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The US is targeting China via Hong-Kong, Pakistan-India via Kashmir, Iran-Saudi Arabia via Yemen, Turkey via Syria

Alper TAN
30 Eylül 2019 18:00
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There are no coincidences in the universe. Every incident has a motive and a goal. We will try to address some of the recent events that have occurred in various parts of the world that seem to have nothing to do with each other in this respect. 

We will strive to assess the turmoil in Hong Kong, India's decision on Jammu-Kashmir on 5 August 2019, the United States targeting Iran after the Saudi Aramco shooting, and the events in Syria, in different directions and different dimensions.

We would like to include some reminders before we address these issues. On September 12 September 2019, SDE Vice President Sinan Tavukcu made a valuable presentation that revealed the financial and human costs of the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq after the 11 September 2001 attacks in very striking figures. The point of movement in the title of our article needs to be understood well. So now we would like to share with you a broad summary from that presentation, titled “Miscalculation Returns from Baghdad!”.

In his speech at West Point (U.S. Military Academy) on 1 June 2002, US President George W. Bush stated:

“The war on terror will not be won by the defence. We must take the battlefield to the enemy's territory, disrupt their plans, and neutralise the threats that may arise from it without giving them a chance to emerge. In today's world, the only way to safety is through action…”

The “New American National Security Strategy” announced on 20 September 2002 envisioned a “pre-emptive attack” against any formation or country deemed to pose a potential threat and pose problems in the future, and, if necessary, the replacement of regimes in hostile states.

The United States invaded Afghanistan on 7 October 2001, under the name of  “Operation Enduring Freedom”, on the grounds of destroying Al Qaeda and the Taliban, which it blamed for the attack. US President George W. Bush explained the purpose of the occupation of the US-led NATO forces by saying, “we are starting the Crusader war”.

Calculated Costs Before the Occupation

In the I. Iraq War, which began in 1991, the cost of war of the US-led invading coalition forces amounted to 61 billion $, with the US only taking over 7 billion $. Saudi Arabia paid 36 billion $, Japan paid 10 billion $, Germany paid 6.6 billion $ and the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman paid the rest.

In October 2001, the United States invaded Afghanistan, and invaded Iraq in March 2003. Studies were done by various agencies and analysts on the cost of the war prior to the invasion of Iraq and reports were prepared. Various organisations had estimated the cost of the war as:

House of Representatives: 48-60 billion $.

Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the House and Senate Budget Committee: 50 billion $.

Mitch Daniels, White House Office and Budget Director: 50 billion $ to 60 billion $.

Democrats in the House: 93 billion $.

The U.S. Department of Defense is 60 $ to 95 billion $.

Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz: 10 billion $ to 100 billion $.

Vice President Dick Cheney: it won't exceed 80 billion $.

US Ambassador to the UN Thomas R. Pickering: 20 billion $.

Brookings Institute Analyst Michael O'hanlon: 40-50 billion $ and 20 billion $ additional costs could be involved each year.

British think tank the “Institute of International Strategic Studies” had suggested that occupying Iraq for as long as 5 years with an army of 100,000 men would cost about 125 billion $.

Yale Professor and antiwar William D. Nordhaus: 57 billion $ maximum.

Lawrence Lindsay, an adviser to President George Bush, calculated the highest cost. According to him, the cost of the war would be between 100-200 $ billion.

Realised Cost

Unlike the I. Iraq War, the US and other occupation forces encountered fierce resistance. This situation both extended the duration of the occupation and increased the cost of the war.

In the report "The budget costs of the U.S. Post-September 11 Wars as of 2019” co-authored by the Washington Institute and Brown University in Rhode Island state, it is stated that the cost of war on terror policy would increase to 6.7 trillion $ by 2023. (https://www.aa.com.tr/tr/dunya/terore-karsi-savas-politikasinin-abdye-maliyeti-6-trilyon-dolar/1311897).

In addition to the actual cost, interest on debts to finance both the Afghanistan and Iraq War will reach 7 trillion $ by 2053, the end of which is due, according to some experts working on the cost of the war.

