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Input for discussion-What to expect from the FP of the new US admin

What to expect from the foreign policy of the new US administration based on A. Blinken (The new Secretary of State) several interviews in the Medias and the information recoupment gathered from different writings and analysis.

The fundamentals of the foreign policy: The world doesn’t govern itself and over the past 75 years the US leading role was helping to govern the world. If the US doesn’t help in this either someone else will and probably the wrong way (Non democratic, authoritarian leaders) or, even worse, no one will and this will lead the world to anarchy and chaos (i.e. WW1 and WW2). The US aim is a foreign policy which will not only make the US people happy but also the one’s US is communicating with abroad. All this without forgetting that the US State Department should not forget that its primary goal is to defend the US democratic institutions and this is the rationale:

  1. The US is not properly defended technology wise
  2. The US doesn’t have a clear and effective deterrence policy
  3. How the US would use its strength and show that it means it especially against cyber attacks.

As far as the world is concerned, the US main concern is by order of importance:

China: Cooperate with China where the US can such as in matters of climate or peace and compete with it in matters of commerce and here the US will adopt the confrontational approach especially as far as technology is concerned. The US is expected to strengthen its relation with the transpacific partnership and re-establish the good relations with its allies in Europe and Asia (Especially after the accord that took place lately between the known Asian countries such as the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, etc... with China as the major country).

Russia: The US considers Russia’s economy is on decline, it also considers Putin is playing a losing game trying to assert Russia’s stature abroad in order to cover his failure at home and it shows in his intervention in Syria while his weakness was shown lately in the way he handled the Nagorno-Karabakh matter where he was put in a dilemma between pleasing the Turks and backing up the Armenian regime. On the other hand the US will try to integrate Ukraine in the NATO and by doing this it will be a deterrent to Putin’s hunger (In fact a similar step was taken for Poland, Hungary and the Cheque republic and it worked). We suppose that the US will stand firm in this position especially to regain the confidence vis a vis its European allies.

Iran: Return to the 2015 accord and involve KSA and UAE to the P5+1 in the discussions however, the US will, in concert with its allies, include the ballistic missiles project of Iran and will not start lifting the sanctions but it will ease the maximum pressure strategy. The US will be explaining to Iran that it is not seeking a regime change but working in a way to make the area peaceful. It is to believe that the US new administration considers squeezing Iran economically will not lead anywhere and will not yield any result. The US will face some hindering situations to make its effort materialize especially that the “EU” have lately shown anger towards Iran’s triggering the start of its nuclear project based on the Iranian parliament bill issued lately and the presidential elections in Iran which will take place in June 2021 and which might bring in an extremist to replace Rouhani who is considered as a moderate.

The Middle East: The actions taken by the Trump administration cannot be moved or deleted (Such as the Embassy in Jerusalem or the treaties signed) it is to believe that it will continue supporting the Gulf countries and will send clear signs to them that it is there to defend them in case of any attack from Iran (In relation to the Aramco bombing and the non interference of the Trump administration) however,

  1. The US will be sending strong messages to the KSA: 1- Press the king to hold the horses of MBS due to the Khashogji murder, 2- Yemen: The US administration considers the war in Yemen ” horrific” and will stress that KSA needs to end this war 3- Qatar: The US considers the division between the Gulf countries is crazy and doesn’t serve any purpose, it will push all parties to strengthen the reconciliation and continue with what the Trump administration started already in reinforcing the GCC by ending this division and preserve good relations among each other, 4- The human rights: The US will capitalize on the fact that the KSA is showing to the world that it is liberalizing the country and push in this direction and will wait from the KSA to free the ones that advocate their rights.
  2. It will capitalize on the treaties signed with some GCC countries and North African ones to keep up diplomatic pressure in preparation for a final deal with the Palestinian on the basis of the “2 countries”. This will also be considered as a pressure against Iran which is holding the flag of the Palestinian cause more than the Arabs themselves.
  3. Turkey is a real dilemma for the US. Although an important actor and partner in the NATO the following points will definitely drag the US to play a  tough role towards Turkey by concurring if not entering in the sanctions program of the EU:  1- Turkey’s deal to buy the S-400 from Russia – and testing them as well- together with the Turkstream deal. The presence of the Russian experts to train the Turks is not seen in good eye by the US fearing some espionage matters especially with regards to their fighter jets, this is why the selling of the F35 was frozen and the militaries being trained in the US were shipped back to their homeland. 2-Turkey’s interference in the East Mediterranean and Lybia as well as stretching to East Africa. 3-Brussel’s (The EU) hardening position towards Turkey due to intelligence news talking about Turkey being the instigator of terrorist attacks in some EU countries in addition to the Turkey/Greece confrontation.
  4. As for Lebanon the US will keep its current position pushing towards not including Hezbollah in the political arena (In line with the pressure on Iran) and refusing to send any help to the actual governing class which is seen by the international community as a corrupt body. Moreover, the refugees affair will persist and used as a link between the situation with Syria and the international community. (This will be the job of the bloc to analyze in its meetings while discussing the FP of Lebanon towards the US)
  5. Iraq: The pressure on Iraq has yielded in Al Kazmi being prime minister. Its partial withdrawal is done but it is expected to conserve its military presence in Abou Kamal on the borders with Syria to monitor any military movement from Iran and defend the rich zone of fuel.
  6. Syria is no longer of interest for the moment as it is not an imminent danger except for the presence of Iran which is being handled by Israel and sanctions will continue however, China’s BRI might on the long run bring the US back to compete with this new super-power in Syria as it is passing through the Syrian territory towards Turkey and beyond.