Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

The Boxer, the Generals and the Regional Wolves | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55366981

Donald Trump holds a campaign rally at the Ziegler Building at the Washington County Fair Park & Conference Center in West Bend, Wisconsin. REUTERS/Eric Thayer

From the very first moment, he stormed into the ring, with a great boxer’s appetite. His decision is clear. I am not Obama. Under my term, America will not follow the former president’s path. The president looks a lot like the presidential candidate. He is not afraid of the Bureaucratic elite, the Congress or the daggers of the media. He signed executive orders in a firm resolve. From the very first moment, he imposed his mode. He lands the punch and gets punched back.

From the White House office, he threw a string of bombs and question marks. The world held its breath. It is another way of addressing the Americans, addressing the allies and the enemies. He opened all files wide; trade agreements, sorrows of immigration, burdens of defense cooperation and fighting terrorism. He gave the impression that he was trying to establish a different America, both on the internal and international arenas.

He doesn’t want his country to act in capacity of the world’s policeman. He said it clearly on his way to the White House. He doesn’t believe in the United States’ duty to implement democracy through military interventions. He wants instead a strong and flourished America. He wants to regain what he believes to be his country’s denied rights in trade transactions and defense obligations. The United States is not a charitable organization that spreads gifts, wastes blood and billions to come back barehanded as what has happened in Iraq.

He was not troubled with the chaos that erupted in the first days. He saw it as a natural reaction to a top player’s attempt to change the rules of the game. And since a flourished America should be protected by a strong State, he brought to power an assemblage of generals; generals who are aware that Vladimir Putin lied to Barack Obama in the issue of Syria’s chemical weapons. The red line set by Obama there has turned into an opportunity to believe that the U.S. charisma has waned.

ISIS stole the show when it captured the city of Mosul in June 2014. Both the regional and international scenes have changed. Priorities were consequently modified. The world was busy trying to protect itself from lone wolves and accommodate the waves of refugees. These concerns represented an opportunity for regional and international wolves hovering in the background.

While the world is busy fighting ISIS, these wolves are moving forward with dangerous uprisings, which are even more dangerous than Baghdadi’s coup, as they potentially impose demographic changes and meddle with the fate of countries and ethnicities.

Many believed that Donald Trump would study the international situation solely through the wolves of ISIS and that he would rush to forge an alliance with Putin to eradicate the terrorist organization. They assumed that the new U.S. administration would not hurry to open the file of regional wolves that breach neighboring countries’ borders and seek to subjugate them. It seems that their calculations were inaccurate.

Among the messages sent by the Trump Administration to regional wolves, we find the message to North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un, who is well known for his nuclear blackmail policy. In this regard, Defense Secretary James Mattis reassured South Korea and Japan of the United States’ commitment to its defense pledges and promised a sweeping response to any nuclear attack. Washington’s commitment to Japan’s security is unwavering. That was also a clear message to China, which, over the past few months, has been flexing its muscles in the polemic issue of the islands.

Another message has been addressed to the people of the Middle East. Washington announced rapidly and unequivocally the end of the American-Iranian tango, which had prevented the collapse of the Persian State’s economy as a result of the nuclear deal.

The Trump Administration accused Iran of supporting terrorism and swallowing Iraq and imposed severe measures against it. This means that the United States will not acknowledge Iran’s accomplishments in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen but would only focus on ISIS.

It is now clear that America and Iran are heading towards a test of strengths. This test might take place in the Gulf, or more explicitly in Iraq. All indicators suggest that Iran wants U.S. soldiers to leave Iraq as soon as possible because the U.S. presence creates a certain balance of power. The U.S. position towards Iran has also repercussions on the situation in Syria and the prospective “Russian solution” there.

The third message was addressed to Russia. The Trump Administration is not looking forward to offering Putin a certificate of good behavior, as it has not forgotten what the Russian regime did in Crimea and Ukraine.

A great boxer and a massive chaos; lone wolves and regional wolves…

Waiting for the dust to settle, Arabs need to settle their issues and develop their ability to join in the dance of interests. Accurate calculations are greatly needed in the era of the boxer, the generals and the regional wolves.