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Middle East Policy Implications By Abdul Rahman Malik

The Trump administration has been playing with fire in the Middle East as the flawed Middle East policy has wreaked havoc in Syria, Libya, Iraq and bloodshed in Palestine ever since Trump announced Jerusalem as capital of Israel igniting fiery protests in Palestine and other Muslim countries.
Given this flawed, impractical, erratic and arrogant policy, Middle East is bracing for the serious crisis due to ill-advice of influential elements in US foreign policy that are aimed at establishing US hegemony in Iraq, Syria, Libya and supporting Israel in their bid to grab more territory from Palestine.
The Ill-advisors, especially supported by Israel lobby, have deliberately pushed Trump to escalate relations with Iran since they wanted to make the most of US-Iran conflict since Iran has been a strong supporter of Palestine and her proxies are actively working in the Palestine freedom movement. Diplomatic relations have escalated with Iran over the recent tragic assassination of a top general and the second most influential person in Iran – General Qassem Suleimani in a drone strike within the limits of Baghdad International Airport.
Sulemani was in charge of Al Qudus in Iraq and had been involved in Iraq for long heading Qudus forces in Iraq. Mournings began flooding streets both in Iraq and Iran as angry protesters started chanting slogans against Donald Trump and the United States. There were thousands of mourners in the funeral prayers both in Iraq and Iran.
The Protests and anger compelled the interim Iraqi government to pass a resolution against the expulsion of US and Allied Forces since their services were not required anymore in Iraq as the US Drone strike had infringed upon the sovereignty of Iraq and it was also the sheer violation of International law. The recent protests confirm in Iraq that the assassination of Qassem Suliemani was a historical blunder committed by Trump administration in the Middle East that has risked US interests in Iraq.
The decisions that cost him heavy include Trumps’ unilateral withdrawal from the Paris Agreement 2015 on climate change that was signed when Syria was battered due to civil war. Ever since, Syria has been witnessing a serious humanitarian crisis that includes food security, devastation, destruction of infrastructure, devastation of public and private properties.
Like a relay race, the US forwarded the rod to Turkey to carry out the blood-stained job of continuing the offensive against ISIS. Syria will take years to rebuild after the Arab Spring that devasted the very fabric of Arab countries.
Security and foreign policy experts are of the view that the crisis has been caused by some lucrative oil reserves in the Middle East such as Saudi Arab, Iraq, Kuwait and Iran.
The situation has been worsened thereafter when ISIS entered Iraq and other countries of the Middle East making the already fragile states in a serious security crisis.
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America’s announcement to provide security to Saudi Arabia was compromised when Yemen attacked the oil reserves of Saudi Arab. Donald Trump abruptly blamed Iran behind the incident but sensible Iranian leadership rejected US claims.
Even Saudi Arab and Iran relations are much escalated as both countries have differences over sectarian issues since Saudi Arab is a Sunni majority whereas Iran has a Shiite majority.
The elements are using this sectarian divide to engage them in confrontation but the efforts of some pro-peace states have prevented a possible War between these two Muslim countries.
Furthermore, President Donald Trump’s sudden surprising decision to abandon the arms treaties with Iran and Russia has been counterproductive as Iran has restarted its uranium enrichment plants and Russia is resetting its footprint in the Middle East and Africa as US forces leave Syria leaving a vacuum that was filled by Russia and Turkey.
Iran and other countries are waiting for this year’s Presidential Election outcome to decide the future course of action for the terms of engagement with the US with Democrats Leader if Trump loses second term Election or impeachment ends Trump’s tragic journey.
There is another illogical step taken by Trump that is declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as well as the Golan Heights as Israeli territory. It has stirred serious consequences as Palestinians have started protesting against such statement and criticizing Trump Administration for making the illogical and irresponsible arrogant statements that are beyond understanding.
Most of the Foreign policy Experts are of the view the flawed Middle East policy of Trump Administration is whimsical or elusive. Trump is playing with fire that may become holocaust for the region as there is no clear vision that may reflect the possible solution for the Middle East and the efforts aimed at bringing peace in the Middle East .
Everybody is aware that Jerusalem is the holy city for Christians, Muslims and Jews at the same time. It cannot be controlled or dominated under the Two-State Solution. Moreover, East Jerusalem was to become the Capital of the Palestinian Territory.
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During UNGA, Turkish President Recep Tayyab Erdogan had displayed the maps of ancient Palestine and how Israel gradually acquired the land expanding its boundaries illegally.
Furthermore, the UN body has also affirmed that Israel has no legitimate right to control Golan Heights which were annexed from Syria in 1967 and the West Bank but Israel has been violating the Internal Law blatantly.
Trump has been under pressure from AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) and Christian Fundamentalists influencing Trumps’ Middle East Policy that has supported Israel’s unilateral move to occupy Jerusalem.
These policy failures are causing too much damage to US foreign Policy and tarnishing the image of US in Middle East where protests have begun. Demands have started echoing for the US to end their tumultuous siege of Middle East and expel its forces from the Middle East especially from Iraq, Syria and Libya since US Military and Allies went for regime change and defeating ISIS but instead of stabilizing these States have further destabilized them. Though it was able to contain ISIS and retrieval areas in ISIS control as a result of the death of Baghdadi.
Currently, there is no Governance system existing in these states. There are frequent incidents of the Civil War, Proxy wars and the whole system has collapsed. Donald Trump has been ranked most dangerous and quick-tempered President of United Stated who wagged Trade War with China and EU, though Trump has recently signed a trade agreement with China.
Trump has alienated the whole African countries. Even he did not play any role in resolving Kashmir Dispute -The Nuclear Flashpoint between the two Nuclear Power neighbours i.e. India and Pakistan. Despite a lockdown of 170 days, Kashmir Still awaits Global response to exert pressure on India to lift over four months long Curfew in Jammu and Kashmir.
Despite offering Mediation, he has done nothing so far that might have de-escalated the tension between two hostile nation since their Independence in 1947. Pakistan has been frequently asked by the US “to do more” but US has done enough for Pakistan especially in resolving Kashmir Dispute and removal of Pakistan from the FATF’s grey list despite promises made by Donald Trump during the meetings with Pakistan’s Premier in Washington.
Even in the recent World Economic Forum, PM Imran reminded Donald Trump to support Pakistan for removing Pakistan from FATF’s Greylist.Though Trump instructed the concerned authorities for compliance yet that was not enough for the issue.
On the other hand, Pakistan has done a lot for the US by bringing the Taliban to the negotiating table and signing the peace deal. Even recent efforts of Pakistan for a de-escalation between US-Iran Stand-off are also prominent. Even Trump’s much-echoed Meeting with North Korean Military dictator Kim Jong-Un has also ended in smoke since there was no breakthrough or headway after three rounds of talks.
In short, Trump may be ranked as the worst President in the History of the United States yet his aggressive foreign relations Still matter a lot. This year 2020 will play a decisive role as Trump is facing Impeachment Trial and the challenging Presidential Elections Taking Place this year that will carve the future of Donald Trump whether he survives the Impeachment Trial or not or he gets re-elected for yet another term despite his perilous foreign policy paralysis.
Source: https://nation.com.pk/27-Jan-2020/middle-east-policy-implications

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