Atak USA na Syrię 7 kwietnia 2017, jako rozgrywka geopolityczna

Od razu zastrzegam, że nie mam pojęcia kto użył broni chemicznej w Syrii, być może to się wyjaśni, a może nie. Wszystkie przypadki użycia tego typu broni w Syrii po 2011 roku były, są i będą przedmiotem sporu co do ich autorstwa. Chcę krótko zająć się grą geo-politytczną między USA a Rosją w kontekście tego ataku, ponieważ od tego będzie zależał dalszy los Syryjczyków, a w konsekwencji także reszty świata. 

Niewątpliwie po niepowodzeniu zacieśnienia współpracy między USA a Rosją, nowy prezydent Stanów Zjednoczonych szukał innych możliwości dla uczynienia „America great again” także na polu międzynarodowym. Gdy odsunął gen Michaela Flynna, a w jego miejsce powołał gen. McMastera, jasne się stało, że w jego obozie zaczynają dominować zwolennicy tradycyjnej polityki USA, nakierowanej na budowanie sojuszy, ale w taki sposób by zagwarantować utrzymywanie dominującej roli USA.

W międzyczasie doszło do fatalnej operacji w Jemenie, która uświadomiła prezydentowi, że musi słuchać doradców i nie działać pochopnie i impulsywnie. Atak na bazę Syryjską został właśnie tak zaplanowany.

Biały Dom poinformował Rosję o planowanym ataku, ale na tyle późno, by ta nie zdążyła przygotować ewakuacji bazy syryjskiej. Stąd Rosja raz potwierdza, a raz zaprzecza, że taką informację od USA otrzymała. Rosja wielokrotnie wcześniej wyraźnie sugerowała, że wszelkie działania względem Syrii, nie tylko wymagają negocjacji z Kremlem, ale nawet jego akceptacji. Konferencja w Astanie była tego jasnym świadectwem, gdy USA zostały tam zaproszone do udziału (niejako w roli obserwatora), a nie jako współorganizator. Trump musiał odmówić. O pozostałych sygnałach z Rosji świadczących o chęci względnej dominacji Rosji w „sojuszu” z USA pisałem już 26 styczni br.: „Trzy wydarzenia okresu przejsciowego, istotne dla nowej administracji USA” 

Trump zrozumiał wówczas, że podział wpływów na Bliskim Wschodzie może być tylko efektem twardej gry geopolitycznej i politycznej, a nie „biznesowej” współpracy z Rosją.  Stąd odsunięcie Flynna oraz żądanie zwrotu Krymu. Oba te ruchy raczej wzbudzały rozbawienie na Kremlu. Jednak Putin chyba nie przewidział, że to tylko zapowiedź kolejnych kroków. Dzisiejszy atak w Syrii o tym świadczy. Odpowiedzią Rosji obecnie, będzie zapewne wzmożenie ataków przeciw rebeliantom popieranym przez USA, znów przemieści Iskandery M do Kaliningradu (nie wiem który już raz), dokona jakiejś liczby lotów „patrolowych” strategicznymi bombowcami w pobliżu terytorium NATO. Niebezpieczne byłoby natomiast gdyby Rosja postanowiła uaktywnić tzw. „rebeliantów” w Donbasie.

Osoby, które znały Trumpa zanim został prezydentem przestrzegały, że jeśli deal między Rosją i USA się nie powiedzie, to Trump stanie się dla Kremla bardzo twardym graczem. Myślę, że ten moment właśnie nastąpił. Atak w Syrii pokazał, że USA prawdopodobnie opracowały nową strategię bezpieczeństwa (lub przynajmniej zarys) , której autorami mogą być gen Mattis wraz z gen McMasterem. Zapewne Rex Tillerson ją akceptował, a Trump przyjął do realizacji. USA posiadają też tzw. Wielką strategię (choć za czasów Obamy chyba była mocno zaniedbana), która ma wpływać na mechanizmy geo-polityczne.

Problemem jednak jest to kto po Asadzie mógłby rządzić Syrią. Sam Trump w kampanii twierdził że w Syrii nie ma rebelii, którą USA mogłyby popierać. Teraz jego administracja żąda odsunięcia Asada. Kto więc miałby tam przejąć władzę? Budowanie rządu jedności narodowej od zera jest to proces na dekady. Amerykanie to wiedzą przynajmniej od 2003 roku. Wie o tym na pewno gen Mattis, z którym dokładnie o tym rozmawiałem. Na wiele pytań brak jest dziś odpowiedzi.

