US pursues policy of Balkanizing Mideast – Shafaqna Institute for Middle Eastern Studies

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SHAFAQNA – The United States wars have brought more chaos and destruction rather than peace and stability to the Middle East. Many countries in the region are still suffering from insecurity and violence years after the US invasions.

Press TV has spoken to Catherine Shakdam, director of Shafaqna Institute for Middle Eastern Studies, as well as Michael Lane, founder of American Institute for Foreign Policy, to discuss the consequences of US wars in the Middle East.

Shakdam says the US has been pursuing a policy of Balkanizing the Middle East, adding that it has sold to the world the idea that there would be peace in the region if it is partitioned.

“This is something that Washington has wanted for quite some time and Israel of course is promoting such a policy because then it would mean smaller and weaker Arab states which pose less of a threat not just politically but militarily as well and so it is in Israel’s interest to promote those policies,” she said.

The analyst also noted the problem is that there is an assumption in some circles that US interventionism in the Middle East is actually a good policy.

“The problem that we have is that the US has sold war, a state of perpetual war to the rest of the world arguing exceptionalism, arguing that it knows better, that it had to kind of forward a new strategy, it had to promote democracies in the Middle East,” she stated.

Shakdam further mentioned the sectarianism which is rising across the Islamic world is the product of US military interventionism.

She went on to say the Unites States is trying to siphon out the countries’ natural resources by dividing people along ethnic lines which is really a “despicable” act.

The analyst further criticized the West’s support for countries like Saudi Arabia and Turkey who are the real “promoters of terrorism” across the Islamic world, adding they trample over a nation’s sovereignty or play sectarianism to score political points.

The analyst concluded by saying that military interventionism on the part of the United States has been the greatest war crime, arguing that it needs to be held accountable.

Meanwhile, the other panelist on Press TV’s program, Michael Lane opined that the US needs to stay the course instead of ending its wars on a certain date, otherwise it will waste a lot of money and human lives without necessarily achieving its objectives.

He also asserted that the United States’ policies and motivations have been “inconsistent,” adding that Washington has not always understood fully the ramifications of its policies.

“You do not just have to look at the battlefield and the players and things like that. You have to look at what is motivating each player in the theater, what is the objectives that they have and sometimes although you might object to the methodology which they might adopt or pursue to achieve their objectives, you look at it and you might conclude that their objectives are not all that unreasonable,” he stated.

Lane also expressed hope that the United States enters a period of “enhanced diplomacy” under Donald Trump.

However, he said, if the US winds up with a national security team that is more hawkish, then there will be a continuation of the same kinds of policies with even more emphasis on staying the course.

“If on the other hand we wind up with some people that are brand new to the system, I think then you will look at a situation where the United States will try and engage more and avoid armed conflict,” he added.

According to the analyst, it is going to be “very telling” when the national security team of President-elect Donald Trump is announced.

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