Wednesday, March 13, 2013

America's strategic blunder

The US invaded Afghanistan and Iraq with the intention of establishing pro-Western regimes that would be favourable to US corporate investment and privatization of national assets.

Their impenitent and unrealistic ambitions have been frustrated from the start, not least due to widespread international revulsion and condemnation of America's unilateral and unlawful aggression against impoverished and defenceless nations.

Equally significant opposition to US ambitions in Central Asia and the Middle East has come from poorly armed but determined resistance in the occupied regions, which has prevented US forces from achieving security, much less a decisive victory.

Most worrying for the US is the fact that while their campaign has cost them dearly in terms of lives, money and standing on the world stage, their strategic rivals have benefited enormously at America's expense.

Perhaps the greatest beneficiary of the United States' strategic blunder has been the Islamic Republic of Iran. As a leading oil exporter, Iran has enjoyed a financial windfall from the surge in oil prices caused by the war.

Furthermore, recognizing the very real threat posed by US aggression, Iran has used some of its increased oil wealth to vastly improve its defence capabilities and military preparedness, enhancing its ability to deter US aggression.

And rather than resulting in pro-Western regimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, the US occupations have predictably alienated the respective populations, who are now forging alliances with America's rivals.

At a trilateral summit in Islamabad last month, Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan agreed to engage in a process of cooperation and collaboration in the areas of energy, connectivity and trade, despite US opposition.

Iran has also developed close ties with the Shia majority in Iraq and is currently building a pipeline that will deliver natural gas from Iran's South Pars gas fields to power plants in Iraq and Syria.

Meanwhile, the US has had to abandon its plans to build pipelines from the Caspian basin through Afghanistan and Pakistan, due to the ongoing conflict and instability in the region.

Western oil majors' plans to privatise Iraqi oil fields have been thwarted and the deals they have achieved fall far short of their expectations. Worse still for the US, Iran has now begun selling its oil in currencies other than US dollar.

By challenging the petrodollar system, Iran is seriously undermining a fundamental pillar of US hegemony. This development may well prove to be the most significant blow to US ambitions of global dominance.

Any widespread shift away from the petrodollar system will collapse the US dollar, paralyze the US economy and effectively end US hegemony.

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