Być może więc powstająca strategia polega na tym, że USA za pomocą operacji takich jak dziś przyciskają Asada „do ściany”, demonstrują, że sprawy już nie wrócą do stanu z czasów Obamy, po czym proponują mu pozostanie na stanowisku w zamian za marginalizację Rosji i Iranu. Jednocześnie zmuszają opozycję do negocjacji a tych którzy nie przystąpią do współpracy traktują jak terrorystów. Scenariusz niebezpieczny i trudny, ale możliwy.

USA będą starały się ograniczyć gwałtowny wzrost wpływów Iranu na Bliskim Wschodzie oraz mniejszy, ale istotny Rosji. Syria to oba te cele naraz. Oczywiście Syria jest też państwem tranzytowym dla przesyłu surowców energetycznych, a więc ma także znaczenie geo-ekonomiczne. Dlatego też Syria jest dziś tak ważnym miejscem. Stała się ważnym „sworzniem” geopolitycznym dla państw kluczowych. Od 6 lat na tej walce o wpływy cierpią głównie cywile.

Oczywiście można głosić konieczność pojednania w imię dobra ludzkości, ale takie hasła nie działają gdy funkcjonuje „geopolityczne urządzenie mechaniczne”. Dlatego trzeba rozpatrywać wydarzenia pod kątem realnych scenariuszy, acz nie można rezygnować z wzywania do przestrzegania zasad etyki, humanitaryzmu, i wartości.

Jak zwykle postuluję idealizm, ale oparty o na realizmie.

Reklamy

Islamic State: war of ideology – not of religion

Islamic State operates in typical fashion, quite obvious to most analysts, but they are not always properly perceived by the West. Lack of appropriate conclusions is caused by the political game which in many aspects uses ISIS or Salafism but also right-wing radicals for the short range electoral competitions. Unfortunately western democracy’s parties are all about the winning elections and they would do everything to get or to stay in power. I call that decadence of the western style democracies. That allow all kinds of extremism to promote themselves if only they are numbered enough to get some advantage to the political parties. Salafists in Belgium, UK, France or Germany are the example of that mechanism but as the opposition grows right-wing extremist organizations and support for them.

From the another perspective, the purpose of the terrorist attacks of ISIS, is not just sowing chaos or promote some – a radical version of Islam, but it has a precise and clearly defined strategic objective. It is to build political autonomy for ideological conflict with any other political center. The best opponent are the right-wing extremists radicalized in the same level as they. Attacks in Europe are addressed not just against Christianity or secularism, but against the Western democracies. Attacks in Sinai are not meant to fight local, „not enough believers” Sunnis, but political power which prevent extremists from growing. Even if that prevention in Egypt is often with use of brutal methods, we need to understand the alternative. Exactly the same problem aroused in Syria in 2011 after the first spontaneous social revolts. There also extremists took the charge of the revolution  very soon and transformed it into the struggle for power where alternative seams to be worse than the ruthless dictator. The terrorist attacks of IS in Baghdad is not directed just against Shiites, but against the political establishment in Tehran and their political emanation in Baghdad. Striking a society intensifies military operations or reprisals against Sunni (Iraq and Syria), and those with no other choice (sometimes seduced by radical ideology – but not religion) replenish the ranks of ISIS.

The information policy of ISIS uses the official religious content, for obvious reasons. It is easy to convince people, who are subjected to brutal oppression in Iraq, and Syria, but also Egypt and Libya, and their propaganda work on that in Europe as well, that God commands them to take revenge on the oppressors. To hide this radical ideology under the „guise” of religion, it allows you to acquire people outside the circle of Sunni Islam and even those who adopt Islam, just to get there and join the brutal fight. These in turn are the most valuable, because they become promoters of the ideology. If this come from cultures other than Arabic, they are of special propaganda value for ISIS, easier affecting the society from which they come.

The person who read not only the Holy Koran, but a number of books suggested by an imam or other person prepared by the ideologists of extremist organizations, begins to perceive the world in completely different way. Such individual perceives other people from its environment as the unconscious (and therefore in their opinion blind for „the real truth”), which in itself causes a sense of uniqueness. This uniqueness encountering opposition family, school, often intelligence services to monitor the transfer of information on the web, quickly generates a sense of injustice and utter alienation. They search for salvation in finding other like-minded in the West or even join militants in the Middle East. Of course, these mechanisms are well known in psychology and are not associated only activity the Islamic State, but it is this organization which can use them perfectly.

Radicalization of such units can be observed by the their rejection of contact with representatives of the all other way of thinking, not just democracy or Christianity and not even just the shia but also other sunnis who are not thinking exactly the same as them. This ideology which one can call a manipulated Islam is preached by Salafists. It becomes a threat, because leaves no room for compromise, like that on which is built the whole European order or West.

