NATO’s Playbook Of Proxy Wars In Middle East

NATO’s Playbook Of Proxy Wars In Middle East







Since the times of the Soviet-Afghan jihad, during the eighties, it has been the fail-safe game plan of the master strategists at NATO to raise money from the oil-rich emirates of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE and Kuwait; then buy billions of dollars’ worth of weapons from the arms’ markets of the Eastern Europe; and then provide those weapons and guerilla warfare training to the disaffected population of the victim country by using the intelligence agencies of the latter’s regional adversaries. Whether it’s Afghanistan, Chechnya, Bosnia, Libya or Syria, the same playbook has been executed to the letter.

More to the point, raising funds for proxy wars from the Gulf Arab States allows the Western executives the freedom to evade congressional scrutiny; the benefit of buying weapons from the unregulated arms’ markets of the Eastern Europe is that such weapons cannot be traced back to the Western capitals; and using jihadist proxies to achieve strategic objectives has the advantage of taking the plea of plausible deniability if the strategy backfires, which it often does. Remember that al-Qaeda and Taliban were the by-products of the Soviet-Afghan jihad, and the Islamic State and its global network of terrorists is the blowback of the proxy war in Syria.

Notwithstanding, the Western interest in the Syrian civil war has mainly been to ensure Israel’s regional security. The Shi’a resistance axis in the Middle East, which is comprised of Iran, the Syrian regime and their Lebanon-based proxy Hezbollah, posed an existential threat to Israel; a fact which the Israel’s defense community realized for the first time during the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war during the course of which Hezbollah fired hundreds of rockets into northern Israel.

Those were only unguided rockets but it was a wakeup call for Israel’s military strategists that what will happen if Iran passed the guided missile technology to Hezbollah whose area of operations lies very close to the northern borders of Israel?

Therefore, when the protests broke out against the Assad regime in Syria, in early 2011 in the wake of the Arab Spring uprisings, under pressure from the Zionist lobbies, the Western powers took advantage of the opportunity and militarized those protests with the help of their regional allies: Turkey, Jordan and the Gulf Arab States. All of the aforementioned states belong to the Sunni denomination, which have been vying for influence in the Middle East against the Shi’a Iranian axis.

Moreover, since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in August 2011 to June 2014, when the Islamic State overran Mosul in Iraq, an informal pact existed between the Western powers, their regional allies and the Sunni Arab jihadists of the Middle East against the Shi’a resistance axis. In accordance with the pact, the Sunni militants were trained and armed in the training camps located in the border regions of Turkey and Jordan.

This arrangement of an informal pact between the Western powers and the Sunni Arab jihadists of the Middle East against the Shi’a Iranian axis worked well up to August 2014, when Obama Administration made a volte-face on its previous regime change policy in Syria and started conducting air strikes against one group of Sunni militants battling against the Syrian regime, i.e. the Islamic State, after the latter transgressed its mandate in Syria and overran Mosul and Anbar in Iraq and threatened the capital of another steadfast American ally: Masoud Barzani’s Erbil in the oil-rich Iraqi Kurdistan.

After the reversal of policy in Syria by the Western powers and the subsequent Russian military intervention on the side of the Syrian regime, the momentum of Sunni Arab jihadists’ expansion in Syria has stalled and they now feel that their Western patrons have committed a treachery against the Sunni jihadists’ cause; that’s why, they are infuriated and once again up in arms to exact revenge for this betrayal.

If we look at the chain of events, the timing of the Paris and Brussels attacks has been critical: the Islamic State overran Mosul in June 2014, the Obama Administration began conducting air strikes against the Islamic State’s targets in Iraq and Syria in August 2014, and after a lull of almost a decade since the Madrid and London bombings in 2004 and 2005, respectively, the first such incident of terrorism took place on the Western soil at the offices of the Charlie Hebdo in January 2015, and then the Islamic State carried out the November 2015 Paris attacks and the March 2016 Brussels bombings.

Notwithstanding, it is an irrefutable fact that the United States sponsors the militants, but only for a limited period of time in order to achieve certain policy objectives. For instance: the United States nurtured the Afghan jihadists during the Cold War against the erstwhile Soviet Union from 1979 to 1988, but after the signing of the Geneva Accords and the consequent withdrawal of the Soviet troops from Afghanistan, the United States withdrew its support from the Afghan jihadists.

