Category Archives: US global leadership

IRAN IRAQ KING SALMAN OF SAUDI ARABIA MOHAMMAD BIN SALMAN PAKISTAN SAUDI ARABIA SAUDI MILITARY INVASION OF YEMEN SECURITY STATE THE ISLAMIC STATE/ISIS/ISIL UNCATEGORIZED US GLOBAL LEADERSHIP

The Sustained Saudi-US Strategic Rift

by Ehsan Ahrari on April 23, 2016, No Comments

Poor Saudis!  They have become the Rodney Dangerfield of the Persian Gulf, at least for the United States.  They have not been getting any respect from the Obama administration lately.  President Barack Obama, in a highly publicized interview, described the Middle East as a region that cannot be fixed, “not on his watch, and not for a generation to come.”  The Persian Gulf is a case in point.  That is a region where the Saudi-Iranian rivalry is getting hotter.  Since King Salman came to power, he appointed his 30-year-old son, Mohammad, as Defense Minister and the chief manager of his court.  In this latter capacity, he is generally regarded as the power behind the thrown.  The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Muhammad Bin Naif, though he holds numerous posts, is not number two in terms of his exercise of power.  Brash Mohammad, it seems, is the second most visible, and ostensibly, the second most influential man in that country.  Personalities are important in authoritarian
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Burying the Hatchet is the Precondition for US-Iran Rapprochement

by Ehsan Ahrari on August 13, 2015, No Comments

A lot of ink is being spilled analyzing the pros and cons of the recently concluded US-Iran nuclear deal between Iran and the 5+ 1 countries (4 permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany), and there is ample show of emotions about this deal involving different actors. The Arab states are upset because they concluded that its successful implementation would lead to an era of US-Iran rapprochement in which Iran, more than the Arab states, would be the focus of America’s attention. The Israelis are mad because they see the emergence of a nuclear Iran in the distant future as a result of it. More to the point, Israel’s Prime Minister , Benyamin Netanyahu, envisions that deal as the first historical step toward bringing about an end to Israel’s own preeminence, related to its nuclear deterrence in the region. A study prepared for the RAND Corporation addresses precisely that point when it notes, “Nuclear weapons would probably reinforce Iran's traditional national secu
ISIS/ISIL/IS ISLAM KING ABDULLAH OF SAUDI ARABIA US GLOBAL LEADERSHIP

If the United States Eradicates ISIS, the Real Winner Will Be Iran

by Ehsan Ahrari on October 12, 2014, No Comments

As much as the Islamic Republic of Iran has been demonized in the American media, it has managed to emerge as the chief benefactor of America's 2001 war against the Taliban regime of Afghanistan as well as its 2003 toppling of Saddam Hussein's rule.  In each instance, Iran's own activities were aimed at ensuring that the United States' presence in Afghanistan and Iraq would not irreparably damage its strategic interests.  In both instances, Iran took ample measures to sabotage American military objectives, while ensuring that its actions did not trigger a retaliatory response from the US military.  As the Obama administration starts its campaign, first to degrade and then to destroy ISIS in Syria and Iraq, Iran should not be surprised if it were to once again emerge as a victor if America succeeds in obtaining that objective. (more…)
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Anti-ISIS War Underscores the End of Western Dominance

by Ehsan Ahrari on October 9, 2014, No Comments

The emergence of ISIS/ISIL/IS is just one more example–albeit a significant one–of the passage of an era of Western dominance of the Arab/Muslim world.  President Barack Obama's anti-ISIS strategy (which is anything but a strategy) and his war on that entity in Syria and Iraq should be examined in that context.  The most prominent members of Obama's coalition to bomb ISIS are Arab monarchies of West Asia, whose very survival remains under constant threat not only from the Islamists, but also from the anti-authoritarian forces that played a crucial role in initiating the Arab Awakening in December 2010.  As much as the Arab Awakening has become a somewhat dormant force, its turbulence is still being felt on a daily basis in Yemen and Jordan.  As much as the Saudis succeeded in suppressing the rebellion of largely Shia masses against the Sunni rulers of Bahrain, no one really knows how stable that sheikhdom is likely to remain and for how long.  The Arab states are experiencing
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Neocons: They Are Alive and Itching for War!

