After President Trump announced the withdrawal of American troops from Syria, in his usual manner (via Twitter), a flurry of indignation struck him. The squall is no less than after the unilateral withdrawal of America from the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in October of this year.
As we know, this flurry of indignation concerning nuclear missiles soon subsided. However, it sank only after Trump’s critics finally bothered to read the text of the treaty and were able to ascertain that it concerns only land-based missiles and does not affect sea, air, and space-based nuclear weapons at all. At the same time, the USA has at least a tenfold advantage over Russia in sea-based and air-based nuclear systems. The hysteria about this in America and Europe has remained calm for a long time, but in Russia, this move of Trump still causes undisguised irritation.
I hope the unfair accusations of “betraying the Allies” and “New Year’s gift to Iran and Russia” will soon also subside. An example must be taken from Russia – she has already learned her lessons in dealing with Trump, and there is no euphoria in the Kremlin about the “withdrawal of American troops” from Syria. Why?
Firstly, only about two thousand ground-based troops will return home from Syria. Syria remains clamped on all sides by the American 6th Fleet (operations in the Mediterranean) and 5th Fleet (operations in the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea). We are talking about not only naval forces, but also powerful carrier-based aircraft. Also, the American Air Force, which is based on numerous airfields in the Middle East, Turkey, Greece, and Italy, participated and will continue to participate in Syrian operations.
In addition, in agreement with NATO, France will expand its involvement in military operations in the north of Syria and fill the “gap” due to the departure of American infantry. At the same time, the withdrawal will take place in such a way that the French military will immediately replace every unit of the American military. In other words, the power vacuum that Obama left in 2011 when withdrawing troops from Iraq will not be repeated in Syria.
Secondly, before our eyes, Trump’s plan for a comprehensive settlement of conflicts in the Middle East is beginning to materialize. This plan is completely unoriginal, and Trump is not the first to decide to use “peaceful” oil and gas as the weapons in a protracted conflict to achieve his goals. At the end of 2008, it was used by the Russian oil industry, stopping the supply of energy to a freezing Europe, and at the end of 2018, it was used by the American oil industry, flooding the world market with cheap and abundant energy.
Thanks to the American oil industry workers, the U.S. came out on top in the world in oil production (in September of this year) and natural gas (two years ago). The export of American energy is increasing every year, and energy’s price is falling. The fall in the price of oil only since September of this year has already reached about 40%, and from the point of maximum in 2008, the price of oil has fallen by about 70%. The fall in natural gas prices since 2006 has continued uninterrupted and has already reached about 75%.
These economic results lead not only to well-marked price reductions at gas stations across America, but also to a strategic change in the situation in the Middle East.
The Muslim world, which lost its influence and entered a long decline after the defeat at Vienna on September 11-12, 1683, received an unexpected delay at the beginning of the twentieth century. First, in 1908, oil was found in Iran, then in Iraq in 1927, and then in Saudi Arabia in 1938. Note that the centuries-old loss of leadership of the Muslim world in the economic, political, and military spheres was the background that eventually led to the creation of modern Israel.
Oil adrenaline led to the creation of fabulously wealthy Muslim kingdoms, which the USSR took advantage of, providing them well developed methods of political terror. However, no one expected anything else from Russia, credited with inventing political terror in the 19th century. The Kurds, scattered across the territories of four countries, are traditionally considered allies of the United States. However, one should not forget that for a long time, the movement of the Kurds was headed by the communists, who were supported by the Soviet Union, and the terrorist infrastructure of the Kurds was created mainly with the help of the USSR. Should we be reminded that the Marxist-Leninist Labor Party of Kurdistan is still the leading political force of the Kurds (which, after being included in the list of terrorist organizations in 2003, has changed its name several times, trying to cover its tracks)?
The innovations of American engineers (such as shale oil) lead to the fact that a hundred-year temporary delay, given to the Muslims of the Middle East, is coming to an end. After the discovery of oil in the Middle East, the war between the Sunnis and Shiites, which continues from the end of the 7th century, broke out with a new force. But at present, the lack of oil super-profits is forcing Muslims to seek alliances previously considered in the realm of fantasy. Sunni Muslims joined forces with Israel and the United States against the Shiite Muslims of Iran, the ruling elite of Syria, and Russia.
The protracted conflict in Syria has led to the fact that, as often happens, there are almost no “good guys” among the opposing sides. Everyone knows a case when, during the time of President Obama, a group of militants in Syria, supported by the Pentagon, fought with a group of militants in the same Syria, sponsored by the CIA.
In the current situation, Trump has made the only right choice: to take the American guys out of harm’s way and extinguish the conflict with the help of oil and gas weapons.
The withdrawal of the American infantry from Syria was prepared long ago and came as a surprise only to the uninformed. Trump ordered the development of a plan for leaving Syria as early as February of this year, and in April, this plan was partially declassified and made public.
An unexpected “victim” of the withdrawal of U.S. infantry from Syria was the U.S. secretary of defense, James Mattis. General Mattis is one of the most talented combat generals of our time. He, like General Patton before him, perfectly knows methods of military tactics and military strategy, and he does not accept civilian methods in solving military problems. Mattis was unable to come to terms with the fact that the victory over Islamic terrorism would be won by the innovations of American engineers, rather than a professional and well-trained army, and decided to retire.
Well, we wish our guys to return home safely, and we wish General Mattis inspiration for his memoirs in the New Year. Russia and its friends in Iran, Syria, and Venezuela in the new year should not hope for pleasant surprises.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author and are not not necessarily either shared or endorsed by iPatriot.com.