Similarly, the United States lent its support to the militants during the Libyan and Syrian civil wars, but after achieving the policy objectives of toppling the Qaddafi regime in Libya and weakening the anti-Israel Assad regime in Syria, the United States relinquished its blanket support from the militants and eventually declared a war against a faction of Syrian militants, the Islamic State, when the latter transgressed its mandate in Syria and dared to occupy Mosul and Anbar in Iraq in early 2014.

The United States’ regional allies in the Middle East, however, are not as subtle and experienced in the Machiavellian geopolitics. Under the misconception that the alliances in international politics are permanent, the Middle Eastern autocrats keep pursuing the same untenable policy indefinitely, which was laid down by the hawks in Washington for a brief period of time in order to achieve certain strategic objectives.

For instance: the security establishment of Pakistan kept pursuing the policy of training and arming the Afghan and Kashmiri jihadists throughout the ’80 and ‘90s and right up to September 2001, even after the United States withdrew its support from the jihadists’ cause in Afghanistan in 1988 after the signing of the Geneva Accords.

Similarly, the Muslim Brotherhood-led government of Turkey has made the same mistake of lending indiscriminate support to the Syrian militants even after the United States’ partial reversal of policy in Syria and the declaration of war against the Islamic State in August 2014 in order to placate the international public opinion when the graphic images and videos of the Islamic State’s brutality surfaced on the internet.

Keeping up appearances in order to maintain the façade of justice and morality is indispensable in international politics and the Western powers strictly abide by this code of conduct. Their medieval client states in the Middle East, however, are not as experienced and they often keep pursuing the same unsustainable policies of training and arming the militants against their regional rivals, which are untenable in the long run in a world where pacifism is generally accepted as one of the fundamental axioms of the modern worldview.

Notwithstanding, the conflict in Syria and Iraq is actually a three-way conflict between the Sunni Arabs, the Shi’a Arabs and the Sunni Kurds. Although after the declaration of war against a faction of Sunni Arab militants, the Islamic State, the Obama Administration has also lent its support to the Shi’a-led government in Iraq, but the Shi’a Arabs of Iraq are not the trustworthy allies of the United States because they are under the influence of Iran.

Therefore, the Obama Administration was left with no other choice but to make the Kurds the centerpiece of its policy in Syria and Iraq after a group of Sunni Arab jihadists transgressed its mandate in Syria and overran Mosul and Anbar in Iraq from where the United States had withdrawn its troops only in December 2011. The so-called Syrian Democratic Forces are nothing more than Kurdish militias with a tinkering of mercenary Arab tribesmen in order to make them appear more representative and inclusive in outlook.

As far as the regional parties to the Syrian civil war are concerned, however, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the Gulf Arab States might not have serious reservations against the close cooperation between the United States and the Kurds in Syria and Iraq, because the Gulf Arab States tend to look at the regional conflicts from the lens of the Iranian Shi’a threat. Turkey, on the other hand, has been wary of the separatist Kurdish tendencies in its southeast more than the Iranian Shi’a threat.

The sudden thaw in Turkey’s relations with Russia and latent hostility towards the West is partly due to the fact that Erdogan holds the US-based preacher, Fethullah Gulen, responsible for the July coup plot and suspects that the latter has received tacit support from certain quarters in the United States’ intelligence community; but more importantly, Turkey also feels betrayed by the duplicitous Western policy in Syria and Iraq, and that’s why it is now seeking close cooperation with Russia in the region.


Nauman Sadiq

Nauman Sadiq

Nauman Sadiq is an Islamabad-based attorney, columnist and geopolitical analyst focused on the politics of Af-Pak and MENA regions, neocolonialism and Petroimperialism.

Obama Setting-Up the Geo-Chessboard For Trump

[The only analysis I have read so far, which partially explains the Zionist stinkers in Trump’s bed of roses cabinet choices.  Before he even repeats the first words of his inaugural oath, Trump has already sworn allegiance to the Zionist enemy.]

Syria’s War Was Only Ever the Beginning

neo new eastern outlook


With the liberation of the city of Aleppo in northern Syria, it appears that the Syrian government in Damascus is on its way to ending the highly destructive conflict now ongoing for nearly 6 years.

