Following the “loyal Afghans”, the Americans will abandon the “loyal Kurds”
It would seem that Afghanistan is far from Israel, but what is happening there worries the Israeli top. And the point is not only in the fall of the influence of the American strategic ally in the “Greater Middle East”, to which the Americans attribute the vast space from Lebanon to Pakistan. Israel expects the immediate impact of the fast-flowing Afghan solution to security on the basis of “geopolitical chains” or “communicating vessels.”
N. Bennett and Joe Biden
In particular, until recently, the Israeli “arch-enemy” Iran was forced to keep a significant part of its high-tech weapons, primarily in the area of air defense, near the eastern borders in order to fend off the threat posed by the American airbase in Afghan Bagram. In terms of its potential, which made it possible to receive all types of strategic bombers and heavy transport aircraft, this base was of a strategic nature and comparable in importance to such major US air bridgeheads as Ramstein in Europe and Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean. With the elimination of Bagram and the end of America’s presence in Afghanistan, Iran will be able to concentrate its forces in the west of the country, more effectively preventing Israel’s air strikes against its targets.
US French allies in Bagram
Washington’s announced withdrawal of the American military contingent from Iraq at the end of the year exacerbates the situation. After all, the withdrawal from Iraq will inevitably be accompanied by the withdrawal of the Americans from Syria, since they regard their presence there as part of the Iraqi mission. Announcing his withdrawal from Iraq at the beginning of the summer, when asked about Syria, Biden replied: “And we have no one there!” This surprised many in Damascus, but in any case, such a statement indicates that after the “loyal Afghans”, the Americans will soon abandon the “loyal Kurds”. Betray, so betray!
The activation of radical Islamic elements throughout the Middle East region under the impression of the “Afghan victory”, according to the Israelis, will lead to an aggravation of the situation in the Palestinian territories. Taliban spokesman Suheil Shaheen did not accidentally saythat the new authorities of Afghanistan are ready to maintain contacts with all countries of the world, except Israel. And Hamas has already celebrated the Taliban’s victory with massive welcoming demonstrations.
The head of Hamas Ismail Haniya and the military leader of the Yahya Sinuar group
The first high-level foreign visitor to Washington at the height of the “Afghan exodus” of the Americans was Israel’s “interim” Prime Minister N. Bennett (in the second half of the mandate, according to the coalition agreement, he should be replaced by Ya. Lapid). Bennett wanted first-hand assurances from the White House that US support for Israel would continue. On August 26-27, on the eve of V. Zelensky’s visit from Ukraine to the same place, Bennett waited for more than a day for the American president to find the strength to briefly accept him for a conversation. The result in both cases was approximately the same – indistinct and not very effective. Only in Israel, in contrast to Ukraine, no one began to “blow the elephant out of a fly” about the allegedly reached agreements, pointing out Biden’s confusion and depression. And the most discussed topic in the Israeli media was how quickly the leader of the “only superpower” fell asleep during negotiations with his Israeli counterpart and how long he slept. The fact that Biden fell into the same state in his conversation with Zelensky only reinforced the concerns of the Israelis.
They say that Biden “thought”, but somehow very deeply
Israel Institute for Policy and Strategy (IPS) under the leadership of its executive director, Major General Amos Gilead, prepared a report to the country’s leadership on the topic: American withdrawal from Afghanistan: lessons and implications for Israel… The report notes that “The rapid, chaotic and humiliating evacuation of American troops and property from Afghanistan is an event that prepares transformation.”…
Based on this, IPS recommends to the new Israeli government “Continue to support moderate and monarchical Sunni regimes in the Middle East, especially in Jordan, Egypt and Saudi Arabia”… Even if “these regimes are not democratic, they still contain political Islam” and are concerned about the growing influence of Shiite Iran.
As follows from the report, the events in Afghanistan have created opportunities for Israel to intensify military ties with the Arab states. Jordan is in the first place here. There is no alternative to the Hashemite Kingdom, which provides Israel with strategic depth and stability along its longest border, and is a prime strategic asset for Israel’s security.
After the US withdraws from Afghanistan, according to Israeli experts, the fight in the region for the withdrawal of American troops will focus on the Iraqi arena. In such circumstances, it is imperative for the Biden administration to dispel criticism among Arab commentators about the weakness of American support and prevent the Arab states from pacifying Iran in an attempt to hedge against what is perceived as a United States withdrawal from the region. Therefore, the US administration “Must increasingly adhere to the military presence in Iraq, Syria and the Gulf States”… It is not clear only how Israel will be able to achieve this in the light of the complete fiasco of negotiations on this topic between the “interim” Prime Minister Bennett and the “sleeping” Biden.
Israel still notes that the American administration is making certain efforts to calm down its regional allies in connection with the Afghan failure. However, they urge senior American officials who have gone on a tour of the Middle East these days not to be surprised at how much the attitude of the allies in the Persian Gulf has changed towards them in the light of the failed war in Afghanistan.
L. Austin and E. Blinken: Who Will Leave First?
This refers to the started trips across the Persian Gulf by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. Their goal is to reassure allies that President Biden’s decision to end the US war in Afghanistan in order to focus on other security concerns such as China and Russia. “Does not portend abandonment of US partners in the Middle East”…
Austin, in particular, plans to start his trip by thanking the leaders of Qatar for their cooperation during the evacuation from Kabul. In addition to allowing al-Udeid airbase to be used to handle American evacuees, Qatar agreed to host an American diplomatic mission that left Kabul. The Qataris have also offered to help open the Kabul airport in coordination with the Taliban.
The Pentagon chief also plans to visit Bahrain, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to meet with senior leaders in the region, which he knows well as a retired army general and former head of the US Central Command responsible for military operations there.
To some extent, the belated activity of Austin and Blinken looks like an attempt to make up for their own omissions during the failed Afghan evacuation. Someone should be appointed as “extreme”, and both officials appear to be the main candidates for this.
Therefore, it is not surprising that, against the background of all the confusion around Afghanistan, Israeli Foreign Minister Ya. Lapid (the next prime minister) decided to go to Moscow for balance.
Cover photo: REUTERS / Baz Ratner
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