 

One of the most striking aspects of costs is the extent of waste and corruption. Reports sent by investigators from the Iraq and Afghanistan offices found 60 billion $ of the US military's waste and fraud in Iraq, a large portion of the 100 billion $ spent on Afghanistan's reconstruction efforts. (Source: https://harvardpolitics.com/united-states/waste-greed-fraud-business-makes-worlds-greatest-army/).

Military Casualties

As of 2016, the United States has alternately deployed a total of 2 million troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, with 40% of its military equipment piled into Iraq during that war.

Mercenaries, who became indispensable partners of the American military in the new war model, took part in the Afghanistan and Iraq War as the main combatant forces. As of 2008, the US military deployed in Iraq was 165,607, while the number of mercenaries was 154,825 (26,869 of whom were US citizens). As of 2010, when the war was raging, the total number of US troops serving in Afghanistan was 93,800, while the number of personnel attached to private security companies was 107,479.

Research conducted before the start of the II. Iraq War had calculated that the number of troops the US public would risk losing in the war was 1,500.

However, as of October 2018, the number of US troops killed in Iraq has reached 4,550. In addition, US allies also lost 323 troops. The number of injured was 33,328. The death toll from mercenaries who had contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense was at least 3,793.

As of October 2018, the total loss of coalition troops in Afghanistan was 3,542, with 2,401 of those killed were US troops. 20,431 US soldiers were also wounded in the battle. The losses of private security companies were 3,937.

(Source: https://watson.brown.edu/costsofwar/files/cow/imce/papers/2018/Human 20%Costs % 2C%20Nov%208% 202018% 20CoW.pdf).

The US has lost 20 thousand troops in Afghanistan, 50 thousand in Iraq

But according to independent sources, the casualty figures of this war were being obscured. In fact, it was claimed that the US military's losses in Iraq exceeded 50 thousand, and in Afghanistan, they exceeded 20 thousand. These losses were not included in the losses of mercenaries and private security companies fighting on behalf of the United States.

On the other hand, the psychological disorders seen in soldiers returning from the war were staggering and the costs of treatment were straining the US budget. During the period 2002 to December 2012, 103,792 soldiers who fought were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), while 253,330 soldiers were diagnosed with a type of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). (Source: https://journalistsresource.org/studies/government/security-military/us-military-casualty-statistics-costs-war-iraq-afghanistan-post-911/).

His failure and lack of accountability in the so-called “counterterrorism” war, which has become hideouts, led Republican Donald Trump, who was elected president of the United States, to say, “We have spent 6 trillion $ in the Middle East. With that money, we'd build the country twice. Look at our roads, our bridges, our tunnels and our airports, they're all so obsolete” (interview he gave to the CBS channel on November 14, 2016). He was confessing in his words.

In remarks to the White House on the US budget for 2019, Trump said, "We spent 7 trillion $ in the Middle East, according to the last calculations from a few months ago.  7 trillion $. It's a big mistake, but that's the way it is. And today, the Middle East is in worse shape than it was when they entered there, not so smartly, 17 years ago. It was a very sad situation" setting out the fiasco of the Bush Doctrine.

In another speech on 3 March 2019, President Trump recalled his visit to Iraq, saying that his lights were turned off for security purposes as his plane landed and he was very surprised by this, saying, "we have spent 7 trillion $ in the last 20 years on the Middle East, but we can't land our plane without turning off its lights, that's too bad” he said.

Speaking at a joint news conference with leaders of the Baltic states on 3 April  2019, Trump said: “I want to get out of Syria. I want to bring our soldiers back to their homelands. I want to rebuild our nation. We have spent 7 trillion $ on the Middle East in the last 7 years, we have received nothing in return”.

The information and figures we have summarised from the presentation of Sinan Tavukcu, the Vice President of SDE, clearly reveal that the occupying United States is in a terrible predicament. (Source: https://www.sde.org.tr/sinan-tavukcu/genel/yanlis-hesap-bagdattan-doner-kose-yazisi-11316 ).

More than 60 thousand former US soldiers have committed suicide in the past decade

A 2019 Report released by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs revealed that former US soldiers committed suicide in serious numbers. According to this, on an annual basis over 6 thousand "veterans", former soldiers who fought in the US Army, commit suicide. That number means that more than 16 former soldiers daily commit suicide. According to the report, the number of US soldiers who committed suicide in the last 10 years exceeds 60 thousand.

