By Arun Srivastava
Global political scenario and relations are undergoing massive change with the United States under Donald Trump losing ground and Russia emerging fast as the new protector of global peace.
American president Donald Trump might be having justifiable reason for withdrawing his troops from Kurd, but the fact remains that his action has shaken the confidence level of NATO and substantially weakened the American hold on the geo-political situation of the Middle East. Till launching its October 6 war against Kurds, Turkey was an ally of NATO but now it has deserted the NATO camp.
Realising the intensity of the Turkey aggression and the damage US had to suffer only during one month on the war, Donald retreated from his earlier stand and cautioned Turkey from attacking the Kurds He even threatened to impose sanction. But by this the damage has already been inflicted on the capitalist West. The Middle East has rallied behind Russia an especially accept Vladimir Putin as the new protector.
The difference between the two leaders is clear. While Donald is viewed as a right wing destructive politician, Putin is perceived as the well-wisher of the global community. Putin in recent years, while has used a range of policy tools to undermine U.S.-led international order and also to expand its influence on the global stage, Donald has been found to be wanting..Since 2012, Russia has been conducting a sophisticated and successful campaign to expand its global influence.
Undeniably Russia is by far the strongest foreign power operating in middle east and Syria, and President Vladimir Putin has thrown his full weight and also of the Russian military behind the Syrian Army. It is fairly logical for Turkey to aspire for more space. Turkey nurses the view to enter Syria and drive back Kurdish fighters from near the border. Turkey has become a more important partner for Russia both in Syria and on the international political stage, but Russia does not appear to endorse Turkey’s announced military operations.
IN this backdrop Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and Russian head, Vladimir Putin, have agreed on the parameters of a proposed Turkish “safe zone” in Syria. This development would bring an end to Ankara’s offensive against Kurdish forces and bring peace in the region. According to this agreement, Turkey and Russia will not allow any separatist agenda on Syrian territory.
The chain of events triggered by Donald Trump’s 6 October announcement that US troops would leave Kurdish-controlled north-east Syria has left Moscow the most powerful player in Syria’s complex war, now in its ninth year. Trump has been widely criticised for his decision to pull back the US special forces from the region, which in effect signalled Turkish attack on the SDF, which was incidentally the US’s ground partner in the five-year-campaign to defeat Isis.
There is no denying the fact that this is more of the nature of return of Global Russia and also the basic element of the Moscow policy of undermining the U.S.’s international order besides reinforcing Putin’s domestic legitimacy and promoting Russian commercial, military and energy interests globally. The policy also aims to create a multipolar world in which Russia would play a more prominent role. This would also aim at fulfilling global power vacuums created by Donald Trump’s “America First” foreign policy.
It is obvious that a Turkish operation to “clear” Kurdish forces from the Northeastern Syrian border zone could give Putin a chance to expand Russian influence. Russia’s main base in Syria is the airfield at Hmeimin. Significantly on top of its military presence in Syria, Russia has also been making economic moves in Syria. Russian oil and gas firms have gained contracts for the exploitation of hydrocarbons in Eastern Syria.
It is an open secret that Russia wants the US to leave Syria, and also on some occasion had said “it believes the US is in Syria illegally.” Russia supports the disputed Syrian government, while Turkey backs one of Syria’s main rebel groups. Nevertheless Russia has been keen to cater to its Turkish allies, and has offered to negotiate with all sides for a solution. But Russia could not stop Turkey from moving into Northern Syria and ousting Kurdish forces which are from the same organization and fighting on America’s side against ISIS.
It is not an exaggeration to say that Trump’s decision to withdraw from Syria has pointed specifically to Russia’s expanding influence as a concern. US Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, and a staunch Trump supporter had tweeted, “A precipitous withdrawal of US forces from Syria would only benefit Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime.” (IPA Service)