For USA and her western allies, the Syrian crises is a one more step forward towards the realisation of their grand strategy to retain their global hegemony which is under threat due to gradual structural shift in world power equations. Part and parcel of the Neo-con agenda, this grand strategy has been successfully implemented so far, albeit at great human and financial costs in different parts of the world. Starting with Iran-Iraq War of 1980s which left both the countries financially ruined and militarily weakened, the strategy aims to control the Middle East resources by supporting western friendly regimes, how oppressive these may be.
That is why despite all their rhetoric about the preservation and promotion of democratic values and fighting wars in the name of democracy all over the world, they have never sincerely and seriously tried to nudge their client Middle Eastern allies to introduce some sort of representative governance style in these counties. Arab Spring was not the making of the CIA or its sister organisations but they took full advantage of these people’s uprisings for pressing their demand for human rights and good governance for installation of pro west regimes while carefully pre-empting the repeat of the same similar movements in the countries ruled by their own clients.
There were four countries which resisted their hegemonic designs—Iraq, Libya, Syria and Iran. They invaded Iraq, sent Saddam to the gallows which he deserved and have virtually left Iraq fragmented on racial and sectarian lines. Libya was next to fall where they bribed Qaddafi into submission and then toppled his regime with the use of proxy groups.
Syria is presently their target before sorting out Iran, the last hurdle in the implementation of their grand strategy in the Middle East. The USA and her allies in Europe and the Middle East are therefore interested in regime change in Syria to achieve several objectives.
- Firstly, to install a pro west setup amenable to their pressure for concluding a separate peace treaty with Israel, ceding parts of Golan Heights annexed by Israel in the 1967 war, forever and withdraw its support to all anti-Israel militant groups.
- Secondly, to neutralize Syria as a military force in the Middle East by destroying its chemical weapons and putting restrictions on the size of the military setup and arsenal it can keep. Amos Yaldin, former Israeli Intelligence Chief rightly believed that Syrian military “which is a huge threat to Israel, is now also weakening and, in a way, disintegrating. We still have risk from Syria– a risk of being an Al Qaeda country, a Somalia-type country — but from military point of view, each one of these is less dangerous than the Syrian regular army.”
- Thirdly they are determined to eliminate Hezbollah and other militant groups operating in the Middle East by cutting their supply routes from Iran which uses the Syrian territories to provide assistance to its surrogates in Lebanon and Gaza. Realisation of these objectives will not only establish Israel as a regional policeman in the Middle East, it will also help in reducing the threat of international terrorism emanating from this part of the world.
- Fourthly, besides the above strategic aims of the USA and her allies in beating the drums of war in the Middle East, they also want to restrict the increasing Chinese access to vast resources of the region and her accompanying political clout among the regional countries.
- Fifthly, they are also determined to expel Russia from Syria, its last outpost in Middle East as well as its military base. Russia has been openly augmenting its Black Sea Fleet and intends to increase its strength by procuring more than 80 new ships during the next five years. It is also building a second naval base for this fleet at its Black Sea port of Novorossiisk. In this power play, its naval base at Tartus in Syria is the lynchpin of Russia’s strategic calculations. If it falls Russian warships would have to traverse the narrow waters of the Bosporus, under control of Turkey — a NATO member.
- Sixthly, they want to thwart attempts of Iran to build an Iran-Iraq-Syria gas pipeline that was to be built between 2014 and 2016 from Iran’s giant South Pars field through Iraq and Syria. With a possible extension to Lebanon, it would eventually reach Europe, the target export market. USA and her allies are interested to build a more northbound pipeline from Qatar and Saudi Arabia via Syria and Turkey. Syria being a key link in this chain needs to be governed by a West-friendly regime.
- Lastly, in order to launch the final assault on Iran to cut her to size, it is necessary to first finish off the pro-Iranian regime in Syria and weaken its Iran’s surrogates, Hamas and Hezbollah, which may pose a threat to Israel, the regional policeman of the west in the Middle East. Syria has consistently provided Iran access to the Mediterranean and supply routes to Iran’s military outpost by proxy in southern Lebanon – Hezbollah which is safeguarding its flanks by engaging Israel. In return Iran had been supporting Hafez Assad in the past and has been doing the same for his son.