US’s ex-soldiers problem

Many former soldiers who were in the US Army, who was dismissed from medical services and similar services after leaving or being expelled from the Army, use drugs and morphine to relieve physical pain and mental discomfort from conflicts and wars they used to engage in. At the same time, the wars they have experienced can leave severe psychological problems on these soldiers. Some of the soldiers who returned to the United States have been left homeless and continue their lives on the streets. Some soldiers who cannot stand these conditions end their lives by committing suicide.

The US gets grumpy as it loses

The US is not just losing troops and money. As it fails, it is losing confidence and reputation too. This leads to more and more questioning of the unbeatable superpower every day. It's becoming impossible to control the world. So the US is rapidly losing its dominance on the international field. The more it seems that it loses, the more he gets violent. The more combative it gets, the more it makes terrible mistakes and loses. This vicious cycle goes on and on.

The United States, which invaded Afghanistan in 2001 targeting the Taliban and Al Qaeda, is negotiating to make peace with the Taliban, which it was forced to accept as its official interlocutor today.

The United States has destroyed the countries it has invaded, but so has it

The United States, along with the European countries carried out the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, burned these countries and destroyed them. But the result was a terrible defeat. It inflicted wounds that were irreparable, both material and moral. It destroyed the countries it invaded. But it lost a lot itself. For that reason, Washington prefers to primarily use other methods it has used since then, rather than directly launching wars or conducting military operations on target countries.

US and UK seek to rein in China by stirring up Hong Kong

China has begun to seriously threaten the economic and technological superiority of the United States and Europe. The Western world cannot accept this development.  But they cannot afford to wage war against China by sending troops directly, as they did in Afghanistan and Iraq, because of the reasons mentioned above. Because they know that if they do, they will be badly beaten.

The United States and Britain, unable to cope with the fact that communist China has become increasingly capitalist and economically challenging the West, are trying to prevent China from closing in on its domestic issues by mobilising their respective focus in Hong Kong and becoming an alternative to the West's superiority in commercial, technological and military terms.           

This is understood to be the main reason behind the popular movements, which began in June 2019.

The US wants India and Pakistan to fight

Western countries also see India as a rival, economically and technologically, after China. Pakistan is one of the Islamic countries that the Western world, especially the United States, sees as a very important threat. Pakistan is the only Islamic country with nuclear weapons. Western countries never want Pakistan, the only Islamic country with nuclear weapons, to be strengthened. While this is the case, the United States and Europe are not in a position to risk direct war with India and Pakistan for the reasons we are trying to explain in the first place. That is why it is aimed to prevent the two countries from being disabled and empowered by different methods. To this end, the Kashmir crisis was put in place.

It is estimated that there were implicit incentives by Western countries in taking the decision to “abolish the autonomy” of Jammu-Kashmir by the administration of India on 5 August 2019. If this is the case, then the Indian government has been set up in a very insidious trap. Without seeing any sign of encouragement from the US and the UK, the chances of India making such a decision are very low.

It is not wise for India to make such a decision, but it is a wrong decision that contains extremely dangerous and terrible possibilities. Such a decision, such a policy would never serve India's national interests. India, an ancient Islamic country known for its colourful and exemplary democracy, with some hundred million Muslim citizens, has stepped into a very dangerous tunnel with such a decision.

It is never acceptable for India to remove the status of Jammu-Kashmir. Jammu-Kashmir should not be seen as just a matter between Pakistan or India. Jammu-Kashmir is also a shared issue of 1.8 billion Muslims. Just like Palestine... India has seriously offended not only Pakistan but also over 50 Islamic countries by its wrong decision of 5 August 2019. Without a step back, this could cause India to become very lonely in the world, open to the West's plans, radicalise some of the Muslims of India, and destabilise India quickly. This comes to the benefit of the United States and Europe, which see India as a threat, not India.

In the Uyghur issue of China's wrong policies, the United States is trying to use Uyghurs against the Beijing Administration, not because it loves Uyghur Muslims, but because it thinks of them as a convenient opportunity against the Chinese state, which it sees as a rival.

