The Obama and the Trump Doctrine
On the 7th of April 2017 the American President Donald Trump ordered the attack of a Syrian airbase, which was controlled by forces of the Syrian government (Bashar al-Assad). I believe that on its own the attack does not say much, because it is normal to expect the Russians to offer more space to Syria to the Trump administration, compared to what they did with the Obama administration, and what they would do with a Clinton administration.
The Trump doctrine is much friendlier towards Russia, while both the Obama and the Clinton doctrine were pushing very aggressively the natural gas of the Muslim Brotherhood. At the following maps you can see the Obama and the Trump doctrine.
Obama, the leftist son of an anti-American Shiite Muslim from Kenya, saw the Muslim Brotherhood very positively, and he supported the Muslim Brotherhood, hoping that Iran and Qatar could jointly send their natural gas to Europe and India through Turkey and Pakistan. The ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood is Communism with a God (Allah). With the Obama Doctrine there would be a united Muslim front against Russia in the Middle East.
Image The Obama Doctrine – The Axis of the Muslim Brotherhood Natural Gas
Image 2 The Obama Doctrine – The Muslim Brotherhood Natural Gas Goes to Europe and India
Donald Trump on the other hand believes that the West should help Russia to promote her natural gas exports to the American allies i.e. the E.U., India, Japan and South Korea, in order to break the Russian-China axis. After all Russia and China have competing interests too. See “Russia VS China”.
Image The Trump Doctrine
Or at least Trump hopes to weaken the Russia-China axis, if not break it, since Russia sells a lot of oil to China. But what is for sure is that the more the United States and the EU support the Muslim Brotherhood, the more they push Russia towards China, and as a result the United States will have to face a Russo-Chinese bloc in the Pacific Ocean.
The Trump doctrine is that the United States should stop promoting the natural gas of the Muslim Brotherhood in Syria i.e. the Qatar-Turkey pipeline, and leave Syria to Russia, and in return ask from Russia to stop supporting China and Iran against the United States in Iraq.
People are killing each other for centuries for the commercial corridor that connects the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea i.e. today’s Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Syria, Lebanon. This is the corridor the British and the French gained from the Ottomans during the First World War (1914-1918). Obviously Trump would be very happy if the United States was controlling Syria, but if you want to throw Russia out of traditional spheres of influence i.e. Syria and Ukraine, you cannot expect the Russians to be happy. You should expect them to respond.
Image Map The Iraq-Syria Corridor
Interpreting the Trump Attack
Therefore the Trump doctrine is much better than the Obama doctrine for both the United States and Russia, and as a result the Russians will be willing to share control of Syria with the Trump administration, as long as the vital Russian interests are not hurt. That’s why Trump can be bolder in Syria compared to Obama, when he wants to attack ISIS, Iran and Hezbollah in Syria. The Russians will even allow the Trump government to be somewhat more aggressive towards the Assad government. Also remember that ISIS are the ex people of Saddam Hussein, who were trained by the KGB and were given oil fields by the Assad regime in Syria.
It is Al-Qaeda who fights Assad in Syria and not ISIS. Before the Arab Spring Al-Qaeda was trained and supported by Iran and Hezbollah, but after the Arab Spring in Syria the Syrian Al-Qaeda changed her name, cut relations with central Al-Qaeda, and started receiving support from the Arabs of the Gulf i.e. Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait etc, and also from the Turks. See “How Putin and Assad Created the Islamic State”.
See also “The Architects of Al-Qaeda and ISIS”
The countries that mainly supported attacks against the Assad regime in the previous years were France, Turkey, and the Arabs, and that’s why ISIS carried out terrorist attacks against France, Turkey and Saudi Arabia. But it is also true that the Turks were also helping ISIS against the Kurds in Syria, and also it is true that the Arabs were helping ISIS against the Shiite militias in Iraq.