So in the Salafis ideology there is no room for tolerance, they can only look forward to the moment in which they will dominate the rest – „the others”. That is why President El-Sisi in Egypt restricts the rights of Salafists. Limiting their rights is a necessity, because in the opinion of the members of this group their right is to dominate the whole of society and impose on them a way of life consistent with their own ideology. The rights of both parties are so completely contradictory. Let me add that both parties in common sense represent sunni Islam. And fact that Salafists do not integrate, or even refuse to cooperate with other groups, assuming the divisions and conflict, to dominate all, in my opinion, makes them more a sect with use of radical ideology, than a religious group or faction. Of course, as in any case, so in that case the generalizations are unfair, but I will come back to that later.

So in some way those who argue that Islam can not be combined with democracy are right – but only in part, because it concerns the ideology of Salafists. Salafists themselves willing to agree with the fact that Islam does not fit for democracy and desire that all Muslims have to follow them. After all, their ideology has just proclaimed that only they are the true Muslims! So if all Muslims would have been the Salafists, then you would have to agree that Islam can not be integrated or even can’ cooperate with any other social groups. The far right (and after every terrorist attacks grow stronger) go on this issue succor salafits and ISIS proclaiming that Islam can not integrate into democracy … so you need radical solutions. As you can see radicalism is very similar to each other regardless of the views and it leads to war which can be nothing but destruction of all our (European) world.

People radicalized in Europe or in US can not officially admit they support ISIS without consequences from the state. Such persons can therefore proclaim their allegiance to the Salafists and properly promote almost all ISIS doctrines without mentioning their name. Certainly not all Salafists are terrorists just as not every sect is dangerous for their surrounding, but this ideology is only one step for ISIS. This is evidenced by direct intelligence reports speak of direct cooperation of Salafi organizations in Europe with ISIS (Short path to jihad. Salafists in Germany recruit new fighters). The fact that Pierre Vogel, the most famous Salafit in Germany, officially does not support ISIS can be attributed to a conflict of interest with the ISIS or ordinary lie allowing him continue its operation without conflict with the law.

However, if the Salafists are to be seen as a sect of extreme ideology, there is a huge number of Muslims outside their ranks, with can live in democracy or under secular rule  saving the confidence in the model of multicultural societies.

It should be emphasized that every movement, every ideology and religion are composed of people having their doubts, thoughts etc. Even if so Salafists are perceived as an monolith, because of the threat caused by their ideology, we need to be aware of the inevitability of the multiplicity of their strands. So let’s always talk, negotiate and convince, because not everyone Salafit will be just as involved in the ideology dictated by propagandists.

Undoubtedly, even if ISIS will disappear as a state in northern Iraq and Syria, the Salafi radicalism will remain in the form of sects within Islamic societies, as in every other culture and religion are radical sects based on manipulated fundamentalism. Any such sect proclaims its uniqueness and monopoly on the „only truth faith”. If, however, the society will be able to live without wars, ethnic cleansing and brutal oppression then without any interventions they will be able to limit the impact of radical sects – especially those who use terrorism.

This is the essence of the social psychology and ideas like „Lucifer Effect” vs „Heroic Imagination Project” (HIP) of prof. Zimbardo. Social impact can create Lucifer Effect – creating ISIS hiding under cover of Salafism or Neo-nazists hiding under cover of nationalism (not confuse it with patriotism please). But the same social impact can also build civilized, cooperative and open to others but still safe societies, which HIP as mechanism is an example. If we will not recognize soon enough, basing on all human science and experience what path leads to peace and security and what is the straight way to divisions and negative conflicts tearing apart our societies, then radicals will win which would strengthen their  conviction that God has sent them to impose a world order – their order. In this (worst scenario) case the God could be easily replaced by the Lucifer and nobody will see the difference. 

Middle East relations in 2003 and 2016

The relationships in the Middle East presented in these two illustrations do not include all the actors in international relations but only those who have the greatest importance to the ongoing conflict there. The first picture shows the situation at the start of the invasion of Coalition Forces against Iraq in 2003. Iraq did not have any strong allies then, but also the vast majority of the countries in the region – despite pressure from the United States, did not support this intervention. Blue lines indicate cooperation or strategic alliances, these cannot therefore be equated with support for US policy in the region, especially due to the war in Iraq. Also Turkish politics are essentially important there and these have dramatically changed. In 2003, on the one hand, it was called the policy of “zero conflict with neighbours” and on the other, the conflict with the Kurdish minority could be described ‘managed’ – both points changed afterwards.  Another critical difference is the lack of direct interaction of Russia in 2003. The USA therefore had a very comfortable situation in which they were able to use any variant of the operation against the Taliban and Saddam Hussein.

