The US is attempting to sell to the public the next phase of its continued occupation and military operations across the Middle East. Predicated on claims of “rebuilding” Iraq and “fighting terrorists” in Syria, it is in actuality a plan to perpetuate for as long as possible the upheaval currently consuming the region in hopes of overextending and exhausting Iran – and by extension – Russia.
Iranian Roadblock to Western Hegemony
The United States in its pursuit of global hegemony has placed particular focus on encircling, containing, undermining, and if possible, overthrowing the socioeconomic and political order of Iran as a means to secure for itself primacy over the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the British followed by the Americans have pursued a multi-generational policy of divide and conquer across MENA.
Nations Ango-American influence could not outright conquer and co-opt such as the Persian Gulf monarchies – or create in the case of Israel – have been either picked apart and left in ruins through direct or indirect military interventions, or have spent decades staving off open and concerted efforts to divide and destroy their respective nations. These nations include Yemen, Libya, Iraq, and Syria most recently, as well as Egypt, Lebanon, Algeria on and off throughout the 20th and 21st centuries.
Iran – above all other nations in the region – reserves a special place for Western attention. Its large population, geography, economy, and military might has provided it space and time to incrementally grow its power and influence throughout the region and the world to dimensions difficult for the West to overcome and dominate.
With 80 million people, a GDP of nearly $400 billion, and an army over half a million strong, Iran is not Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, nor Libya. And as the technological disparity among nations in regards to conventional military capabilities closes, the West finds itself in an increasingly disadvantageous position in regards to coercing Iran directly through force.
Because of this emerging reality, US policy versus Tehran is shifting from attempting to justify a military confrontation it is no longer certain it can win, to a policy of containment and limited conflict similar to America’s maneuvering in Asia Pacific regarding Beijing.