Middle East and Asia Geopolitics: Shift in Military Alliances?

by Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research:

A profound shift in geopolitical alliances is occurring which tends to undermine US hegemony in the broader Middle East Central Asian region as well as in South Asia. 

Several of America’s staunchest allies have “changed sides”. Both NATO and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) are in crisis. 

Turkey and NATO

NATO is characterized by profound divisions,  largely resulting from Ankara’s confrontation with Washington.

Turkey –which constitutes NATO’s heavyweight– is now fighting US-supported Kurdish rebels in northern Syria, –i.e  the US which is member of NATO is supporting and financing Kurdish rebels who are fighting a NATO member state.

While Turkey formally remains a member of NATO –which has an integrated and coordinated air defense system–, the Erdogan government has purchased Russia’s S400 air defense system which is slated to be used against America’s Kurdish proxies in Northern Syria.

A NATO member state is now using the air defense system of an enemy of US-NATO against US-NATO supported rebels.

In turn, Turkey has dispatched troops to Northern Syria with a view to eventually annexing part of Syria’s territory. In turn, Moscow and Ankara have established an alliance of convenience.

Israel is a firm supporter of the formation of a Kurdish state in Iraq and Northern Syria, which is considered as a stepping stone to the formation of Greater Israel.  Tel Aviv is considering the relocation from Israel of more than 200,000 Jewish ethnic Kurds to the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

In turn the bilateral military cooperation agreement between Turkey and Israel is in jeopardy. Needless to say these developments have also led to the reinforcement of US-Israeli military cooperation including the setting up of a US military base in Israel.

Meanwhile, Turkey  has established closer links with Iran, which ultimately contributes to undermining US-NATO strategies in the broader Middle East.

The New Middle East

Washington’s strategy consists in destabilizing and weakening regional economic powers in the Middle East including Turkey and Iran. This policy is also accompanied by a process of political fragmentation (see map below)

Since the Gulf war (1991), the Pentagon has contemplated the creation of a “Free Kurdistan” which would include the annexation of  parts of Iraq, Syria and Iran as well as Turkey (see US military academy map below). 

Under these circumstances, will Turkey remain an active member of NATO?

Ralph Peters Map: The Project for the New Middle East

Ralph Peters Map: The Project for the New Middle East

 

Qatar and Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia’s economic blockade directed against Qatar has created a rift in geopolitical alliances which has served to weaken the US in the Persian Gulf.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is profoundly divided, with the UAE and Bahrain siding with Saudi Arabia against Qatar. In turn Qatar has the support of Oman and Kuwait. Needless to say, the GCC which until recently was America’s staunchest Middle East ally against Iran is in total disarray.

While the largest US military base in the Middle East is located in Qatar, the Qatari government has close links to Iran. Moreover, Tehran came to its rescue in the immediate wake of the Saudi blockade.

While US Central Command (USCENTCOM) has it’s headquarters at a US military base outside Doha, Qatar’s main partner in the oil and gas industry including pipelines is Iran. In turn, both Russia and China are actively involved in the Qatari oil and gas industry.

Iran and Qatar cooperate actively in the extraction of  maritime natural gas under a joint Qatar-Iran ownership structure. These maritime gas fields are strategic, they constitute the World’s largest maritime gas reserves located in the Persian Gulf.

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