Over the past two decades Washington has pursued the age-old imperial strategy of divide and conquer throughout the Middle East, Southwest Asia and East Africa. Unable to dominate and dictate national policy of the nation-states, Washington has worked to break-up central governments and sub-divide them into ethno-mini-states amenable as imperial rule.
Washington’s strategy of fragmentation and secession follows closely the “Greater Israel Plan” set forth by Israeli politico-military writer Oded Yinon in February 1982 and published by World Zionist Organization. Yinon and Israel’s pursuit of Middle East domination rested on fostering ethno-religious and regional divisions. Following the Yinon Plan, in the first instance, Tel Aviv signed accords with Jordan and Egypt, to break-up Arab regional alliances with Palestine. It then proceeded to fragment Palestine into warring mini-states between the West Bank and Gaza. Israel then sub-divided and occupied wide swatches of the West Bank through the imposition of the collaborator Abbas regime.
Israel’s divide and conquer strategy toward the Middle East depended on its influence over ‘Israel First’ officials in top positions of the US Defense, State and Treasury Departments and the power of the Zionist Power Configuration’s– the so-called “Israel Lobby” – control of Congress and Presidency in matters related to Israel.
The Israeli Mid-East strategy of fragmenting and weakening pro-Palestinian governments, has become the official US policy toward Arab countries.
Israel and US policymakers intervened in the Sudan and created a fake “Southern Sudan” statelet of warring warlords which decimated the region.
Somalia, Libya and Ethiopia were riven by regional wars financed and armed by the US with overt and covert Israeli operatives and advisers.
Israel’s policy to weaken fragment and destroy countries, differed from traditional colonial regimes which sought to conquer and exploit unified nation-states. Washington blindly followed the Israeli imperial ‘model’, undermining its past practice of economic exploitation of viable nation states.
Israeli First officials played a decisive role in launching the invasion of Iraq, fabricating the weapons of mass destruction ploy, and then sub-divided the country in three regions: Kurds in the North, Sunnis in the center and Shia in the South.
The regional fragmentation, however, led to the emergence of Sunni insurgents (ISIS) which threatened to establish an independent state. The Shia turned toward Iran, forcing the US, Israel and the Kurds to declare war against Sunni IS, but retained Sunni tribal clients.
The US joined Saudi Arabia in invading and bombing Yemen to subdivide the Zaid Shi’ a Houthi’s from the Sunni Salafist. The goal was to weaken Yemen to prevent popular revolt spreading to Saudi Arabia and to undermine alliances with Iran and support for Palestine.
The US invaded Afghanistan hoping to sub-divide and pit regional ethno-tribal groups against each other.
The Afghan’s Islamic guerrillas led by the Taliban unified by ethno-religious, national, tribal and extended family ties and customs, successfully resisted the divide and conquer strategies. They now control most of the countryside, influence the armed forces and have driven the US forces to rely on garrison airbases and mega bombs.
Washington and the NATO powers launched a surrogate war against Syria, seeking to divide and conquer an independent secular, pro-Palestinian, Russia ally.
NATO’s invading armies, however, are sub-divided into various factions with shifting allegiances and patrons, which run the gamut between the EU and the US, Turkey and Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Syria, ISIS and Kurds, Israel and Lebanon (Hezbollah).
The US-EU efforts to conquer and dominate Syria, via surrogates, mercenaries and terrorists has failed largely because Syria’s alliance with Russia, Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah .
Syria has effectively been divided by competing imperial and regional powers, which has led to a possible major confrontation . The US-Kurdish-Turkey conflict is the most immediate danger of open warfare.
Among the myriad surrogate groups which Washington has relied upon to violently overthrow the Syrian government and to seize territory from ISIS ,the Pentagon strategists are relying on the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (YPG).
The US has escalated its military support for the YPG, promising heavy arms, and increased US ground and air support. The YPG has expanded its control of Syrian territory all along the Turkish border, creating a powerful direct tie with Turkish-Kurds and Iraqi-Kurds. The US supply of heavy weapons to the YPG will greatly expanded its capacity to fight Turkey for control of ‘Greater Kurdistan’.
Moreover, the US has publicly informed Turkey that its armed forces will provide a ‘shield’ to protect the YPG – and indirectly to the PKK.
Turkish President Erdogan is acutely aware that the YPG’s goal is to partition Southeastern Turkey and Northern Syria. US Defense Secretary James Mattis’ claim that ‘Washington is committed to protect its NATO ally (Turkey)’ is ambiguous at best and most likely a hollow promise. Washington is counting on the Kurds as a strategic ally against Damascus and ISIS .Only after accomplishing their goals in Syria might the Pentagon reverse sides and back Turkey against the Kurds.
The Israeli’s have long standing ties with the Iraqi Kurds as part of their divide and conquer strategy. Similarly, Tel Aviv is bombing Damascus, aiding ISIS in southern Syria and backing the YPG against Syria and Turkey.
The Erdogan regime is in a quandary: a victory of the Kurds and the occupation of territory on its border will threaten the ‘unity of the Turkish state’ Kurdish presence will result in enormous pressure on Erdogan from nationalist political parties and supporters and military officials. On the other hand, if Erdogan launches cross border attacks on the YPG it will directly face US ground and air power.
Erdogan is clearly aware that the US was involved with the ‘Gulanist’ silent permeation of the entire Turkish state which led to the 2016 abortive coup. Erdogan’s meeting with President Trump in mid-May may not resolve the impending Turkish-Kurdish and now US confrontation in Syria.
Washington promises Erdogan that the YPG, upon capturing the Syrian border, will hand it over to an amorphous, minuscule Arab-led militia, presumably non-Kurdish collaborates of the US. Erdogan cannot be so naïve as to believe that the YPG having fought and died in order to secure its territorial patrimony will turn around and surrender it . Erdogan knows that the US is not in a position to force the YPG to surrender since it is a crucial building bloc in Washington-Israel-Saudi Arabia, strategy of fragmenting Syria into weak state- lets.
Erdogan’s failure in Washington will force him to play the ‘nationalist’ card – more pro-Palestine rhetoric, more opposition to a Cyprus accord; the ‘discovery’ of more and greater ‘internal enemies’;and more pro-Russian posturing.
Will Erdogan defuse the hostility among his own and independent nationalist supporter?
One point is clear, a US armed and territorially based Kurdish militia is a far more formidable threat to the unity of the Turkish state than previous ill-armed, mountain based guerrillas in Iraq.
For Erdogan to surrender to US demands to abstain from attacking the US-YPG alliance will be a deeply humiliating defeat. Erdogan might possibly expel the US from its airbases in Turkey which might damage NATO’s ‘southern flank’. Erdogan’s threat of withdrawal from NATO would have greater repercussions ..But that is likely to fan the possibility of a ‘second coup’…a US backed uprising by senior officers, ‘nationalists’, democratic secularists and Kurds in major urban cities.
President Trump and the Pentagon may gain a foothold with Kurdish surrogates in Northern Syria, but the loss of Turkey will be a strategic setback. However, the partition of Syria, and Turkey fits in very well with Greater Israel’s Oded Yinon Plan of subdividing Muslim countries.