Middle Eastern governments are convinced that the Biden administration is intent on continuing the Trump administration policy of disengagement from Islamdom, yet the US government denies this. Who should we believe? Assuming that the governments of the region are correct in their unanimous assessment of US intentions, a plausible explanation would then be that the US first wants to finalize the Iranian issue before disengaging from the region. However, US disengagement from Islamdom is neither responsible nor viable without handing over most great power duties in Islamdom to Israel as originally envisioned by the Trump administration. This requires further normalizations between Israel and Muslim nations and that is something that has effectively come to a halt during the Biden administration.
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) expressed the readiness of Saudi Arabia to normalize relations with Israel to US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, on the condition that the US would agree to a list of incentives demanded by Riyadh. The US has astoundingly refrained from acting on this remarkable offer which if realized would be strongly conducive to US interests in the region and allow the US to devolve much of its great power duties in the region to an Israeli-led new regional security architecture. Governments of the region are tremendously suspicious of the Biden administration due to the many former Obama staffers populating the Biden administration and are apparently awaiting the outcome of the Iranian crisis. The nations of the region are hedging their bets out of understandable fear that the Biden administration will repeat the Obama 2015 sell-out of America’s Middle Eastern allies.
The reason why governments of the region believe that the Biden administration plans to disengage from Islamdom is the change in US interests. The US is no longer reliant upon importation of oil and hence the disappearance of support for the US-Saudi alliance in the US Congress. It is internationally little understood that most members of Congress are intensely patriotic and are thoroughly committed to defending and promoting the US national interest. Thus when US interests shift so do congressional opinion. Furthermore, it is not in the interest of the US to be overtly seen as directly involved in Islamdom unless when absolutely necessary so as to safeguard American national security as in the case of Iran.
The US interest rather lies in selling advanced weapons to and doing intelligence sharing with US allies in Islamdom who in turn would be expected to defend US regional interests. The supreme US interest lies in being seen as an aspirational model for the peoples of Islamdom so that they will desire democratization and liberalization. Too much overt American political and military interference in Islamdom undermines the image of the United States as a democratic model for societies in Islamdom. However, the disengagement is unlikely to work unless the US empowers Israel as the sole great power in Islamdom and that requires more nations in Islamdom normalizing relations with Israel. If the US disengages from Islamdom without empowering Israel with normalization, nations of the region may turn to Russia and/or China for great power protection and weapons deliveries. However, the Biden administration has a history of intense suspicion towards Israel due to the unfounded fear that Israel will realign with China. Nevertheless, the only thing that would prompt Israel to realign with China would be if a US president hostile to Israel would be elected and who would subsequently move to abandon Israel.
However, the Palestinian issue is set to be de facto resolved as once Israel has received a critical mass of Median Jews will Israel be able to redeem and enfranchise the entire Judea and Samaria and the Jordanian monarchy will be extremely pleased to subsequently annex Gaza. In the upcoming war in Israel’s northern theater will Israel in order to defeat and destroy Hezbollah liberate Lebanon and Syria, establish an Aramean Christian state (Aram), annex Median Jewish (Alawite and Druze) regions of Syria and Lebanon and subsequently hand over most of Syria and the remainder of Lebanon to the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) of the AANES (Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria). The new boundaries will become international borders through peace treaties between Israel, Aram and Syria.
Palestinians throughout the Levant will be emancipated and enfranchised wherever they live and so while demands similar to those of the Sudeten Germans to colonize the Czech republic will remain will the Palestinian issue for all practical purposes be resolved. Therefore, Anti-Zionism as the dominant contemporary form of Anti-Jewish hatred will lose the legitimate grievances fueling it, once Palestinians throughout the Levant are emancipated and given citizenship where they live. This will no doubt halt the process of increasing Pro-Palestinian sentiments in the American left as Anti-Jewish animus will once more become the main driver of Anti-Zionism. However, the hopelessly failed and still-born idea of a two-state solution which has made zero progress in the past two decades, still messianically animates most governments around the world and it will take time for them to accept that the Palestinian question will have already been de facto resolved although in a completely different way than almost universally expected.
The Israeli incorporation of the entire Judea and Samaria will strongly reinforce common Israeli-American strategic interests and the stronger Israel becomes the more indispensable does Israel become for the United States. The Biden administration however remains fixated on the completely unrealistic two-state solution and so official American recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the entire Judea and Samaria will likely only come with a Republican administration. As Israel’s population is set to quadruple or quintuple from 10 million to 40-50 million with Median Jewish mass immigration will Israel be enormously strengthened and that of course will reinforce American hegemony in Islamdom.
Yet, it must be understood that the US and Israel jointly training to destroy the Iranian nuclear weapons program is not a bluff and a no-fly zone will be imposed over Iran that will provide air support to armed rebellions throughout the country. Furthermore, an American invasion of Iran will be necessitated if Iran implements its plan to attack major cities in America and around the world with weapons of mass destruction. Iran of course is convinced that the US deterrent is a propaganda bluff meant to coerce Iran to conclude a nuclear agreement with the United States and that no one will dare attack the Iranian nuclear weapons program.
Nevertheless, the governments of Islamdom are waiting to see whether Iran or Israel will turn out to be the sole great power in Islamdom since they do not trust America after the 2015 betrayal by the Obama administration. There is no room for neutrality on the Iran question however as Tehran has the mindset of “you are either with us or against us” and of course most governments in Islamdom hope that Israel will win the great power competition with Iran.
If America intends to disengage from Islamdom as dictated by its shifting national interest is this being mismanaged by not communicating honestly and fairly with America’s allies about America’s strategic intentions in Islamdom and this together with America’s refusal to provide incentives is holding up further normalization between Israel and Muslim nations. There is however a process underway of rapprochement between Jerusalem and Washington, two governments that were intensely suspicious of each other due to Israel’s policy on China and America’s policy on Iran. The rift will not be completely healed until the negotiation track has been finally buried as is indeed inevitable. The question of course is whether the Biden administration ultimately trusts Israel with protecting America’s interests in Islamdom and that in the end will determine whether America will disengage or not.
The fact is nevertheless that America is overstretched and must devolve responsibilities to its allies around the world in order to be able to successfully compete with and contain China. This is not just a Middle Eastern issue as America’s allies must invest more in defense and become more active in collective security. It is of course absurd that until this day, the European Union countries cannot defend themselves from Russian military aggression without American military participation. The Biden administration is certainly right in concluding that America must focus on the competition with China but this requires devolving greater responsibility to America’s allies around the world so that those who are capable of developing the capacity for collective security without too much American military participation will do so. This requires developing structures of collective security and self-sufficient collective self-defense for America’s friends, allies and partners in Central Asia, in the Asia-Pacific region and in the Middle East.
America cannot carry the world on its shoulders and as America is overstretched must America geostrategically focus on encircling China to prevent Chinese expansionism. This means that the European Union must develop the military capacity to defend itself against Russian aggression without America’s participation and a new Israel-led regional security architecture must be established in Islamdom. America’s Asian allies with the exception of India are incapable of effectively defending themselves against Chinese aggression and hence must America’s security commitments be focused on attaining an effective encirclement of China that will be militarily credible.