Why Saudi Arabia is still vital to US interests

Why Saudi Arabia is still vital to US interests

US President Barack Obama’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia must be seen as a balancing act in the Middle East Syed Ata Hasnain THE speed of events in the Middle East is faster than can be absorbed by an increasingly complex strategic environment. The apparent cooling of US interest in the region, emanating from perceived failure of the Arab Spring, improving potential of control over Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the steadily declining energy ties between US and the Saudi Arabia, among many other issues appears to create a conflict of interests for the US, and hence, the necessity to restore balance. This is all the more important in view of the emerging confidence of Russia and its ability to punch above its weight in mutual international standoffs. President Obama’s second visit to Saudi Arabia during his presidency is obviously far more important than his first which preceded his visit to Egypt in 2009 for what appeared then as a path-breaking outreach to the Islamic world. Smitten first by the events in Syria which saw US hand over diplomatic advantage to Russia and then by the recent surprise acts by Russia in Ukraine, the US is obviously in the process of a major reconsideration of its Middle East policy. Central to its considerations is the feasibility of losing the advantage of a long-standing strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia which was based upon the oil for security equation. Progressively, over the past 10 years or so, US-Saudi ties have weakened leading to perceptible differences about commonality of the strategic aim. The most important security consideration for Saudi Arabia is its long-standing fear of Iran and the Shia power that emanates from it. The onset of this current standoff can be traced back to 2003 and the handling of post-Gulf War II scenario in Iraq, which saw the emergence of Shia dominance. The Saudis always feared that the Shia linkages were stronger than the pan-Arab loyalties of Iraq and that it was Iran which had achieved strategic gain because of the Shia revival in Baghdad. The subsequent emergence of the strength of the Shia Hizbullah in Lebanon, once again backed by Iran, did not bring any comfort level...

The Onset of a War!

The Onset of a War!

Nikita Mandhani The world might come down to another interlude of a battle. We are not talking about coarse assumptions and unreasonable possibilities. We are talking about attacks, nuclear power, intimidation, massive killings, devastation and an immeasurable pain. We are talking about the impending war between Iran and Israel which could procreate a new ‘Hiroshima and Nagasaki’. This war has the potential to slay millions of people and tear down entire cities and towns. This war might change the way you and I look at the world. Aftermath of the Hiroshima Bombing (Source: R7 Noticias) Let me tell you the story of Iran, Israel and their severed connection in a simple way. The two countries have not always abhorred each other; in fact Israel supported Iran in their war with Iraq in the 1980s. The two nations upheld close ties and a bond of camaraderie for many years. Nonetheless, things changed in the last decade due to the rise of fundamentalist leaders and the combat to ascent to power in the Middle East. Iran backs Palestine which is constantly on war with Israel. In a number of conflicts, Iran offered ammunition, training, finance and other significant means of aid to Hamas and Hezbollah (Organizations committed to the destruction of Israel). Furthermore, the United States is on Israel’s side because they deem Iran to be a propagator of violence and bloodshed. Iran has several nuclear plants where its nuclear program is evolving and they claim to utilize the armaments for peace purposes. Israel is totally in opposition to Iran’s nuclear activities and hence in the last few years they have evidently murdered some of the best Iranian scientists involved in this nuclear program. Accordingly, the gist of the story says that Israel has time and again threatened Iran to discontinue its nuclear activities lest it will propagate a massive attack on the country. Iran considers Israel as a cancerous tumour that needs to be eradicated from the world and they assent to fight back all these caveats. I agree that the conflicts have been going on for many years now, then why are people anticipating a nuclear war before long? Quite a few reports emphasize that Israel intelligence is convinced that Iran will perhaps have...

Understanding Syrian Uprising: A Muslim Perspective – Adfar Shah

Understanding Syrian Uprising: A Muslim Perspective – Adfar Shah

Adfar  Shah The rotten apple of the Arab Spring-the prolonged Syrian unrest (civil war) against president Basher Al Assad has though assumed the shape of an unending mass uprising but simultaneously is a catch-22 situation especially for the Muslims round the globe. On one hand, the people are shouting for the larger free will, development and revival of human rights (democracy) in the west Asian block but on the other, the Syrian civil war is looked through different positions by Muslims worldwide and Muslim vision on Syrian chaos somewhat seems different on Syria as compared to other conflict ridden Arab States be it their (Muslims particularly non-Arabs) perspectives at the people’s holistic anti-regime movement in Tunisia (back to instability now), wiping out Gaddafi regime in Libya (a country now hostage to tribal militia), ousting of Mubarak in Egypt (in never ending chaos, even freeing the Dictator now),etc,. Primarily because Syrian situation is understood differently by Muslims and to most of them it is more like a waged proxy war (by Syria’s enemies) against the Assad and his people. Basically the Muslims as a collective identity feel more like victims and well understand the conspiracies against them. In addition to this, the fallout of NATO’s mishandled interventions in Iraq (now the nation of car bomb blasts), Afghanistan (who rules the state there? No idea), Libya (the lost paradise of oil wealth) and West’s especially America’s moral travesties in Afghanistan and its anti-Muslim agenda with continuous interference like intimidating and fostering economic blockade to Iran (America’s wrong number, Ahmadinejad-the man who braved America) just to gain supremacy in the west Asian block and last but not the least their every effort of overthrowing (dying to demolish Syria now) Assad regime to destabilize one more country for their never ceasing neo-colonial craze and hegemony creation in which they succeeded in most of the world states so far. Though a considerable chunk of the Syrian populace have organized against the current political establishment, which they believe has been authoritative, iron fisted and a regime of repressive state apparatus since Assad’s father, but the current intensity of anti-Assad fever and increased geography of anger in Syria (infiltration of terrorists/rebels...

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