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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/20/18

Trump's Plan B for Syria: Occupation and Intimidation

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More importantly, "Forward deterrence" is a military strategy that ignores the broader political situation which has been adversely impacted by Washington's "border security forces" announcement. Now the cards are on the table and all the main players can see what the US really has up its sleeve. Leaders in Syria, Iraq, Iran and particularly Turkey can see that Washington is not an honest broker, but a crafty and cold-blooded opportunist willing to throw even its allies under the bus to achieve its own narrow geopolitical objectives.

As a result, Erdogan has moved closer to Russia which has sent up red flags in Washington as one would expect. After all -- in the broader scheme of things -- Turkey is more important to the US than Ukraine. It is the essential landbridge and energy hub that is destined to bind Europe and Asia together into the world's biggest free trade zone. If Turkey breaks out of Washington's orbit and moves into Moscow's camp, Washington's plan to "pivot to Asia" will collapse in a heap.

So while McMaster might think that forward deterrence will prevent Russia from achieving its objectives, it's clear that the policy is already working in Putin's favor. Every miscue that Washington makes only adds to Putin's credibility and reputation as a reliable partner. Simply put: The Russian president is gradually replacing Washington as the guarantor of regional security. This is a tectonic development and one that US power brokers will definitely regret in the future.

A "changing of the guard" is underway in the energy-rich Middle East, and Washington is the odd-man-out.

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Mike is a freelance writer living in Washington state.

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