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In 2016 relationships  are much more hidden in  the official fight against ISIS by Turkey, Russia and Saudi Arabia. In fact, all three countries use the existence of this organization for the achievement of their own goals. A very large impact on the complication and deterioration of the geopolitical situation is the emergence of Russia with its characteristic style of diplomacy and warfare. Russia is using Assad’s plight  to try to strengthen its influence in the region, and for this purpose, it is also looking for an alliance with the Syrian Kurds. Such an alliance would be extremely dangerous due to the likely actions of the Kremlin pushing the Kurds to a confrontation with Turkey, in which Russia will perform as a defender of the Kurds. Russia, playing its games with Kurdish hands could gain politically but that would cause dramatic problems for the Kurds themselves as a result of such involvement. Unfortunately, the dramatic change of Ankara’s policy against the Kurds, resulted from the internal political issues of Turkey itself, but effected both  the AKP, Erdogan and Kurds also. As both sides are still allies of the West, it is therefore the West’s obligation to force them to the negotiations (Kurds and Turkey).

On the other hand, another very negative signal for the West is the obvious cooperation of a large part of the FSA (Free Syrian Army) with Al-Nusra which is a faction of Al-Qaeda, supported by Turkey and Saudi Arabia, and which in turn cooperates with ISIS.

In both cases, the main axis of conflict is the relationship Iran – Saudi Arabia. Their rivalry for dominance in the region, fueling radicalism on the one hand and  shiites and sunnis on the other. Both groups are used by politicians for constant wars with each other from Yemen, to Iraq. Badly carried out intervention in Iraq, but also support of a coup in Libya and the destabilization of Syria have caused a series of open conflicts and increased tension in many relationships in the region. It is also essential to understand that the political plans of the Kurds living in four countries – Iraq: KRG (Kurdish Regional Government), YPG Syria, Turkey, the PKK and the Kurds in Iran are not the same. The strongest political representation and quasi-statehood are those of the Iraqi Kurds. However, in all parts of Kurdistan these organizations are not the only representatives of the Kurds, they also do not have a common political line.

While the government of President Heydar al-Abadi in Iraq is making an effort to win over Sunni and maintain the unity of the rest of Iraq (apart from the de facto already independent Iraqi Kurdistan), many Shiite militia under the control of Iran continue to conduct violent actions directed against the Sunnis. This situation is the main reason for Sunnis supporting ISIS, as previously the same was with Al-Qaeda. The same problem was one of the main reasons for which the previous Prime Minister of Iraq – Nouri al-Maliki was forced to leave the office.

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Are wars for oil inevitable?

hqdefaultIt’s just a suggestion. I can’t support it with scientific facts, or with exact figures as I’m unable to prove with certainty the participation of man in the global climate warming. Nevertheless, the claims of the outbreak of World War III, due to conflicts over access to areas rich in oil prompted me to reflect on this. So, if science and technology created electric engines, especially in the 21stc, such as trains running on magnetic levitation, wind power and solar energy, why is oil still so significant and what is more likely to escalate conflict? Why does the whole world still have to fight for something that is almost replaced already? Isn’t that absurd? When I write word „absurd”, what comes to my mind is politics, and then the lobbying, corporations, banks, politically correct slogans such as “1% vs 99%,” etc.

Aren’t we in the alleged global conflict of oil just because of large corporations that do not want and cannot come to terms with the changes? Isn’t the fact that the project DESERTEC has been “suspended” because of the lack of profitability? However, this project has not been calculated for profit or loss, but on the benefits of political stabilization of the region.

So today, there is inflammation and a departure from traditional energy sources and the gradual transition to renewable sources. If you count the profits from the exploitation of oil, but thrown into the balance sheet also the wars in the Middle East and Africa, and losses counted today amongst a country’s debt, the threat to Western societies resulting from the terrorism arising from these wars, and we consider the greater majority of the population that does not participate in direct profits from trading oil, it turns out that it is a source of very scarce supply for the vast majority of societies.

There are many socially beneficial but unprofitable projects- almost all basic science is like that. But a more unprofitable and so drastically conflicting and perhaps completely unnecessary enterprise than the “War of Oil” is hard to even imagine.

As an observer and researcher of world politics, I have a growing conviction that a lot of things that happen now are created for the needs of conflict and the struggle for influence, and therefore power and we – ordinary people are tools to create and participate in these conflicts.

Powerful corporations, having their entire structure built on the basis of various institutions and interests in one way or another, with the industry dependent on oil, are responsible for the fact that these terribly bloody and devastating conflicts are ongoing. Add to that politicians who are addicted to, bought by or not competent enough to fight negative lobbying. For this, banks related to the corporations and politicians take advantage of our money and finance the war for oil.

The whole system, thus created, is now impossible (as, unfortunately, I believe) to change in the short term, therefore the war for oil is under way and even now threatens global conflict.

