Hardly had Barack Obama come to power, he said that stabilizing the situation in the Middle East was one of the first priorities of his team. When George W. Bush presented his plan to enforce democracy in the region, then-President of France Jacques Chirac stated that it was up for the countries of the Middle East to decide if they needed “missionaries of democracy.” The majority of other G8 leaders shared Chirac’s opinion on the matter.
Bush’s plan stipulated the interference into internal affairs of the region’s states. Those who supported Bush’s initiative claim that his plan was justifiable because the situation in the Middle East posed a serious danger to the world.
As a matter of fact, such dangers should be discussed at the UN Security Council. It is the UN Security Council that must determine the measures to neutralize the danger. However, all countries of the Middle East were supposed to accept the Western system of democracy in accordance with Bush’s plan.
Russia’s former Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov stated that the US plan of enforcing democracy in other countries could be compared to the Trotskyists propagating the export of revolution during the 1920s. “They were not confused about the fact that the countries, which they selected, had no vestiges of the revolutionary situation. This is why their export failed,” Mr. Primakov said.
Europe was the center of the US-led foreign politics during the 20th century. The 9/11 terrorist attacks changed the priorities, and the USA became entirely concentrated on the territory from Pakistan to Northern Africa. The region’s immense crude resources and Israel ’s actions in the region became the central battlefield with those who stood up against the USA ’s global interests. As a result, many countries of the Middle East found themselves in chaos because of George W. Bush’s plan.
Experts say that the number of casualties in Iraq exceeded the number of victims of genocide in Rwanda during the 1990s. US troops and their allies suffer serious loses in Afghanistan. A civil war gripped Lebanon. Palestine is in the middle of the humanitarian catastrophe because of Israel’s repressions. The situation in Pakistan is at the peak of its tension, not to mention the growing confrontation between Syria and Israel.
The USA was approaching all those conflicts as the struggle between good and evil. In the Middle East, the conflicts led to the growing number of refugees, as well as illegal arms and drug deals. The instability and the ongoing military standoff have exhausted the states of the region. For example, there is no system of joint governmental authorities in Afghanistan. The country suffers from the humanitarian crisis; the production of drugs has increased 44 times within 7.5 years.
The blockade of Iraq, which continued for nearly 13 years before Saddam Hussein was toppled in 2003, seriously undermined the nation’s economy. The interethnic strife in the country became much more intense after the arrival of the US troops in the country. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Turkey and Syria became involved (either expressly or by implication) in the conflicts in Iraq following their own geopolitical interests.
Strange as it may seem, but it was the USA that strengthened the influence of the “axis of evil” in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia and Palestine. The Middle East that the world has today is not the Middle East that the United States thought the world would have.
America has the new president now, but the politics in the region does not change for the better....
Sejil-2 is a two-stage surface-to-surface ballistic missile of a new generation, with a range of some 1,240 miles. It can presumably hit targets in Israel, Asia Minor and the Balkans.
However, analysts doubt that it is a completely new missile and believe Iranian television showed the launch of the Shahab-3 missile created in the early 2000s on the basis of North Korea's Nodong missile.
But this does not change the essence of the debate. The main issue is the possibility of Iran using its missiles and the number of troops and equipment necessary to respond to a potential Iranian strike.
The political importance of Iran's missile program is greater than its military implications. The creation of new missiles increases Tehran's political bargaining power with the West. The broader capabilities Iranian missile designers show, the more Iran may receive in response for its potential concessions.
This tactic does not entail any real threat of the use of these missiles. A potential Iranian missile strike will almost certainly result in the total destruction of Iran's missile capability and in heavy losses for the country and its economy. This cannot justify the relatively minor damage Iran would likely exact from its adversaries.
Therefore, the announcement of new missile tests and missile characteristics should be viewed as PR spin aimed at raising Iran's stakes in the global political game.
However, the situation may become sinister if Iran creates nuclear warheads for its missiles. This upping of the stakes will almost definitely tighten military tensions around Iran and rule out the possibility of talks on different problems.
This is what is now happening on the Korean Peninsular after North Korea held its second nuclear test. In fact, it has pushed Pyongyang into nearly complete isolation.
The situation around Iran is also being influenced by the other key regional country, Israel, which can and will deliver a strike at Iran's nuclear facilities under certain conditions. It is unclear if and when Israel will cross the thin line into a military operation, disregarding world public opinion.
At the same time, the United States is deploying ballistic missile defense (ABM) systems to ward off Iran's missile threat. The ABM system has provoked heated debates between the U.S. and Russia, which claims that the systems, if deployed as planned, are designed to intercept Russian rather than Iranian missiles.
Russia has several times proposed an alternative plan of deploying interceptor missiles on Iran's borders - in Turkey, Kuwait and possibly Iraq. This would simplify the task of intercepting Iranian missiles without endangering Russia's nuclear missile capability.
The plan provides for using not the expensive silo-launched GBI missiles but the theater high-altitude area defense (THAAD) U.S. PAC-3 and Israeli Arrow (Hetz) missiles, and other mobile (and possibly naval) systems.
Does the United States consider the Iranian missile threat to be serious, or is it using it as a pretext for deploying its ABM systems spearheaded against Russia? We will know the answer when Washington responds to Russia's proposal.