There is a fine line between a cold war and an open war – Middle East Monitor

When Australia canceled its French submarine contract and replaced it with a US nuclear submarine contract, Switzerland followed a similar path, deciding to buy the F-35 plane from America. instead of the French Dassault Rafale fighter plane. Less than 24 hours later, Romania announced that it no longer wanted to sign a contract with France valued at $ 1.4 billion for the construction of four Gowind marine corvettes. This coincided with the announcement by the EU of a new strategy related to the Indo-Pacific region, within the framework of cooperation with its member states.

The new military alliance formed by the United States, Great Britain and Australia – AUKUS – to confront China is part of a specific American strategy. According to this, the main US military center of gravity abroad will be Asia instead of the Middle East, which is teeming with problems, corruption and tribal conflict, none of which concerns the United States anymore. As a result, the United States no longer cares about protecting its agents in the region. This is why he withdrew the Patriot missile batteries from Saudi Arabia and canceled an arms deal with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The only thing that matters to the United States in the Middle East is the protection of Israel, which was created to protect its interests in the region, but the new alliance will serve this purpose, as it will lead to the expansion of its strategic regional role. . In addition, the Abrahamic accords and the “normalization” of certain Arab states with Israel have a role to play.

It is important to note that the announcement of the AUKUS alliance coincided with the Shanghai Cooperation Summit and the Collective Security Treaty Organization summit bringing together Russia and the countries of Central Asia. This was an explicit statement that a cold war exists between America and China, the signs of which were supported by whisperings during the Trump presidency. Trump explicitly announced in the 2017 National Security Strategy that China is the main enemy of the United States. In addition, his administration sought to establish a four-party military alliance against China with Australia, Japan and India, the “QUAD” group, but after initial consultations, Japan and Korea had reservations, because they feared reprisals from Beijing should the United States use their land, air and sea space to launch attacks against the Chinese.

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This American strategy was developed during the Obama presidency, which stipulated the withdrawal of the United States from Europe and the Middle East in order to focus on the power struggle with China, and for the center of the international conflict to be in Far East. We can say that the AUKUS alliance is the first practical step to implement this new strategy. With Australia’s joining the alliance, seven countries surround China – Australia, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines – where nearly two hundred US military bases are located.

The AUKUS alliance angered the EU, not just France, who saw it as a stab in the back as it is the first time the US has established a military alliance that ignores NATO. The President of the European Commission said that neither NATO, the UN, nor proper crisis management were being considered at the right time. The Europeans felt that the United States had abandoned its commitments to defend the continent, or “old Europe” as former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld called it when they opposed the invasion of Europe. Iraq. Now this old continent is crying and mourning over America’s continued stabbing, as America’s orphans do in the Arab region.

But why are they screaming and feeling betrayed by the United States when they are the ones who started stabbing the United States in the back? Didn’t Germany buy oil and gas from Russia through the Northern Gas Stream project? Hasn’t France signed agreements to import Russian gas via Eastern Europe, preferring it to American gas? And didn’t they sign trade deals with China at the same time Trump launched a trade and technology war against China?

It is the cry of the allies when interests and strategies collide. Germany and France tried to play away from America in the international arena, and they scored a few goals, but the stadium owner dealt a knockout blow.

Perhaps American unilateralism such as the rapid withdrawal from Afghanistan and an agreement with the Taliban without consulting its allies, and the establishment of this alliance, will see America revert to an old idea proposed by the late president. French Charles de Gaulle, according to which Europe would be strategically independent. of the United States, with a European army capable of defending itself against Russia. The EU has attempted to revive this concept with a unified European army outside of NATO, but this has failed, possibly due to the close ties that member states have with Washington. In addition, Britain – a key player – is no longer part of the EU.

The United States is now working under a British strategy that targets the Indo-Pacific region, where some of its former colonies and the “good old days” of the empire are located. This is what Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been working on since Britain left the EU. From now on, the UK will remain America’s strategic European partner outside the EU and will be preferred over France and Germany in all vital and sensitive areas of security and military technology.

As part of the AUKUS deal, nuclear technology will be transferred for the first time by America and Britain. Relations between these two countries and Australia will be strengthened in an important area for Europe and France in particular. Competition between AUKUS and NATO is therefore now evident, particularly with France.

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China has threatened a nuclear strike if there is a war in the region and said the deal threatens regional stability and encourages an arms race, and that’s the point. In its cold war with China, the United States resorted to the methods of the 1950s and 1960s, when the enemy was the Soviet Union. He is trying to exhaust China with an arms race that responds to the interests of American arms manufacturers and their powerful lobby. After withdrawing from Afghanistan and withdrawing from the Middle East – wars that cost tens of billions of dollars each year – Washington has freed up resources to buy new weapons and satisfy the lobby.

The United States is trying to cut a unified China and isolate it internationally, and is carrying out provocative military maneuvers in the South China Sea. All of this is part of a new cold war. However, the line between a cold war and an open war is fine, and the latter can be crossed for relatively simple reasons, as happened with the First World War. This cold war could turn into a nuclear confrontation neither could win, dragging the rest of the world with them. And it could happen sooner than you think.

The opinions expressed in this article are the property of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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