Another problem is political leadership, whose country budget depends (at their own request) on oil – like Putin’s. They believe have no choice but to fight for oil, or for the higher price of it, and expand their sphere influence. Others are afraid of their unpredictability and try to limit those “opportunities” for them.

In the Middle East, where the axis of „Oil wars cross mostly, the Kurds are used as pawns in the „competition”. They also trying to use that situation and enter the scene as a state and for this purpose, they will do almost anything. Currently, the complicated “Kurdish issue” becomes the epicenter of the war, where the actual substrata is Oil. The problem is not, that Kurdish areas are richest in petroleum, but: 1. they are deeply in conflict with Turkey, 2. necessarily want to become a state, 3. the West is, as usual, very ambiguous and 4. Russia wants to use them against Turkey. 5. You can add more to this – ISIS, Iran, the war in Syria, GCC states seeking, as Iran is doing, for influence in the same places, and that Israel, which has weapons of mass destruction and would not hesitate to use it if they will predict seriously danger for their existence.

Thus we have presumption and conditions for World War III – now it is essential that the West starts to pursue a rational policy – not avoiding problems, but measuring them. The problem for now – is to bring Turkish and Kurdish leaders to negotiations, which would take over the main argument from the hands of Putin. That would provide a strong and stable –pro-Western- ally, significantly reduce tension in relations with Turkey, but also with Iraq, Iran and Syria. Finally, it would stem escalating violence and then we could look for a second step to decrease the conflicts. That would be the stabilization of the Middle East and settling the relations with Russia (with the general condition there has to be true independence of Ukraine).

But all that would be possible if we refuse to use oil and other energetic resources as a main bacground of all actions. There is a strong need for a good Strategy for security in the Middle East and for decreasing the terrorist threat in Europe. But we can create it and use it only when we choose reasonable politicians not depended on corporations and banks.

Donald Trump in the context of this article seams the worst possible choice.

For the correction I would like to thank to Sarah:

After Paris masarce I say: no WAR but good POLICY at last!!

686997efbbd43f522df7e7d2d1e6fbfeAfter 11/09, and the following the attacks in Madrid, London, Charlie Hebdo and today – after the massacre in Paris the same password is raised again: „We are at war!” „We must fight!” So I ask – Against whom? Where? Who is the enemy? I would like to remind, that George W. Bush declared the war already, 14 years ago – on the ruins of the World Trade Center the day after the attacks in 2001. This war continues, and is/was conduced in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, Mali, CAR and others. In this war we hit with full force, and hundreds of thousands of troops (Afghanistan and Iraq) or operate less formally, but equally deadly (Yemen, Syria) sometimes openly support those who supposedly are fighting against dictatorship (Libya and Syria, and there were those who wanted to help in Egypt but thankfully they didn’t decided that). The opponent, however, continually strengthens and hit us occasionally, but extremely accurately causing death, fear and doubt. Time to realize – against whom we conduct the war, and who runs it against us? Another cry: „We are at war!” or „You have to fight!” will lead to further ill-considered military action, the consequence of which will be to strengthen the real enemy. At our own request we incur further losses in the army – sent no sense to the Middle East, and civilians more easily attacked in our (European or US) cities, not to mention further victims in the places of conflict in the Middle East – but that, in this day, after the terrorist attacks in Paris, probably only a few interests.

Who and where is the enemy I tried to show in the text:

Charlie Hebdo: Islam vs. Islamism

Why it is easy for them to grow and take action here:

Decision making process in Iraq in 2003

and here:

Syria: searching of lesser evil

MOST IMPORTANT – How to fight it:

Outline of the International Security Strategy

and partly here:

