09.08.2023 Author: Veniamin Popov

The United States is eager to halt the decline of its influence in the Middle East

The United States is eager to halt the decline of its influence in the Middle East

America’s influence in the Middle East has weakened in recent years, and Washington’s political agenda has been widely challenged among Arab countries. The Arabs have direct experience of the fact that the Americans’ approach to the region is motivated only by self-interest, with the goal of imposing their will and asserting their own geo-domination rather than assisting these states in resolving their problems.

Recent history is littered with such brain-dead projects: a few years ago, they tried to dupe everyone with the concept of a so-called Greater Middle East, and then came the desire to establish a Middle East NATO. One of the preferred initiatives of Washington strategists is the notion of creating new military-political blocs under American leadership.

There have recently been reports about the possibility of a mutual security arrangement between the United States and Saudi Arabia, in which Saudi Arabia would strengthen relations with Israel in exchange for Israel making concessions to the Palestinians about the viability of a two-state solution. As part of the strategy, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan recently visited Jeddah. He was accompanied by Deputy Assistant to the President and White House Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa, Brett McGurk.

As an enticement, the Americans highlighted the fact that this was the first time such a military agreement had been made with a “non-democratic” administration. The Americans also pledged to sell F-35 fighter jets, upgrade missile defense systems, and assist the Kingdom in creating a civilian nuclear program.

According to US Department officials, the US-Saudi security agreement will normalize relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel, limit relationships between the Kingdom and China, and modify the terms of the Middle East game.

Notably, the White House was particularly concerned about the potential of using the Chinese yuan instead of the US dollar to set the price of oil supplies to China; given the PRC and Saudi Arabia’s economic influences, this would have a significant negative impact on the dollar. The Saudis and Americans are expected to demand that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu formally pledge not to annex the West Bank, not to build new settlements or expand existing ones, not to legalize outposts of savage Jewish settlements, and to hand over some of the territory under Israeli control to the Palestinian Authority, as stipulated at the Oslo Accords in 1993.

If we take into account the current internal political situation in Israel, which is in fact on the brink of civil war, and if more than half of the population does not stop demonstrating against the proposed judicial reform by the extremist government, then a legitimate question arises as to why Washington strategists are putting forward such a deliberately unrealistic plan. Especially because some members of Israel’s opposition have compared Netanyahu’s leadership to fascism.

Israel has made it clear, through its national security adviser, that it would not change its Middle East strategy; furthermore, “there is no indication that US hopes are realistic,” according to the American news website Al Monitor.

The Jerusalem Post made these assessments even clearer on August 1 of this year: “The Saudis just don’t trust America under Biden, who came to Saudi Arabia from Israel and couldn’t even get the Saudis to lower the price of oil ahead of an American midterm election. The Biden administration can’t even broker normalization between Saudi Arabia and the US, which is an obvious prerequisite for him to deliver a deal with Israel.“

The editor-in-chief of the leading Saudi daily newspaper Arab News emphasized after the arrival of the American emissary that “a fair and just solution for Palestinians has always been the Kingdom’s first priority.”

All of this hype is intended to demonstrate that the United States retains the initiative in Middle Eastern issues and cares about the peoples of the region, and that it is too early to write off the United States as a major Middle Eastern power.

The most sophisticated Arab observers believe that the US is at a loss for how to respond to China’s sharp strengthening of its position in the region, which has resulted in the normalization of relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, despite the fact that Washington has long sought to inflame the conflict between Tehran and Riyadh.

In addition, they believe that in the face of US foreign policy failures, the White House, even just through talk of a new US initiative in the Middle East, will be able to score additional points in the presidential election race.

The whole affair shows that the American approach to other countries is unambiguous, and it does not change; no one has the right to defend their national interests if they are not favorable to Washington.


Veniamin Popov, Director of the “Center for Partnership of Civilizations” in MGIMO (U) MFA of Russia, Candidate of Historical Sciences, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

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