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Does Washington have an exit strategy?

Written by Nasser Kandil,

In the Winograd Committee report, the government of Ehude Olmert and the leadership of the occupation army were reprimanded for the absence of a strategy for the exit from the war. It means in politics the exit strategy with alternative to confront the failure of the bets put by the decision-makers and the plans-owners. Every war and confrontation is subject to the wrong appreciation and the change of data and surprises. The two wars of America in Iraq and Afghanistan preceded by the war of Vietnam are clear evidences of that, Moreover, the war of July on Lebanon in 2006 and the war on Syria where all the US capabilities and all alliances were crowded and which failed in achieving its goals are examples of that.

The war on Syria showed that Washington does not fall by Israel’s mistakes and that it has always an exit strategy from the confrontation in case there are signs of failure, and that the decision-center in it is deeper than the person of its president and more capable to make maneuver and replacement. Sometimes the change of the president and his policies is the appropriate exit strategy due to the fact that the higher interests of the country are more important that the president’s considerations. The Americans often did so; they created a show before the occurrence of the failure in order to be an alternative negotiating platform that is wider than the issue of war and confrontation. The US-Russian understandings are the outcome of the US failure in the conflict front; these understandings hide the failure and pave the way for sharing new spoils with Russia. America often shares the spoils with allies at the expense of other allies as it did with the rulers of the Arab Spring, and as it did with the regime of Shah through its understanding with the regime of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, and as it did with Saddam himself through its successive understanding with Iran in respect of sharing the administration of new Iraq.

Today America is entering a decisive stage in its confrontation with Iran, whatever the success rates about which Washington talks, the possibilities of failure are great, this is due to the absence of the war option from the table of the US decision-maker on one hand, and the failure of the occupation entity of getting an opportunity of a military movement against Iran in Syria on the other hand, as it was supposed by Washington too to be an entry for negotiation on the Iranian role in Syria as the result of the impact of sanctions. The developments in the Gulf and the Saudi situation in particular after the failure of the deal of the century which aims at a Gulf-Israeli alliance against Iran at the backdrop of ending the Palestinian cause with a Palestinian partner who can accept the Israeli conditions, and the deterioration of the Saudi status due to the pressures resulted from the killing of Jamal Khashoggi and the consensus on the responsibility of the first man of America the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman of ordering of killing., as well as the sanctions which do not seem a source of Iranian economic suffocation in the light of European abidance by the dealing with the Iranian oil and European goods and the presence of a large number of countries which repel against the sanctions or which got American exemptions, make the question legitimate and present at the American administration and the decision-making centers.

The sanctions coincide with the Russian-American rapprochement through series of summits between the President Donald Trump and the President Vladimir Putin within days, weeks, and months, and coincide with an American recognition of the regression of the main pillar in the confrontation with Iran represented by Saudi Arabia and the position of its Crown Prince, to the extent of the American recognition of new Gulf facts where Iran will grip its revenues as the stopping of the war on Yemen in a settlement in which Ansar Allah participated and got a good rank and role, while Saudi Arabia and UAE will pay the cost of the failure in their ranks and roles. Some of the American analysts outweigh the start of a long process of rearranging of the Gulf situation that may not be restricted only on redrawing roles, rather remapping. Iran is the only probable regional partner.

The year 2019 is the year of new mapping, where Iran is the most prominent player regionally and where the sanctions are mere a negotiating paper about the role of Iran and its magnitude, while on the other bank, the Gulfs seem losing their status comparing with Turkey which its strong relationship with Iran and its rebellion against the sanctions which target Iran forms a source of strength of Turkey’s status and role, which means the limited time of engagement in favor of the time of interests. Thus perhaps those who get involved in sanctions pay attention.

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,