Humanitarian missions int he stabilization operation

I also wrote that further policy based on „WAR” will lead to further the spiral of violence, which, by the crisis of refugees and terrorist attacks already reaches Europe and the USA. In this connection it should be remembered that the war on radicalism – rightly called Islamo-fascism did not begin on September 11, 2001, but the attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon were just the consequence of consistently wrong Western policy in the Middle East. The Middle Eastern societies at the end of the twentieth and the early twenty-first century is undergoing massive social changes, unnoticed by Western politicians or misinterpreted (as a sign of „explosion” of Western-style democracy). With no change in this policy, it is impossible to achieve peace and stability. These can only be achieved through wise (multi disciplinary and multi-level, varied – depending on the place etc.) international politics. Of course, also in case of such policy, military operations are a necessity, but they must be part of the policy and give results in the form of political progress, and not be objective or in response to enemy action. The war goes on and the opponent is getting better methods and tools to attack „us”. At the same time, many of us do not realize how many allies, we have the „other” side. I personally know many Syrians, Egyptians, Lebanese, Palestinians and Turks, who continuously demonstrate calling for „us”, that tolerating radicalism in the Western world, allowing the marches of Islamo-fascists calling for the overthrow of the democratic government and the establishment in the place of Sharia law, respecting freedom Citizens by not placing wiretaps in places where there is a promotion of hate, overthrowing the dictatorship in the Middle East – all that generate great risk! What’s more, the losses we get,  triggers our anger directed against those who are easy to reach (about which I wrote in the text of Charlie Hebdo). They are Muslims praying in the Mosque, Muslim children in school, women, often teachers, doctors, who like us are afraid of extremists and terrorists. The true enemy is the one who treats us as an enemy and   he is reachable despite the claims of the Politicians. We can not, however, see enemy between the dictators, groups not willing to cooperate with us or those who want to increase their influence in the region. Finally, we must separate the threat of extremism and terrorism from the economic interests, geopolitical influences etc. We hve to stop deciding for Middle Eastern societies and self-reliance of countries there, we have to treat them as partners. In that place we have to focus on the destruction of the actual centers of extremism and terrorism both in Middle East and West. We need partners and real allies against extremism and terrorism and for implementing a strategy similar to that which I suggested at the beginning of the text. If so, am sure that not more than six months would be enough to disappear: The so called Islamic State, Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusrah, Al-Qaeda of the Islamic Maghreb and al-Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula and others. By doing this, the wealth of the West and the possibility of influencing policy would not have fall so badly as  Western leaders are worried.

                Of course, I also know well that this will not happen. The public want war and it will get it. „Tabloid War ” which will kill many „terrorists” – in fact the people living in the Middle East – not necessarily even a „bad” Muslims. between them they will get the persons related to the massacre in Paris. Nobody will say in Europe, that there are thousands of the same kind of people in the Middle East, so the threat will not be reduced even of half a percent. In this wa y „we will rebuild” sense of security for a while. It will grow with each killed a „terrorist” what will be presented by the politicians – just as the tabloids. In fact, we will prepare the ground for further attacks – more and more bloody, more easily conducted and more … provoking another wars. The extremists – as the name suggests live from extremes – chaos, war, injustice, poverty, geopolitical turmoil and , false image of the religion. This gives them the strengh and they get if from wars and again it threnghten their radicalism. More wars creates more radicals. Wars doesn’t kill radicals but create them!

The outline of the security strategy in the context of the immigration crisis

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USA and EU policy in the Middle East implemented during the first 15 years of the twenty-first century was based on ad hoc measures, determined by domestic issues of Western countries. Thus, no strategy for coordinated action or calculation of any enduring positive effects was developed, by or for any side in the conflict. This resulted in a dramatic deterioration of the situation both within the region itself, and within Europe.

Below are the few projects of  tactical level which together make up the strategy and would, in my opinion, normalize the situation in the Middle East and radically reduce the threat from radical groups. From the European perspective, it would also indirectly contribute to reducing the wave of immigrants. Naturally, this is only the outline of such a strategy, and certainly contains many loopholes. However, with the proper will of the Western countries, it is feasible. Cited issues must be implemented in parallel for all three layers (unless otherwise indicated in the text). Points are therefore not in chronological order:

I. Middle Eastern political issues:

  1. Using the agreement with Iran, immediately resume contacts with the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria. Agree on a “road map” for Syria*:
  2. Prolonged agreement with Iran while controlling and reducing the Iranian nuclear program and consequent influence in the region in accordance with point 1 cited above.
  3. Backroom negotiations with the GCC, Iran, Israel and China and Russia in order to establish cooperation. Initial area of common interest to launch negotiations: the division of spheres of influence in the region and agreement on the rights of Sunni and Shiite minorities where they are a minority. In the absence of agreement on the issue of Iraq and Yemen, a contingency plan should take into account the need to share these countries. In this respect, there is also the need to negotiate within the same group. The issue of delimitation and possible resettlement and access to places of worship. The best result of these negotiations would be obtaining the cooperation of both parties in reducing Sunni and Shiite extremism and prohibiting the efforts of (corrupting elements within these groups?) from acquiring weapons of mass destruction by either party.
    • How to withdraw from the conflict while minimizing further losses and trends of revenge,
    • Communicate with FSA leadership who have not gone over to Al – Nusry (probably already applies to a small number) and a reconciliation with Assad for their inclusion in Syrian military structures.
    • Direct joint military effort against PI.
  4. Bring to the negotiations between Turkey and the Kurds the Kurdish statehood issue and Kurdish freedoms in Turkey and abandon their terrorist activities in Turkey. The negotiations should be attended by representatives of Iranian, Iraqi and Syrian authorities. Area of initial agreement to launch negotiations: the establishment of a Kurdish state in Northern Iraq and Syria but not in Turkey. Agreement between Turkey and Kurds is POSSIBLE!! Just how it happened during „Zero problems with neighbours” policy period of Mr Erdogan.
  5. Creation of a Kurdish state, the borders of which should be established as a result of the Turkish- Kurdish agreement under UN agency. At the same time the UN should send a contingent to monitor agreements and designate observation points along all borders of the new state. Chinese UN troops as a sign of China role in modelling of theworld order.
  6. Resume and place strong emphasis on re-opening negotiations between Israel and Palestine. The negotiations must take into account and engage countries participating in this conflict except the Israeli and the Palestinian Authorities– the EU and the US, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Egypt and Iran. This will lead to the deployment of the UN contingent inside the Gaza Strip and the West Bank and at the Israeli borders. Again Chinese Peacekeepers together with US would seem to fit here.
  7. Bring to the negotiations the stabilization of the situation in Yemen. For this purpose, it is necessary to include Iran and the GCC countries in the talks. The UN contingent to supervise the agreement and reconstruction of power.
  8. To achieve points. 5-7: full EU cooperation with the US, China, Russia, GCC, Turkey, Israel, Egypt and Iran on security issues.
  9. Great emphasis on and commitment of the EU and the United States in cooperation with the religious authorities in the Middle East. Scholarship program for religious leaders to promote “peaceful version” of Islam.
  10. Maximum improvement of the relations with Egypt. Only after improving the conditions of the international situation, the weakening influence of the so-called IS in Egypt and stabilization of the situation in Egypt gradually increasing pressure on civil liberties, women’s rights etc.
  11. Definite change of the course in case of China. China is making great policy in the ME and Africa and could be constructive if treated as partner.

II. Middle East – humanitarian issues:

  1. The EU and the US must undertake the financing, organization and control of existing refugee camps in the Middle East. The model for these camps should be the Turkish organizational method, which provides the best conditions for refugees.
  2. Negotiations with the Iraqi authorities and Syria, backed by strong action and propaganda or information to reflect the subjectivity and political role of minorities in those countries.
  3. Financial and organizational support – through humanitarian organizations with confirmed authority and effectiveness for the reconstruction of Iraq, Syria and Yemen. A model of the stabilization mission with the use of the humanitarian organizations: https://mmilczanowski.wordpress.com/2015/04/30/humanitarian-missions-and-the-military-in-the-stabilization-interventions-the-example-of-the-intervention-in-iraq-2003-2011/
  4. Alongside the political rebuilding and stabilizing of Iraq, Syria and Yemen and the formation of Kurdistan, a promotional campaign for the resettlement of the population of the camps and emigration to  home countries should be set up.

III. The EU and the US:

  1. The introduction of “General Monitoring Refugees Rules” in the EU. From the EU external border refugees should be monitored, using all available methods.
  2. Establishment of temporary refugee files on the basis of the monitoring process as detailed in point 1 above. Documenting all actions of individuals. As a result, even when their documents are unavailable,  you can collect data on them.
  3. On the basis of the “General Monitoring Refugees Rules”, profiling of people of high suspicion and subjecting them to surveillance in countries that they eventually reach.
  4. Strict law enforcement in EU countries without tolerating actions arising from cultural differences. Eg. Prayer in the temple or in the legally assigned place for that, freedoms and civil rights strictly adhered to, incitement to hatred on cultural or changing the constitutional order be treated with severity.
  5. Persons calling for the establishment of Sharia in Europe the same treatment as neo-fascist groups. Not only deny it in public, but prohibited by law.
  6. Treat surveillance of all places of worship where it is even less likely that 4 and 5 might occur. This action should be aimed at detecting particularly dangerous  “sleeper cells” of terrorists.
  7. Educate people in Europe using programs like this: http://heroicimagination.org/ and here http://wp.me/p4y6QP-9M

*This point has become very complicated since Russia started its military operation. Propaganda on both sides (Russia – pro Assad and Western – anti Assad) radicalized and now it is much harder to make this point workable.

Warm thanks to Sarah @italianistica for helping me with the correction 🙂

Humanitarian missions and the military in the stabilization operations: the example of the intervention in Iraq 2003-2011

The Coalition forces intervention in Iraq – which ended in 2011 – can only be called a total failure. That operation was meant to be a stabilization operation, transformed later on into a training mission. But even during it’s existence it appeared to be clear that the military actions which were the core of this operation failed in every aspect. They did not brought democracy to Iraq, nor did they stabilize or reconstruct the country. So what went wrong, if there were enormous sums of money invested into this operation and hundreds of thousands of the soldiers rotated through Iraq? Many of those soldiers lost their life or their health. In the USA there are two main points of view in this respect. Republicans claim that George W. Bush’s plan and its realization fulfilled the task and brought stabilization to Iraq, but the next (Democratic) president – Barack Obama – ruined those efforts by withdrawing US troops too soon. On the other side, Democrats are convinced that the operation was wrong from its beginning, and Barack Obama simply lessened the consequences by withdrawing US soldiers. The decision making process of the Coalition Provisional Administration is presented in another article: “Decision making process and it’s consequences: (de)stabilization of Iraq” http://wp.me/p4y6QP-52. But that article does not explain all the reasons for the failure of the Iraq operation, only focusing on one (although decisive) point of the process which brought Iraq to ruin and chaos.