But to assume the Syrian conflict is on the verge of resolution is to assume the Syrian conflict was fought in a geopolitical vacuum, disconnected from regional, even global agendas.

In fact, the proxy war the West waged on Syria was considered for the years before it began, during its planning and preparation stages, as only a prerequisite for war with Iran and a greater global conflict to prevent the reemergence of Russia and the rise of China.

US Hegemony Seeks to Eliminate Rising Superpowers 

At the close of the Cold War, the US sought to establish and maintain itself as the world’s sole superpower.

US Army General Wesley Clark, in a 2007 Flora TV talk titled, “A Time to Lead,” would reveal this post-Cold War agenda by relating a conversation he had as early as 1991 with then US Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Paul Wolfowitz, by stating (emphasis added):

I said Mr. Secretary you must be pretty happy with the performance of the troops in Desert Storm. And he said, well yeah, he said but but not really, he said because the truth is we should have gotten rid of Saddam Hussein and we didn’t. And this was just after the Shia uprising in March of 91′ which we had provoked and then we kept our troops on the side lines and didn’t intervene. And he said, but one thing we did learn, he said, we learned that we can use our military in the region in the Middle East and the Soviets wont stop us. He said, and we have got about five or ten years to clean up those all Soviet client regimes; Syria, Iran, Iraq, – before the next great super power comes on to challenge us. 

Revealed in General Clark’s statement is a clear, singular agenda, beginning after the Cold War, and evident with Desert Storm, the conflict in the Balkans, the US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, and the US invasion and occupation of Iraq as well as the overall expansion of US military power projection predicated upon the “War on Terror” following the attacks on New York City and Washington DC on September 11, 2001.

America’s “regime change” spree included not only the above mentioned wars, but also a series of so-called “color revolutions” across Eastern Europe. This includes Otpor!’s activities between 1998-2004 in Serbia, the 2003 “Rose Revolution” in Georgia, and the 2004-2005 “Orange Revolution” in Ukraine.

Those involved in these US-backed regime change operations, both within the US State Department and American private industry (the corporate media and IT giants like Facebook and Google), as well as “activists” from each respective nation, would begin in 2008 to train opposition leaders from across the Arab World ahead of the 2011 US-engineered “Arab Spring.”

The US State Department itself, in a 2008 press release, would admit to organizing a “Alliance of Youth Movements Summit,” admitting:

This Alliance of Youth Movements had organic beginnings in the sense that already, youth movements from around the world that were utilizing online, mobile and digital media were interacting to discuss best practices. The State Department acted as a facilitator to help provide some structure to this trend by partnering with entities like Facebook, Howcast, Google, MTV, and Columbia Law School.  

Discussed throughout the dialogue featured in the press release were the very tactics used to serve as cover for inevitably violent regime change operations from Egypt and Libya to Syria and Yemen. A look at attendance of the US State Department’s “Alliance of Youth Movement Summits” reveals many of the groups that spearheaded protests upon returning home to the Middle East including the April 6 Youth Movement in Egypt.

Eventually, the New York Times in an article titled, “U.S. Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings,” would admit:

A number of the groups and individuals directly involved in the revolts and reforms sweeping the region, including the April 6 Youth Movement in Egypt, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and grass-roots activists like Entsar Qadhi, a youth leader in Yemen, received training and financing from groups like the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute and Freedom House, a nonprofit human rights organization based in Washington, according to interviews in recent weeks and American diplomatic cables obtained by WikiLeaks.

The goal of both direct military intervention and US-engineered “color revolutions” was to fulfill precisely what General Clark claimed US policymakers sought since the end of the Cold War – the elimination of states operating independently that might eventually rival American global hegemony.

Syria Just Another Stop Along the Way 

The destruction of Iraq, the 2006 Israeli war on Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, and continuous efforts to isolate and topple the government in Tehran, were all part of this singular agenda. Throughout US policy papers stretching back for years, it was admitted that the key to ultimately toppling Iran was the destruction of Hezbollah in Lebanon, and the elimination of Syria as an Iranian ally.

