The Enemy of my enemy…
Israel sent out a “secret” message, urging their diplomatic staff to increase pressure on Iran – over their support of Hezbollah and their continued acceleration of their missile program, backing the Saudi moves in Lebanon, Yemen and underway within their borders.
This is a surprise to many because, as The Times of Israel reports:
TOI — Iran and Saudi Arabia have long been at odds and back feuding Shiite and Sunni forces throughout the region. Although they do not share formal diplomatic ties, Israel has reportedly forged ties with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states over a shared distrust of Iran.
My guess is that important pieces are being moved on the global chessboard, and that the final strategy is not apparent, but here’s my GUESS at what’s up.
The Saudi/Israeli Reapproachment is Trumps’ idea
Trump reached out to the King of Saudi Arabia while there early this year and made a broad sweeping deal, that included oil production at levels that keep the price above $35 a barrel, but not higher than $65; an arms deal that uses primarily American made weapons, totaling over $40 Billion; a back channel opening between Israel (where Trump went next) and Israel, that has multiple facets; (a. the Saudi’s will stop the flow of Wahabbi Sunni expansion by restricting (b. new mosque construction, and also (c. cuts off the funding from the anti-Faud factions still operating in Saudi Arabia, including (d. financial confiscation and (e. arrest; with (f. both country’s agreeing to focus all their attention on the (g. suppression of Iranian hegemony through (h. financial sanctions, (i. diplomatic pressure and (j. war – on Iran and her (k. proxies, the (l. Hezbollah, the (m. Houti, and the other (n. radical Shiite minorities scattered worldwide.
Trump sees all this as the cornerstone of a new global axis he envisions counter-balancing the axis forming around China, Russia and Iran.
He does not rule out working with those nations on joint trade and development deals, on the contrary, he supports such deals – BUT – Trump believes he must come to the table at these negotiations — and in dealing with these communistic/totalitarian states — as an equal, something he cannot do while terrorism, historically one-sided deals and an uneven foreign playing field constantly hamper him.
Trump will sign a long-term trade deal with China, because Xi and Trump see the mutual benefit — but not if China continues to deal with North Korea and they continue to threaten the United States, South Korea and Japan (Guam too!). This is a fundamental change, access to our markets is no longer a given for pure ideological reasons, it’s a threat to domestic jobs, and even the Chinese realize that threat is a genuine political force now, and therefore must be accommodated. Trump is making this easy for Xi; knocking Kim off his suicide path is a much easier pill for Xi to swallow, than a loss of Chinese access to American markets.
Russia is a harder puzzle to contain because Putin has already destroyed his connectivity to world markets (and suffered the resulting domestic economic collapse) and therefore only has only one way to go – up – whether he decides to deal with Trump or solve his problems militarily. But Trump has out foxed him, as long as U.S. domestic energy production remains high (Thank you Heidi Heitkamp) and the Saudi’s remain loyal to our axis, which Trump further ensures by pushing Iran toward Russia, Russia can never recover the FOREX stream they were using to cause mischief, rebuild their military, and ease domestic unrest.
Hence, Putin’s aggressiveness with the sale of rocket and nuclear tech in NK, in his private war in Ukraine, with the unlimited support of Assad in Syria, and even with the social media meddling in American elections, may ALL backfire. None of these moves have any long-term payoff for Russia, and are therefore very troubling. Countries and country leaders which do logical, self-serving things, are safe to work with, Russia and NK don’t fit that mold and therefore present a much higher risk. Trump wants his coalition, or axis, or crisis team — constructed and working together — before one of these critical flash points become another war.
What is the Israeli price for all this? We don’t know, but I suspect Trump has told them to make a one-on-one deal with the Palestinians, that creates a homeland, regardless of the details, and get it done before 2020.
That of course, can not happen, until thePalestinian terror funding dries up, and that is how, the enemy of your enemy, becomes your ally.