 Slajd1     Despite the political mistakes, another failure was the trust in the ability of the Armed Forces to stabilize the country. The reconstruction and establishment of peaceful interactions between ethnic and religious groups is not the task a military is prepared for so the Armed Forces dont have any tools or competencies to undertake such missions. To fulfill that gap, the PRT – Provisional Reconstruction Teams – were created at divisional and brigade levels. Those Teams were composed of civilian and military personnel. The civilian side was composed of State Justice or Agriculture Department representatives and also humanitarian organization people. The military part consisted of officers from logistics or CIMIC branches. Even if it (the composition) looked right on the paper, 10 PRTs for the whole of Iraq were not enough. In such a complicated and difficult situation as in the Iraq of 2003, only fully professional and experienced organization could bring real stabilization. Unfortunately in the Brigade Combat Teams all tasks were performed by military personnel who had to plan and perform these tasks under the pressure of the commanders. In 2007, the number of PRTs increased to 20, which was still just a drop in the ocean. In the case of Polish PRTs those teams were too small and their number too few, but most importantly they didn’t have any experience in nation-building. The military had at their disposal a large sum of money spent on activities which were unfamiliar for them (Robert M. Perito, Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Iraq, United States Institute of Peace, Special Report 185, March 2007).

Slajd2     The military, having the task of stabilizing the country, performed actions which were characteristic for them; patrols, convoys, shows of force, or cordon & search operations. Those activities were aimed at searching for and destroying the terrorists and the protection of their own personnel. Those actions made by the PRT’s or doctors under escort, performing so called “White Sundays”, were used by the media to show a picture of the stabilization mission which was widely disseminated in the West. The effect was measured by the media news, not in real help for the Iraqis. . The problem was that there was no wider plan of the country reconstruction – it was entirely ad-hoc. It caused the situation, when spending even large sums of money and with a relatively big effort of the military personnel involved, to become intractable.

The main focus of the Coalition Forces in Iraq was in fighting terrorism not stabilization in humanitarian terms. But the instability and lack of basic conditions for normal life gave life to terrorism. So the military in fact fought the enemy it created . At the other end are  humanitarian organizations, which there to help local people organize and take care of their lives. Such help is called “good” as it motivates the people to work. It gives them hope that there is a chance for progress and that, at the end will pass through their current difficulties. There is also “bad” help – which can render people unable to take care of their communities, families, making them dependent on foreign aid. The “bad” help does more harm than good in the long run. So true stabilization can only be achieved when there is some very well -prepared “good” humanitarian aid which starts local activity. The role of the military can only be in protection of the humanitarian workers and in protecting the area. Depending on the circumstances, there can also be the necessity to fight terrorists, but it needs to be really well- defined who could be called a terrorist. Unofficial definitions in that matter cause occasion for abuse.

There is a possibility of working out a model of a stabilization mission which has to be much more effective than the two largest stabilization missions of modern history: Iraq after 2003 and Afghanistan after 2001. There are good signs showing what such cooperation between military and humanitarian organizations can look like. Polish soldiers in Iraq showed constantly that in that field of operations, it is not the number of “terrorists” killed that can determine how the task is realized, but the quality of life in the Area of Responsibility. Soldiers did a lot to help people, even beyond the procedures. Ordinary soldiers without cameras and journalists quite often gave the food and water to the children – who were always waiting for Polish patrols. Those soldiers didn’t use force without necessity, because they were sensitive to human tragedy. Even now, most people in Iraq remember the Polish soldiers with sympathy. Other contingents acted in the same way (like the Bulgarians, the Lithuanians and others). At the other end of that scale were the private military organizations (like Blackwater) which spread chaos in their routes and areas of operation. I am sure there is a possibility to train and organize regular military units to protect humanitarian organizations without causing harm to their reputations or the abilities to proceed with their actions. It could produce truly quick and effective stabilization.
(The photos were taken by myself during patrol from Camp Echo to Camp Charlie and convoy from Camp Echo to Tallil).

Text was corrected thanks to Sarah La Pietra @ . Thank You Sarah