Under Obama the United States was only attacking ISIS, but not the Assad regime, because Obama did not want to hurt his alliance with Iran by attacking Assad, a strong Iranian ally. Remember that in the Obama doctrine both Qatar and Iran would use the gas field they share, which is the largest gas field in the world i.e. the South Pars/North Fields, in order to supply Europe and India with natural gas through Turkey and Pakistan.
Image 2 The Obama Doctrine – The Muslim Brotherhood Natural Gas to Europe and India
Image The War for the Pipelines
Image The War in Afghanistan and Georgia
Therefore I believe that for the moment we should see the Trump attack on Assad as a proof that Donald Trump is willing to support their traditional allies, i.e. Turkey, Israel and the Arabs of the Gulf, and not as a proof that Trump has changed his mind and now he is willing to promote the natural gas of the Muslim Brotherhood. As long at Trump does not change his doctrine, and as long as he does not promote the natural gas of the Muslim Brotherhood, his attacks in Syria will hurt more ISIS, Iran and Hezbollah and a lot less Russia. So what matters is not whether Trump carries an attack against the allies of Russia, but whether he moves away from his doctrine, and closer to the Obama doctrine. That’s what will determine how forceful the Russian response will be, because in Syria every player has different interests.
Also note that last week Trump met with the Egyptian dictator al-Sisi, who has imprisoned the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was supported by Turkey, Qatar and Iran, with the blessings of Obama and Clinton, and the Muslim Brotherhood’s largest tv channel is the socialist anti-American Aljazeera, which is owned by the Emir of Qatar.
Donald Trump on the other hand praised the Egyptian President, whom he calls a fantastic guy, and he is not very friendly towards Qatar, a country which heavily bet on the election of Hilary Clinton. And Trump is hostile towards Iran. And if Iran keeps attacking the United States in Iraq Donald Trump might even decide to attack Iran. Probably he would not dare to invade Iran, because there would be a war with Russia and China, but he could order a limited attack against the Iranian nuclear facilities.
Also note that Iraq is not just about oil for the United States, as the Communists and the Islamists are saying in the United States. After the 9/11 attack the United States had to move its military bases from Saudi Arabia to Qatar. But Qatar also sees China as the future importer of its gas, even though Qatar needs the military presence of the United States, as a protection against the Saudis and the Iranians. Remember that the Chinese have stronger ties with the Iranians than with the Arabs, both due to the traditional alliance between the Arabs of the Gulf and NATO, but also due to geographical reasons i.e. China can connect to Iran avoiding the sea and the American navy, but she cannot do that with the Arabs of the Gulf.
Therefore you should not see Trump’s obsession with Iraq only in terms of Iraq’s oil reserves. The Americans overturned the Sunni minority of Saddam Hussein, which became Al-Qaeda of Iraq, and later the Islamic State of Iraq, in order to empower the Shia majority of Iraq and the Kurds of Iraq, both of whom were suppressed by the Saddam regime.
The Weakness of the Trump Doctrine
During the Cold War things were quite simple for NATO. NATO was protecting the oil of the Persian Gulf and North Africa from the Soviets, and the rich in oil Soviets were using their allies to make life hard for NATO. Even China was cooperating more with the US than the Soviets after 1980, and the American companies went to China, and transformed China from a poor agricultural economy to the factory of the world.
But now the big threat for the Americans is no longer Russia but China, while the Europeans are still afraid of their neighbouring Russia and much less of China. That’s why Trump says that NATO is obsolete and he is wondering why the United States is not leaving Syria to Russia, instead of promoting the natural gas of the Muslim Brotherhood, a policy that pushes Russia towards China.
Map China and Russia Against the United States
But that does not mean that the Trump doctrine is based on the assumption that Russia will align herself with the United States against China, if the US helps Russia to export her gas to the EU, India, Japan and South Korea. The Trump doctrine is based on the assumption that the US will become stronger, and will be able to fight China in the future, irrespective of what Russia does.