In 2007, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh in his article “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism?,” would reveal (emphasis added):

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

In 2009, US corporate-financier sponsored geopolitical policy think tank, the Brookings Institution, would publish a 170 page report titled, “Which Path to Persia?: Options for a New American Strategy Toward Iran” (PDF), in which it proposes several options, including having Israel attack Iran on Washington’s behalf. The report states (emphasis added):

…the Israelis may want U.S. help with a variety of things. Israel may be more willing to bear the risks of Iranian retaliation and international opprobrium than the United States is, but it is not invulnerable and may request certain commitments from the United States before it is ready to strike. For instance, the Israelis may want to hold off until they have a peace deal with Syria in hand (assuming that Jerusalem believes that one is within reach), which would help them mitigate blowback from Hizballah and potentially Hamas. Consequently, they might want Washington to push hard in mediating between Jerusalem and Damascus.

It is clear that no “peace deal” would be struck, and instead, the wholesale destruction of Syria would be orchestrated. Many of the proposals presented in the Brookings report in regards to triggering conflict and regime change in Iran were instead used on Syria.

With the US-led destruction of Libya in 2011 through the use of Al Qaeda-linked militants, and the transformation of the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi into a logistical springboard to Turkey’s border with Syria, the proxy invasion of Syria began amid already ongoing clashes in the nation’s urban centers.

By 2012, militants flooded over the Turkish-Syrian border, and invaded the city of Aleppo. The destructive war that followed has ravaged the nation, drawn in Syria’s allies – Hezbollah and Iran, as well as Russia, and may have sufficiently weakened the coalition ahead of the conflict’s expansion eastward into Iran and even southern Russia.

Look Who’s in Office, Just in Time for War with Iran…

President-elect Donald Trump has surrounded himself with not only pro-Israeli hardliners like David Friedman, but also a circle who have – for years – advocated war with Iran including Breitbart News’ Stephen Bannon and retired US Marine Corps General James Mattis.

A similar circle of policymakers would undoubtedly have accompanied 2016 US presidential candidate and former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton into office as well had she won the election – her time as US Secretary of State being consumed with the destruction of Libya and Syria, prerequisites for this very conflict.

In essence, Washington is positioning itself for a wider confrontation with Iran just as its proxy war in Syria appears to have run its full course – and it would have begun positioning itself for this coming war regardless of who won the 2016 US presidential election.

In all likelihood, US policymakers envisioned Syria falling much faster and for a lesser cost. With Russia basing a significant military presence in the nation, and with Syria’s military distilled down to a highly effective, experienced fighting force, and with Iranian and Hezbollah forces having gained experience fighting a regional conflict, moving the conflict into Iran will be no easy task.

It is perhaps because of this, that President-elect Trump has been presented as a potential “ally” of Russia, and accusations of Russia “hacking” American elections are being used to chill the alternative media under the guise of combating “fake news.” With the alternative media muzzled, would it be difficult for US policymakers to once again engineer a large provocation – as Brookings’ “Which Path to Persia?” report recommended – to justify expanding Syria’s conflict and America’s involvement in it, into Iranian territory?

It should also be noted that systematically – throughout the Syrian conflict – Israel has attacked Hezbollah infrastructure throughout Lebanon and Syria. Israeli policymakers are likely attempting to maintain a buffer zone between themselves and those who would retaliate in the wake of US-backed Israeli attack on Iran – just as Brookings proposed in 2009.

Elections Won’t Beat US Hegemony, Only a Multipolar Balance of Power 

US special interests, since the end of the Cold War, have been consumed with confronting and eliminating any threat to their perceived global hegemony. As retired US Army General Wesley Clark warned for years, the US is pursuing a singular agenda since the 1990’s, one indifferent to who is in the White House and what rhetoric is being used to sell the myriad of wars and “color revolutions” required to incrementally achieve and maintain global hegemony.

As Russia and China reintroduce a global balance of power, checking US aggression and rolling back US hegemony to a more proportional, multipolar role upon the world stage, the US has increasingly reacted with direct confrontations with both Moscow and Beijing as well as an increasingly violent campaign of proxy wars and regime change operations worldwide.

The illusion that a presidential election could derail this singular, decades-long agenda is a dangerous one. In reality, the only obstacle between US special interests and achieving global hegemony are competing centers of power. These include nation-states like Russia and China, or grassroots movements like the alternative media, alternative and disruptive economic models, and political movements built on the power and influence such movements achieve. Such alternatives can undermine the unwarranted power and influence currently enjoyed by the US and the corporate-financier monopolies that dominate its political landscape.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook.”