India would have taken a similar step unnecessarily if it had insisted on the 5 August decision. India's wrong decision has offended both Kashmiri Muslims and Indian Muslims, whose number they know better, as well as other Muslims all over the world.

For Turkey, Pakistan has a very exceptional place. India, on the other hand, is an important country that has historical ties with Turkey and has very good relations. It is never desirable for two such countries to confront or fight. We hope that these two nuclear-powered countries do not confront each other over the Jammu-Kashmir issue.  Let them not please their opponents and adversaries.

The US wants Iran and Saudi Arabia at war

Since the 1979 Khomeini revolution, the United States considers Iran as an adversary. Immediately after the Khomeini revolution, between 22 September 1980 and 20 August 1988, with the 8 years of war, both Iran and Iraq lost material and spiritual power. These countries, which are the two most important threats to Israel, have ceased to be threats in their own hands.  This war, which lasted for 8 years, won neither side anything. This war was a terrible trap for Israel's security. Iran and Iraq have been fallen into this trap.

Saudi Arabia has been an ally of Britain and the United States since its founding. But Saudi Arabia, one of the targets with the Greater Middle East project, which the US tried to carry out by using the September 11 attacks as a pretext, saw the truth and began taking steps to get rid of the US. But it's not so easy to do this. The price and the bill of independence are put before them.

When the US Congress was working on a bill that emphasised Saudi Arabia's role in the September 11 attacks and which could pave the way for a judicial proceeding to Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia challenged to the US. In a news published on 17 April 2016, The New York Times reported that Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Zubeyir personally challenged the United States in March 2016, stating that “Saudi Arabia will sell 750 billion $ worth of Fed bonds and bonds in its possession if Congress passes the law”. (Source: https://www.ntv.com.tr/dunya/suudi-arabistandan-abdye-750-milyar-dolarlik-rest,X_XqqVlADk2tjOEXCMpv-Q ).

US President Donald Trump's threats to Saudi Arabia's King Selman bin Abdul Aziz on 3 October  2018, that he could lose power in two weeks without US military support and that he should pay the price should not be forgotten.

“Without us, you might not be here in two weeks”

Speaking at an election rally in his home state of Mississippi for his party's congressional elections, Trump said: "I like King Salman, but I said to him, 'look, king, we're protecting you. Without us, you might not be here in two weeks. You have to pay for your own army, you have to pay for it’”.

With exaggerated media reports and photos of Trump and Saudi King Selman on the head of the illuminated globe engraved in memory, a veiled war is waging between the United States and Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia wants to become independent from the United States and the United States opposes it. Since Saudi Arabia cannot afford to fight the United States openly, the war is being waged in indirect ways for now. Nor can the United States afford to fight Saudi Arabia directly. Therefore, war is conducted indirectly.

On 14 September 2019, Saudi Aramco oil facilities were hit. As soon as the incident happened, the United States immediately targeted Iran. He said the attack was carried out from the south of Iran. The Houthis in Yemen have said they carried out the attack themselves. The Riyadh administration said there was no conclusive evidence to suggest Iran carried out the attack. The United States, which wants a confrontation between Iran and Saudi Arabia, has made all kinds of incitement over this incident.

Research shows the attack was carried out from a distance of 72 kilometres, not from Iran but by Yemen. It appeared to have been done by a group with ties to the United States elsewhere, not from the region where the Houthis are active.

The aim was for the United States to make Iran and Saudi Arabia fight if possible, and if this could not be achieved, the Riyadh administration would be intimidated and sold more weapons in the face of the ostensible Iranian threat, thus making Saudi Arabia needy more and close to the United States.

As a matter of fact, immediately after the attack, US officials announced that they would send 200 new troops to Saudi Arabia, selling new radar and defence systems. However, Saudi Arabia had US-made Radar and defensive missiles, but these attacks were not activated. (Source: https://www.amerikaninsesi.com/a/abdden-suudilere-patriot-ve-radar-sistemi-destegi/5100185.html ).

As a result, the United States targets Hong Kong and China, Kashmir and Pakistan-India, Yemen and Iran and Saudi Arabia, and Turkey and Syria’s other neighbours via Syria.

Alper TAN

Vice President Institute of Strategic Thinking (SDE)