But obviously by stop promoting the Muslim Brotherhood, which is designated as a terrorist organization in Russia, Trump hopes that Russia will be at least neutral towards China and the US. Remember that Obama supported the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and he would probably be very happy if the Muslim Brotherhood overturned the Sauds in Saudi Arabia with the help of Turkey, Iran and Qatar. The Muslim Brotherhood ideology i.e. Socialism and Islam, is very close to Obama’s ideology.
The main weakness of the Trump doctrine is that it hurts some traditional American allies for example Qatar, France and Poland. If Trump helps Russia exports her gas to India, Japan and South Korea, which are all US allies, the Qatari exports will be deeply hurt, because these countries, together with China, absorb the Qatari production.
Moreover, France is hurt by Trump’s effort for an American-Russian détente. France left NATO in 1966, and went back to NATO 33 years later, because she wanted to play the Soviets against the Americans. The French were complaining that the Americans were prioritising their relationship with the British. But now, if the United States approaches Russia, bypassing France, which was the middle man, France’s geopolitical significance will be significantly reduced, given that the Americans have close ties with the British, and the Russians have close ties with the Germans, who are by far Russia’s best customer in oil and gas.
Map The Geopolitical Problem of France
France will have the option to approach China, in order to play the Americans against the Chinese, but China is far away to help France in case of a war. Moreover China and Iran are competing with France for the uranium of Northern Africa i.e. Niger, Chad. France desperately needs this uranium because the country is dependent on energy produced from nuclear factories. Germany decided to close her nuclear factories after the Fukushima nuclear disaster of Japan in 2011, and replace nuclear energy with Russian natural gas. But obviously France would prefer not to be dependent on Russian natural gas imports, which would come through Germany, because that would make France dependent on Germany and Russia, which would not be good for France in case of a war.
Obviously the French and the British would prefer to import oil and natural gas from Africa (Trans-Saharan Pipeline) and the Middle East (Qatar-Turkey and Turkmenistan-Europe pipelines), instead of being dependent on Russia. But to do that you go to a war with Russia, because most of Russian export revenues come from sales of oil and natural gas to Europe. After all the reason the Russians dropped the Soviet Union was to export their oil and gas to the large industrial economies of Europe i.e. Germany, France, Great Britain and Italy.
Map France and United Kingdom
Another problem of the Trump doctrine is that he wants to reverse the large trade deficits that the United States runs with China, and many American multinationals are based in China. And the same is true for Mexico. These American companies export their products to the United States, and China and Mexico put pressure on them in order to spread her propaganda against Trump.
Look at what happens with the New York Times, which promotes the interests of the Mexican industrialists, and how biased the paper is towards Trump. Carlo Slim, the Mexican socialist industrialist who is supported by the Mexican government, is the largest shareholder of the New York Times.
All the above does not mean that Trump wants to go to a war with China. That’s the last thing Trump wants. Trump wants China to leave Iraq to the American sphere of influence. For China it would be great if Iran takes control of Iraq, because Iran already has Syria. And Pakistan is a strong Chinese ally, and that would bring China to the Mediterranean Sea, taking also control of the Persian Gulf. That would not be good for Russia either.
Map The New Soviet Union (China)
Trump would like China to have Iran and Pakistan in her sphere of influence, in order for China to have access to oil and natural gas by land, which would help China to stop converting the South China Sea to a Chinese lake. And as I said Trump expects China to leave Iraq to the US, and the US to leave Syria to Russia.
Remember that the First World War, and also the Second, happened because Germany was threatening the British, the French and the Russian to reach the Persian Gulf and the Caspian See through her allies the Ottomans (Turks) and the Austrians. Now China is threatening to do the same through her allies Pakistan and Iran.
Map WW1 and WW2
Image South Energy Corridor
Map The Russian Pipelines
Map The White Pipeline and the War in Ukraine and Georgia
Map Turkey VS Russia