by Ehsan Ahrari on June 24, 2014, No Comments

If you thought that the American neoconservatives (aka "chicken hawks") of the George W. Bush administration–persons who brought us the Iraqi invasion based on a mission to destroy the imaginary arsenal of weapons of mass destruction that Saddam Hussain was hiding–you would be wrong. They are very much alive and are coming back through cyberspace and the airways trashing President Barack Obama's handling of Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.  When they are reminded of the atrocious mess originally created in Afghanistan and Iraq by Bush and these very same neocons, they deny this linkage and then quickly proceed with their warmongering rhetoric.  A factor to keep in mind about these neocons is that none has actually fought in a war.  However, their palpable penchant for war–as long as someone else's son or daughter is going to die in it–has rightly earned them the pejorative depiction "chicken hawks." Their proclivities are very much alive; they are itching for another war. (mo
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So Long, 2013; Welcome 2014…I Think!

by Ehsan Ahrari on January 2, 2014, No Comments

Happy new year to all my global friends and contacts! 2013 has been an okay year for the United States, in terms of its foreign policy in the Middle East and in the Asia-Pacific.  (more…)
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The Synonymity Between Dispensability and Decline

by Ehsan Ahrari on June 22, 2013, No Comments

In his second inaugural address in January 1997, President Bill Clinton stated, "America stands alone as the world's indispensable nation."[1]  Since then, that phrase has been used on a regular basis.  America, as an indispensable nation, underscores its dominance in resolving conflicts of all portions since the end of World War II.    It has been a major enabler of global economic stability and prosperity of Western Europe and Japan, and, most important of all, it contained the former Soviet Union–playing a crucial role in bringing about its eventual implosion.  (more…)
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Why the Skepticism about America’s Alleged Decline?

by Ehsan Ahrari on June 8, 2013, No Comments

When it comes to the issue of America's alleged decline, please count me as a skeptic, or, at the most, ambivalent.  Yes, in the realm of economics, we are not doing well.  However, compared to the EU–another supposed erstwhile economic giant–we are certainly much better.  Yes, China is doing better in the realm of economics.  However, the zealots of Asia rise, like Singapore's Kishore Mahbubani, forget that even as a declining hegemon, there is no power that is even remotely capable of realistically replacing the United States. (more…)
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Hillary Clinton’s Legacy

by Ehsan Ahrari on February 1, 2013, No Comments

One great American political tradition is to evaluate major public officials when they depart from the political scene.  Presidential scholars have transformed  this issue into an art.  One of them–Professor David Barber of Duke University–even developed categories of "presidential types."  Secretaries of State and Defense receive quite a bit of assessment and evaluation when their terms end.  Today is Hillary Clinton's last day in office as America's Secretary of State, thus an evaluation of her career as America's chief diplomat is timely.  The uppermost question is what kind of a Secretary of State was she?  The US media is also paying a lot of attention to her because she is expected to remain a major presidential candidate for the presidential election in 2016. (more…)
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Reshaping America’s Military to Fight Wars in a Transforming World

by Ehsan Ahrari on January 5, 2012, No Comments

The continuing economic crisis has created new pressures and demands for reduced expenditures inside the United States.  The chief question is how to lower defense spending without damaging America's capacity to project power globally and being able to fight more than one war in different regions of the world.  The fact that no such situation would present itself in the near future is irrelevant; the requirements of contingency planning make it vital that top U.S. civilian and military leaders remain prepared for emergencies.  An added variable is the presidential campaign that is currently being waged inside the United States.  This is also a time when a sitting president becomes a target of challengers to his job for not paying adequate attention to America's military strength.  These realities also necessitate a declaration of a "new" strategy. (more…)