Middle East, News Watch, Side Feature, South Asia

Views on the News 20/02/2021


  • In his first major International Speech, Biden warns about Russia
  • Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Afghanistan

In his first major International Speech, Biden warns about Russia

This week, US President Joe Biden, participating virtually, used his speech to the annual Munich Security Conference to warn against Russia as well as China, while pledging American commitment and support for its European allies. While accusing China of “economic abuses and coercion”, Biden was particularly forceful about Russia, accusing President Putin of trying to “bully and threaten individual states” instead of negotiating “with a strong and closely united transatlantic community”. Meanwhile Biden acknowledged tensions under his predecessor, President Trump, and committed to improving relations with Europe, saying, “I know the past few years of strain has tested our transatlantic relationship. But the United States is determined to reengage with Europe. To consult with you. To earn back our position of trust and leadership.

As we have discussed many times previously in this review, it is not generally the plans that change from administration to administration but the approach to executing those plans. Trump expressed anger towards Germany over its relations with Russia, particularly over the construction of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline between the two countries, providing an alternate route for the supply of Russian gas to resource poor Europe. Despite talk of support and collaboration, the Biden administration is equally opposed to the pipeline; although it has decided to step back from penalising Germany, it did announce on Friday sanctioning a Russian ship for its involvement in its construction.

The American position towards Russia is duplicitous but characteristic of great power relations. America has itself sought to take assistance from Russia, for example in Syria to crush the revolution against Assad, and in Libya, to support the American agent Khalifa Haftar. But America doesn’t want any other great power to benefit from Russia. Furthermore, America works to use the other great powers against each other, in order to maintain a balance of power amongst them. So America encourages Russia to act against European nations, while at the same time encouraging European nations against Russia. The Europeans are aware of this, which is why they still seek to develop relations with Russia, despite Russian provocations. But the Russian leadership is easily misled by America because of the loss of the Russian political class after the fall of the Soviet Union. Russia today is governed not by politicians but by former members of the security and intelligence services, known as the siloviki, which include Putin himself, a former midranking KGB agent.

It is incumbent upon the Muslim Ummah to develop wide political understanding, which is not possible without strong awareness of international affairs. Then it will be possible for the Ummah to give rise to a class of sincere, capable, indigenous politicians and statesmen who understand global dynamics and can confidently chart the path to be taken by the re-established Islamic Khilafah (Caliphate) State on the method of the Prophet (saw), that shall unify all Islamic lands, liberate occupied territories, revive the Islamic way of life and carry the light of Islam to the entire world. The Khilafah State shall enter, almost from its inception, the ranks of the great powers, on account of its size, strength, position, resources and ideology. The great powers currently oppose the re-establishment of the Khilafah State. But upon its emergence, they will immediately recalculate their positions and examine how to benefit from including the Khilafah in the balance of great power dynamics. The leadership of the Khilafah at that time must be fully consciously aware of the designs of the other powers, resist becoming a tool in their hands, and instead confidently pursue their own objectives, working to contain the destructive machinations of the disbelieving powers and to restore stability and harmony within the international situation.

Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Afghanistan

Further examples of Biden’s different approach but near identical policies can be seen in his relations with Saudi Arabia. This week, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki said that President Biden’s future correspondence with the Saudi leadership shall be at the level of King Salman, in contrast to Trump’s direct engagement with the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, known as MBS. Nevertheless, US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin reached out to MBS a couple of days later to convey America’s support for Saudi Arabia’s defence over attacks from the Houthis in Yemen and “underscored Saudi Arabia’s role as a pillar of the regional security architecture in the Middle East and the importance of sharing the responsibility of regional security and stability” according to a Defence Department press release. And even though there is a change in policy with regards to the multiple year war in Yemen, this represents a logical development building on the policy initiated under Obama and continued under Trump. America has been fuelling the war in Yemen from both sides in order to create the conditions to impose its own settlement in Yemen in order to produce a government firmly under US control, as opposed to the decades’ long government of Ali Abdullah Saleh, who owed his loyalty not to the US but to the UK. It was Britain, the previous global superpower, that had engineered the collapse of the Uthmani Khilafah State a hundred years ago, and it was Britain that at that time took the great bulk of the spoils, entrenching itself across the Muslim world. As the current world superpower, America has seized control of most of the countries of the Muslim world but Britain still has principal influence in selected Muslim countries, as does France. However, with Allah’s permission, the Muslim Ummah shall soon arise and overthrow the agent ruling class that has sold its loyalty thus ejecting the influence of the foreign disbeliever from all Muslim land.

Although Trump, playing to his domestic populist base, was eager to end the long-term US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, he was blocked from doing so by the US establishment and succeeded only in reducing the numbers of troops in both countries to 2,500 each, while committing to remove all troops in Afghanistan by May 2021, which was beyond his first presidential term. Biden is now confronted with the need to stabilise America’s military presence in both countries. He appears to have made a start his week as the American-dominated NATO alliance announced its decision to significantly increase the number of its troops in Iraq from 500 to around 4,000, while continuing at present with its deployment of 9,600 troops in Afghanistan. The US has already begun laying the basis for cancelling Trump’s promise to withdraw from Afghanistan, with the US Defence Secretary saying this week, that the US “will not undertake a hasty or disorderly withdrawal from Afghanistan” that puts NATO forces at risk, adding “no decisions about our future force posture have been made”. Although it is true that America does not want to be engaged in ‘forever’ wars, it is also true that America never wishes to leave any country that it has entered, desiring to retain military bases in perpetuity. America’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were not simply for momentary objectives but to establish control critical focal points in the Muslim world and establish key forward positions against Russia and China. These bases endure not because of their own strength but because of the support and protection of agent governments that they have established in these countries, led by Kadhimi in Baghdad and Ghani in Kabul. But after the re-establishment of the Islamic Khilafah and the overthrow of these agents, with Allah’s permission, the foreign disbelieving military forces will be easily ejected from Muslim land.