The Trump Administration must avoid being seduced by quick-fixes and quick-alliances to defeat ISIS. Beware of other nations’ hidden agendas and double-speak. The US has leverage…
There is an ongoing alignment of major world powers involving China, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Pakistan, the Maldives Island Chain, and several of the Sunni Muslim countries in Southeast Asia. This alignment is occurring in the economic trade domain and began relatively unnoticed since the “Arab Spring” uprisings across the Middle East in 2011. Most of these deliberate, step-by-step moves, taken individually, do not seem detrimental to world stability or a threat to the US.
Combine these economic alignments with parallel actions and nation-state alignments in the national security domain, starting with the upheaval and instability created in the aftermath of the “Arab Spring” revolutions. Consider the following distinct events and where they have evolved:
- Iran’s regional hegemony in the Middle East and its constant threat to Israel (2006 Hezbollah War onward);
- Qatar, KSA, and Turkey’s initial unstated support for ISIS in Syria against the Iranian- and Russian-backed Syrian government and its civil war (2013-2014);
- The Obama Administration’s Iran Nuclear Agreement (officially, the “Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action” signed on July 14, 2015)—widely criticized as a bad deal favoring Iran;
- Public condemnation of the US-Iran Nuclear Agreement by KSA and Israel (fall 2015);
- KSA’s Imam of the Holy Mosque continues to publicly support ISIS during his weekly Friday Sermons broadcast to the Islamic nations;
- KSA’s courting of Israel through covert meetings to establish a defensive Pact against Iran’s hegemony because of KSA’s and Israel’s mistrust of then-President Obama;
- Munich Security Conference (February 2017) where KSA brings together the Gulf Sunni Arabs with Turkey and Israel as a defense Pact against Iran;
- Iran’s heavy influence on the Government of Iraq as it battles ISIS, and the scourge of radical Islamic terrorism erupting into western Europe and the US;
- KSA’s and Israel’s overtures to the Trump Administration (“Super-Power” backing sought for KSA’s defense Pact against Russian-backed Iran).
- KSA’s courting of China on economic trade and defense Pacts;
- KSA’s direct support of Pakistan and recruiting there for ISIS;
- Pakistan’s ISI (their CIA equivalent) recent covert support to an ISIS cell in a terrorist operation in India;
Consider that Saudi King Salman is currently on a month-long mission to visit the major Sunni Muslim countries in Southeast Asia and China, Japan, and the Maldives. Consider that KSA has installed its own puppet-President of the Maldives and has created a new “Sharia Law” nation-state where KSA is buying the large Faafu island Atoll with its 27 associated islands in northern Maldives—less than 300 miles from India. China is partnering with KSA in building an industrial-grade airport/seaport infrastructure. Pakistanis are being imported to work and live there. And, 4000 local Maldivian residents have been bought-out and re-located in the Maldives.
Consider China’s ongoing economic Strategic Roadmap with its KSA-Pakistan trade partners:
- “One-Belt, One Road” (OBOR); a modern day “Silk Road” trade route;
- “China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC); this trade route passes through India’s volatile Kashmir region which is occupied by a large Pakistani population;
- “Bangladesh, China, India, and Myanmar” (BCIM) project; another cooperative trade route.
Consider KSA’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit with President Trump on 16 March 2017; son of King Salman and KSA Defense Minister). Consider KSA Foreign Minister Adel al Jabeir’s landmark, surprise, visit to Iraq last month, and last week’s reciprocal visit by Iraq to KSA. Both visits were widely reported by the media. Relations between Sunni-ruled KSA and Shia-ruled Iraq have recently been strained because of KSA’s resistance to Iraq’s use of Shia paramilitary fighters from Iran in Iraq’s fight against radical Sunni ISIS.
What do these “Dots of disparate events” mean? A new “Great Game” connecting Russia with the volatile Middle East in a Russia-Iran Pact versus a China-KSA-Pakistan Pact? Where do US Vital Interests stand on this development?
Before committing to anything with KSA’s agenda, POTUS needs to conduct a comprehensive, top-down, stakeholder assessment of the actors and their respective agendas. Then, assess the impact on US Vital and Major Interests—from near-term to long-term. Remaining “ambiguous, aloof, and cooperating bilaterally on specific actions” is an option while still defeating ISIS.
For example, US security interests in the homeland are threatened. Tracking website, salatomatic.com, reports that 3300 Islamic Mosques have been established in America (75 in NY City). In London, there are now 300+ Mosques. Almost all are Saudi-funded. 82% of these Mosques have radical Islamic (Sunni-Salafi and/or Wahhabism) literature available inside them. KSA allows almost no Christian Churches or Jewish synagogues in reciprocity.
If KSA wants super-power support from the US, then we have leverage in stopping KSA from continuing to spread radical Islamic teachings around the world. It foments “Sharia Law” ideas being given special religious treatment in the US at a time when Christians and Jews are separated from State activities. This threat is exacerbated by the open borders anarchists funded by the anti-American, George Soros.
Stephen Bannon’s Strategic Initiatives Group is hopefully tracking the impact of these alignments. The Trump Administration must avoid being seduced by quick-fixes and quick-alignments by other nations’ hidden agendas and double-speak. KSA is already courting our alignment against Iran while conducting subterranean actions to develop its next tool-box for the post-ISIS phase of their global push to spread radical Islamic ideology worldwide. Caveat Emptor.
Ex Umbra is a pen name used for the security of an experienced senior counterterrorist operative currently working outside of the US government.