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Sep 1, 2021
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Will the US Be the Force Shaping the Future of Central Asia?

Visiting US Vice President Kamala Harris behind the curtain of universal excitement around the hasty withdrawal of the United States and its allies from Afghanistan (Kamala Harris) to Southeast Asia was seen in the world media only as a dotted line. This is not surprising: twenty years of war, of which half of this period, the Americans “withdrawn” their troops from Afghanistan, overturned the illusion expressed by Obama on May 3, 2016: “America has to write the rules. America must make decisions. Other countries should play by the rules that America and its partners set, and not vice versa. “

Now it’s just the opposite – the Taliban set the rules. This alignment of events and the noise raised around them make the voyage of the US Vice President insignificant, although the events are equivalent in terms of the degree of influence on world politics and are tightly linked to each other, making up a causal pair. As US President Joe Biden’s decision to leave Afghanistan hurts US prestige and makes American allies wonder if they’re making the right choice, Kamala Harris has begun a cosmetic restoration of the “big friend” image, bringing a bag of dollars with her to strengthen the “friendship against China “.

Changing the image of the enemy, without which the military-industrial complex cannot live a day, demanded quick decisions from Washington. And the Americans should not be sad about the fact that these decisions are engendering chaos and more and more casualties among yesterday’s allies.

America is urgently mending political and economic ties with its friends. Defeated, she tries to restore political confidence and influence in the world. Only now for this it is necessary to change army units for financiers, tanks for checkbooks, generals for venture capitalists.

This kind of change in philosophy should, according to Harris, weaken the aftertaste common to most Muslim countries: the aftertaste of what they perceive as American betrayal. “Experts say, – informs Alazira, – that Harris will have to grapple with questions about the reliability of the United States after the chaotic withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan “… This assessment is echoed by Reuters: Harris’s trip will show that Washington intends to stay in Southeast Asia. Agency France Presse (AFP) quotes an official statement from Washington: Vice President “Will make it clear throughout the trip that we have a strong commitment to the region.”

Harris in Singapore

The Vice President started with Singapore. Her main thesis sounded there quite unambiguously: she “Pledges Washington’s commitment to the region amid fears of China’s growing influence”, quotes her words Alazira… It is quite understandable: the South China Sea is not Afghanistan, which the United States did not have enough strength to pacify. Through this sea, more precisely through the Singapore and Malacca straits, a third of world trade goes – more than 50 thousand ships a year. That’s about $ 4 trillion. But more importantly for the United States, about 80% of China’s oil imports travel this way. That is why the interests of the United States and China collide in this bottleneck: squeezing this “neck”, it will be easier for Washington to put pressure on Beijing.

Strait of malacca

These goals and aspirations are not new to the participants in the battle for the South China Sea. However, now the situation has turned out to be such, according to Foreign affairs, what “Central Asia today is a multipolar realm, where different countries exert influence through new organizations, norms of behavior and orders that … oppose the norms and orders of the United States and its allies.”… This refers to the CIS, EAEU, BRICS. So the Taliban are just an excuse to shift the main blow to the enemy’s most vulnerable spot.

Two conclusions follow from the urgent voyage of the US Vice President to Asia: first, the American military-bureaucratic machine is no longer able to control Asia as a whole; second, it will not make Washington’s policy more democratic. Despite the withdrawal of US troops, the US will remain a force shaping the future of Afghanistan and Central Asia. “Freeing ourselves from a politically vulnerable relationship with a client government, – says the American magazine, – US politicians may finally be able to deal with the region more impartially … The era of US military intervention in Central Asia may end, but this does not mean that Washington’s influence should also disappear “

The next target of Harris’ visit was Vietnam. At a meeting with Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the US Vice President expressed a fervent desire to improve ties with Hanoi, elevating them to strategic ones. This level of relations also presupposes deep cooperation in the field of security.

Harris in Vietnam

Washington is ready to lend a helping hand to Hanoi, as he did in Afghanistan, Libya and Syria. Moreover, both Singapore and Vietnam have already shown that they will be happy with the military presence of the Americans in view of Beijing’s obvious militarization of the South China Sea and the rapid increase in the coast guard and fishing fleet. Malaysia, Brunei, the Philippines and Taiwan are also able to happily shake this “helping hand”. According to experts, these countries hope that the flight from Afghanistan will allow the United States to free up economic and military resources in order to change the “mission of combating terrorism” to “mission of fighting Beijing.” The American Marshall Fund believes that “Such a transition … will accelerate as counter-terrorism thinking weakens.”

While Europe will bustle around the flow of Afghan refugees, Camilla Harris is courting new “friends in arms”. In case China doesn’t put up with new American plans to control trade routes.

Will the new mission succeed? Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan believes, for example, that “Singapore … will not let itself be used” in their relations with both countries, China and the United States. And nevertheless, the American Drang nach Osten is the beginning of a new Great Game of Americans against China.

Cover photo: Kamala Harris in Hanoi, REUTERS / POOL New

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