By Greg Pence
When Biden was nominated to enter the White House, his most important promises were the return of the USA to the realm of liberal-internationalist policies and the improvement of the USA’s image tinted during Trump’s presidency. However, what is most evident in the USA foreign policy in recent decades, is the political structure’s specific perception of American globalism, which not only does not rest upon the Kantian peace but also revolves around the conflict for supremacy and superiority over competitors and making actors withdrawn from the USA axis return to it. As a result, the leading actors in the current foreign policy of the USA are no longer republicans or democrats but globalists and nationalists making the White House grapple with a crisis in decision-making.
Since the announcement of the “Clash of Civilizations” theory during the reign of neo-conservatives, seeking to have a civilizational-identity confrontation with other civilizations of the world, a fact still remains true: the necessity of not having peace in the Middle East and Eurasia. In other words, the USA has decided to use the puzzle of crisis-making in the region to make a fertile ground in order to save the priorities of the military and industrial complexes in the USA.
Most of the major oil-exporting countries in the world are currently grappling with war, unrest or sanctions. Saudi Arabia is involved in the Yemen war; Russia is fighting in Crimea and Ukraine; Venezuela is caught under internal unrest and Iran is under crippling sanctions. In spite of the fact that these countries are under war, sanctions, and collapse, their oil reaches its destination as a result of the crisis-making games and the management of American companies.
Before entering the White House, Biden had pledged to trample Donald Trump’s Middle East policy, bring American troops home from the Middle East, renew the nuclear deal with Iran, end the war in Yemen and make the Saudis comply with human rights standards in governance. However, none of his promises came true.
Biden not only has not been able to renew JCPOA but also handed over Afghanistan to the Taliban and the war in Syria and Yemen still continues. Even today, without a clear plan and strategy to improve the status quo, Biden wants to return the USA to the Middle East and he even ate at the same table with Ben Salman, the murderer of Khashoggi; blatantly ignoring the values of liberal democracy and human rights.
Lack of balance in the USA policies in the region, leading to the increase of influence of China and Russia in the Middle East, has created conditions that can be utilized by the Biden administration for creating a new round of crisis making through balance-making in the region. Abraham Accords, unlike all that is said insisting on its creative role in the security of the Middle East, is nothing more than the repetition of the torn policy of balance-making of the USA during the Cold War.
Barbara Tuchman, a prominent American historian, and author, vividly explains the role of folly in the USA foreign Policy; enunciating that political folly is insisting on a right that cannot be implemented. The fact that organizing USA proxies around influential actors in the Middle East to make those actors isolated, takes place when the world needs the maximum geostrategic-geoeconomic potential of energy, cannot bring peace and only turns to a new source of conflicts and alignments in the region.
Even Robert Malley, U.S. Special Representative to Iran, warned in 2021 that most of the region’s disorders originate from Iran deprivation. Even if the Biden administration succeeds in getting a commitment from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and other Arab countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, it has been previously confirmed that Iran, as a sanctioned state, can act as the Trojan horse of China and Russia in the Middle East and make any coalition strategy fail.
It must be said that the current situation of coalitions and alliances in the region, in the midst of the Ukraine war and China’s influence in the Middle East, primarily shows the power vacuum caused by the lack of trust in America. On the other hand, Washington’s recent attempt to withdraw from the Middle East, while maintaining its previous security structure, is in contradiction with the USA’s plan to re-enter the Middle East. Therefore, what may be most fruitful for the United States in the current conditions of confusion caused by the complexity of the existing equations, maybe finding the lost strategic compass and returning to a balancing policy for improving relations with Iran and reducing dependence on Saudi Arabia.
Now Biden is at the crossroads of concluding major security agreements with Saudi Arabia and the UAE. According to sources close to the king of the UAE, the agreement is “a binding strategic defense cooperation agreement” that goes beyond anything that the US has agreed to in the region before. Biden needs to increase the oil production of Saudi Arabia in order to reduce the price of fuel; considering the nearness of the mid-term congressional elections in November; on the other hand, Saudi Arabia’s agreement with Biden will mean Washington’s concession to further support this country for the continuation of the war in Yemen, where Iran’s proxy forces are facing Saudi Arabia.
The shameful legacy of this agreement is neither peace nor solving the agreement but using and lobbying with the crisis card. Therefore, Biden’s gamble in Riyadh is unlikely to reduce the skyrocketing price of fuel; because the maximum amount that Saudi Arabia can pour into the market cannot be more than 150 thousand barrels a day which is a negligible amount and cannot reduce the fuel price.
Considering the crisis of energy supply due to the war in Ukraine, reconciliation with Iran is a solution for the USA. With about 85 million barrels of oil stored on land and offshore, Iran can enter the global energy markets almost immediately. However, this goal can only be achieved if Biden returns to the JCPOA, however, it seems to have reached a serious stalemate.
It won’t take long to find out that the root of the problem is not how to reach an agreement with Saudi Arabia or the UAE, but the problem is that the White House is unable to adopt a specific long-term policy and, as a result, it is not dependable. If Biden is unable to reach an agreement with Iran, the failure will lead to the collapse of the nuclear non-proliferation regime (NPT) and, as a result, to the arming of many countries in the Middle East and the world with nuclear weapons, which is the legacy of the USA crisis-making game in the Middle East and Eurasia.