After negotiating a major peace agreement between the feuding Islamic Republic of Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, China’s President Xi Jinping flew to Moscow to broker a ceasefire agreement between the Russian Federation and Ukraine.
While no ceasefire in that war has been reached, the meeting between Russian autocrat Vladimir Putin and China’s Xi Jinping resulted in what was essentially the birth of a new, Eurasian world order, in which China and Russia would be the dominant players and the United States would become increasingly isolated and ancillary to that world order.
Shortly thereafter, Russia brokered a separate peace between the Syrian Arab Republic and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
These events are not disconnected from one another. They are part of a longer-running, deeper reorientation of the global system away from the United States. For both China and Russia, the need to dominate the Greater Middle East plays into their grand strategy for displacing the Americans as the ruling power in the world.
The Middle East’s Importance to Everyone
Contrary to popular opinion, the Middle East is the “crossroads of civilizations.” Connecting Asia to Europe (as well as Africa), this region has long been a critical player in world affairs. It is home to three major waterways linking global trade together (the Straits of Hormuz, Bab el-Mandeb, and the Suez Canal), the region is a leading producer of fossil fuel sources and might also become a key player in the global technology development sector (notably in Saudi Arabia).
All these factors mean that the region is not going away, and whichever great power comes to dominate this part of the world will have considerable strategic advantages over their rivals.
Interestingly, it has been reported that “armed Russian military jets have flown over” a US military outpost in Syria “at least 25 times” in March.
In the wake of the Sino-Russian peace deals ending long-standing conflicts between Saudi Arabia and Iran as well as between Syria and Saudi Arabia, an Iranian drone flew near a US military outpost in Syria and bombed it.
The next day, the Iranians responded by launching a series of rocket attacks against a US military outpost in northeastern Syria.
What’s Really Going On
We were told that China’s move into the Middle East was not just the dawning of a new world order but the rise of a major power seeking to do that which the Americans were either unable or unwilling to achieve when the United States was the hegemonic global power: peace. Yet, just two weeks after China’s shocking diplomatic breakthrough (as well as Russia’s orchestration of peace between Syria and Saudi Arabia), the Sino-Russian proxy of Iran launches a bombing campaign against American forces in Syria.
Whatever new world order is being birthed, it is decidedly going to be anti-American.
This is not happening in a vacuum. Nor are the Iranians acting on their own. The data points I highlighted above indicates a disturbing level of coordination by the world’s great autocracies in Eurasia as they seek to not only remake the world order in their image, but to permanently remove American power in the geostrategically vital region of the Middle East.
The objective by the Sino-Russian-Iranian entente is to remove the Americans—by force, if necessary—from Syria so that the Chinese and Russians can gain complete control over the Mideast energy flows while the Iranians have a direct land bridge linking Lebanon and Iran via Iraq and Syria. None of these actors care one iota about peace. They just see an opportunity to truly diminish American power and isolate the United States away from their respective borders…giving Beijing, Moscow, and Tehran the time they need to expand their power beyond their own borders.
Shambolic Foreign Policy Ideas in Washington
The foreign policy debate among America’s political and chattering class is abysmal. We’re smothered by childish talking points that essentially demand we either follow the maximalist neoconservative viewpoint or the ignorant isolationist vision. But there is a third way. That is offensive realism, where the United States steps back from some of these hotspots but only does so once it has ensured that its own interests and security concerns will be preserved by willing partners on the ground.
Former President Donald Trump had achieved this in the Middle East with his Abraham Accords. President Joe Biden spent the last three years diminishing the importance of the Abraham Accords while aggravating America’s Sunni Arab allies by going soft on Iran (and criticizing purported human rights violations by the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman). Sensing dissension between America and its regional allies, Beijing stepped in to sweep America’s annoyed allies off their feet.
Thanks to Joe Biden’s horrific leadership, America is about to lose the Middle East and will soon see China and Russia capturing it.
Next up, expect Israel, which is also being isolated, to either strike Iran soon or to seek out China to help them make a new durable peace that excludes the Americans from the Mideast entirely. Such a desperate deal by Israel and China would be to prevent the region’s powers from ganging up on Israel, because the Americans are clearly so painfully unreliable and weak.
America is losing the world and becoming a second-rate power in decline. We’ve got one, last chance in 2024 to avert the nightmare from becoming reality.
Only time will tell. In the meanwhile, as Mao might say, the dawn is always darkest before it’s completely black.
Brandon J. Weichert is a former Congressional staffer and geopolitical analyst who serves as a Senior Editor for 19FortyFive.com. Weichert is a contributor at The Washington Times, as well as at American Greatness and the Asia Times. He is the author of Winning Space: How America Remains a Superpower(Republic Book Publishers), The Shadow War: Iran’s Quest for Supremacy (March 28), and Biohacked: China’s Race to Control Life (May 16). Weichert can be followed via Twitter @WeTheBrandon.