power. Nigeria would either have to start investing on tightening border control or actively involving itself and its foreign policy interests in these discussions to ensure that these weapons are either not created at all through brokering a de-escalation of tensions in the middle east or finding a way to ensure that they end up elsewhere – preferable not on the African continent.

You really should be happy that the US didn’t vote Hillary to deal with this; the world would have ended by now.

 

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