US national policy, Bill Clinton, international organised crime, South Africa, Central Africa, Colombia, terrorism, 11 september 2001, national security, al-Qaeda, centralised organisation, Washington, foreign policy, Pentagon, Islamic fundamentalism, NATO, Saudi Arabia, OPEC, oil, Europe, military, democratisation, nuclear proliferation, Non-proliferation Treaty of 1668, atomic energy, Pakistan, Lybia, Iran, Teheran, Syria, Lebanon, NIE National Intelligence Estimate, strike, war, international, politics, international relationship, multipolar world
In the document issued in September 2002, "The National Security Strategy of the USA", two essential goals of US national policy were stressed: the defeat of "Global terrorism" and "to prevent our enemies from threatening us, our allies, and our friends with weapons of mass destruction". Those are typical "Transnational threats".
We remember that those two goals were already present under Clinton, but the Clinton presidency added the fight against international organised crime like drugs, dirty money and so on. The fight against drugs goes on, of course, particularly in South and Central America, as for instance Colombia, with American troops involved in the operations, but the war against terrorism has had priority since 11/9. The focus is now more on national security than on societal problems.
[...] The only clear success was the agreement by which Libya stopped its effort. Another region where American influence is retreating: South America, with a very active Chavez in Venezuela and a very uncertain Bolivia, with a strong Indian revival in many countries of the Southern Hemisphere, and a string of electoral victories by the Left in 2006, apart from Mexico. We witness in South America a deep rejection of American pre-eminence and of the liberal, globalised economic and social model, even if Chavez lost in December a plebiscite which would have granted him the right to stay indefinitely at the head of the country . [...]
[...] (It will be noted that the explosions in the London Underground in July 2005 were perpetrated by British citizens of Pakistani ascent). Another problem is Saudi Arabia. For geopolitical reasons and because of oil (Ryad plays a major role in fixing through OPEC the price of oil) Washington needs its help. But the Saudis support many fundamentalist groups around the world (particularly in Africa and in Europe). But those are Sunni fundamentalists (Saudi Arabia itself is Sunni, of the Wahabite, that is strict, kind). [...]
[...] And in such a way as to allow Teheran to exert leverage over the Iraqi Shiites, which had never been the case before (Iraqi Shiites were quite independent from, and suspicious of Teheran . Starting in 2005, the US was more and more convinced that the Iranians supported the Shiites in Iraq heavily, and that Iranian devices and weapons played a great role in the problems the US was meeting in that country. On top of that the Iranian government seemed to get more radical, and to achieve some foreign support, particularly with Russia. [...]
[...] That is the major problem for Washington. The combination of huge oil reserves and the atomic bomb (which Iran may one day possess at the same time) is disquieting for the US: it will no longer be possible to prevent Teheran from becoming a very major regional player, and then US policy in the Middle East will be immensely affected. The only way to prevent such evolution might have been until last year (might But after all they were quite helpful in 2001 against the Taliban, and there is no widespread hate of the US in Iran) be to engage Teheran now, and to try to achieve a deal which would persuade the Iranians not to acquire nuclear weapons. [...]
[...] The US has itself put its own non-proliferation policy in jeopardy with the agreement it signed in 2006 and ratified in December 2006 with India, providing for a vast co-operation program with that country in the field of civilian nuclear energy, even though India had gone nuclear in 1974, proclaimed itself as a nuclear power in 1998, and never signed the NPT. Through that decision the NPT has become largely meaningless, and Iran and Nort Korea can argue that there are now different standards in Western non-proliferation policy . The Iranians, who never admitted they want to achieve military nuclear status and who maintain that they want to enrich uranium for peaceful use, which is not easy to forbid them under international law, may certainly believe they might wrangle their way through. [...]
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