US President Donald Trump said that the United States in Syria is interested in oil, and not in any borders. He noted that Turkey had fought in Syria for thousands of years, and the participation of American soldiers in these wars is meaningless. Is it so?
Prior to the evacuation of 1,000 US troops from northern Syria to western Iraq, the Pentagon in Syria had 2,000 US troops. After the withdrawal of American troops at the insistence of Erdogan – so that Ankara could launch a ground attack in northern Syria – the United States still deployed 1,000 troops, mainly in the oil-rich eastern province of Deir ez-Zor and at At Tanf.
At-Tanf military base is located in a strategically important location in southeastern Syria on the border between Syria, Iraq and Jordan on the most important Damascus-Baghdad highway, which serves as a lifebuoy for Damascus. Since 2016, Washington illegally occupied the 55-kilometer territory around At-Tanf, and several hundred American Marines trained and trained several groups of Syrian militants on this base.
It is not the struggle against the Islamic State that is the purpose of the continued presence of American forces at the At-Tanf military base, but the satisfaction of Israel’s concern regarding the expanding influence of Iran in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
As for the Deir ez-Zor governorate, rich in oil and natural gas, it is worth noting that before the war, Syria produced modest amounts of oil for domestic purposes – about 400,000 barrels per day. This is slightly compared to the Gulf countries, where daily oil production is tens of millions of barrels.
After the withdrawal of 1,000 American troops from northern Syria, when Washington deployed its troops in eastern Syria, where there was oil, Donald Trump rejoiced in his characteristic blunt manner on Twitter. The goal of maintaining control of Syrian oil is not to smuggle this oil. And not to deprive the Islamic state of this valuable source of income.
The fact that ISIS militants are still in Syria and Iraq cannot be denied. But the Igil emirate is completely destroyed, and its leadership is on the run. A fugitive emir of this terrorist organization was killed in the bastion of a rival jihadist group, the An-Nusra. Front in Idlib, hundreds of kilometers from the strongholds of the Islamic state in eastern Syria.
Copying the strategy of “scorched earth”, characteristic of medieval warlords, the Islamic state, at the beginning of the year leaving its former strongholds in eastern Syria, burned the harvest of local farmers. And Washington’s main goal in deploying forces in the oil and gas fields of Deir ez-Zor governorate is to deprive a valuable source of income for another major US competitor in the region, Damascus.
After the devastation caused by the eight-year proxy war, the Syrian government is in dire need of international assistance. It takes tens of billions of dollars to rebuild the country. And Washington is not only hindering efforts to provide international assistance to the unfortunate country, but is actually illegally retaining resources belonging to Syria with the help of its only ally in the region – the Kurds.
Although Donald Trump counted on praise for the expropriation of Syria’s oil wealth, it should be mentioned that the “scorched earth” policy is not a business strategy, but the institutional logic of a “deep state”. President Trump, as you know, is a businessman and, at least in words, adheres to the ideology of non-interference. However, since he is new to the art of international diplomacy, he was repeatedly misled by the Pentagon and the Washington National Security Establishment.
Regarding Washington’s interest in supporting autocratic regimes in the Persian Gulf and in waging their war in the form of regional conflicts, it should be mentioned that back in April 2016, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia threatened that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia would dump treasury securities and other US assets worth up to $ 750 billion if the US Congress passes a bill that would allow Americans to file lawsuits in the United States courts against the Saudi government for its role in the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001. Although the bill was ultimately passed, the Saudi authorities were not held accountable – despite the fact that 15 of the 19 hijackers on September 11 were Saudi citizens.
Moreover, $ 750 billion is Saudi investment in the United States alone. If we summarize KSA’s investments in Western Europe, the UAE, Kuwait, Qatar and the Western economy, the total amount will amount to trillions of dollars.
In addition, in order to demonstrate the importance of oil in the Persian Gulf for industrialized countries suffering from a lack of energy resources, we cite OPEC statistics. Saudi Arabia has the world’s largest proven oil reserves of 265 billion barrels, and daily oil production exceeds 10 million barrels. Iran and Iraq each have reserves of 150 billion barrels and are capable of producing 5 million barrels per day each; while the UAE and Kuwait have reserves of 100 billion barrels and produce 3 million barrels per day each. Thus, all the coastal states of the Persian Gulf combined have 788 billion barrels, which is more than half of the 1,477 billion barrels of proven oil reserves in the world.
Unsurprisingly, 36,000 United States troops are currently deployed at their many military bases and aircraft carriers in the oil-rich Persian Gulf region in accordance with the 1980 Carter Doctrine. It states: “Let our position be absolutely clear: an attempt by any external force to gain control of the Gulf region will be regarded as an attempt on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an attack will be repelled by any necessary means, including military force.”
Besides. As for the sales of weapons by the western defense industry to the Arab states of the Persian Gulf. A report written by William Hartung of the Center for International Policy in America indicates that the Obama administration offered Saudi Arabia weapons worth more than $ 115 billion plus military equipment and training for eight years.
Likewise, Trump’s main agenda items during his first visit to Saudi Arabia in May 2017 were: firstly, support for the idea of “Arab NATO” led by Saudi Arabia to counter Iran’s influence in the region; and, secondly, the announcement of an unprecedented arms package for Saudi Arabia. The package included the sale of weapons ranging from 98 to 128 billion dollars.
Therefore, given the economic dependence of Western countries on the Arab states of the Persian Gulf during the global recession, when most of the production was moved to China, it is not surprising that when the late King of Saudi Arabia Abdullah decided to provide training and weapons to Islamic jihadists in the border areas of Turkey and Jordan for action against the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, the Obama administration had no choice but to follow the destructive policies of its regional allies s in the Middle East. And all this – despite the religious nature of the war and the related consequences of the propagation of a new generation of Islamic jihadists, which could become a threat to long-term security not only for the Middle East, but also for Western countries.
Similarly, when King Abdullah’s successor, King Salman, at the whim of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, decided to invade Yemen in March 2015, the Obama administration was again forced to submit to the dictates of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, fully coordinating the war effort in Yemen not only by providing intelligence, planning and logistical support, but also by selling billions of dollars of arms and ammunition to Arab states in the Persian Gulf during a conflict.
In this relationship, the United States provides security to the ruling families of the Arab Gulf states by providing weapons and troops; and the Persian Gulf oil lovers, in turn, make significant investments in the Western economy worth hundreds of billions of dollars.
As for Pax Americana, which is a reality of the modern neo-colonial order, according to the infographic published in the New York Times in January 2017, 210,000 American troops are deployed worldwide, including 79,000 in Europe, 45,000 in Japan, 28 500 in South Korea and 36,000 in the Middle East.
Although Donald Trump continues to complain that NATO should share the costs of deploying US troops, especially in Europe, where 47,000 U.S. troops have been deployed in Germany, 15,000 in Italy and 8,000 in the UK since World War II, the fact is that these costs have already been shared between Washington and the host countries.
Roughly speaking, European countries pay one-third of the cost of maintaining US military bases in Europe, while Washington – the remaining two-thirds.