Alwaght-In further escalation of global tensions, the US, Britain, France and Australia are set to hold military exercises in the Persian Gulf.
The provocative war-games will include a simulated confrontation with the Islamic Republic of Iran at a time of increased aggressive rhetoric against the country by British and US leaders.
The military drill dubbed Exercise Unified Trident is expected to be the first major deployment of British and American warships in the area since the inauguration of US President Donald Trump. The confrontational war-games will be held from January 31 to February 2 off the coast of Bahrain, a tiny Persian Gulf monarchy brutally suppressing pro-democracy protests. These military exercises by war-mongering Western countries are pursuing several objectives.
Reassuring regional allies
In a press release, the US Navy claimed, "The exercise is intended to enhance mutual capabilities, improve tactical proficiency and strengthen partnerships in ensuring the free flow of commerce and freedom of navigation." In a joint statement after last December’s summit, between Britain and the Persian Gulf monarchies in Manama, they agreed to a "strategic partnership" that would foster "political, defense, security and trade" ties. The war-games are part of renewed Britain’s interference in regional security issues. Indeed, these war-games are meant to reassure tyrannical monarchs clinging to power in the Persian Gulf region as they pursue a brutal suppression of mass protests in most of the monarchies especially Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.
Britain and the US have new rulers who have ascended to power engulfed in a sea of local and international protests. British Premier Theresa May who rose to power courtesy of Brexit and Donald Trump who has occupied the White House after disputed US elections have a common characteristic, belligerent Iranophobia. In her most recent Iranophobic remarks while addressing a Republican event during her recent visit to the US, May said that Iran is “a priority for the UK too as we support our allies in the (Persian) Gulf states to push back against Iran’s aggressive efforts to build an arc of influence from Tehran through to the Mediterranean.”
Trump has also attacked the landmark 2015 nuclear deal signed between Iran and six world powers. Parisian Gulf monarchies, led by the Saudi regime, continue to harbor Iranophobia for no apparent reason. This is while the Islamic Republic of Iran has reiterated that it prioritizes friendly relations with regional countries. Tehran has repeatedly assured other countries, especially the regional neighbors, that its military might poses no threat to anyone and that its defense doctrine is based on deterrence.
Western countries have been inciting Iranophobia thus pushing Persian Gulf states to buy billions of dollars’ worth of weapons from Western arms manufactures.
A report published early February 2016 by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute stated that, the international transfer of weapons to the West Asia rose dramatically over the past five years, with Saudi Arabia’s imports for 2011-15 increasing by 275% compared with 2006–10. The report noted that overall, imports by states in the West Asia region increased by 61%. Britain sold more weapons to Saudi Arabia than to any other country. Saudi Arabia is also the biggest US arms market and buys more American arms than British, the report showed. Additionally, Qatar arms purchase rose by 279% over the same period, and imports by the UAE rose by 35%. While Muslims worldwide consider their enemy number one to be the Israeli regime occupying Palestinian territories and the al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, weapons bought by Persian Gulf monarchies have never been meant to be used against the Israeli regime or at least in support of Palestinian resistance movement.
Stranglehold on the region
The military maneuvers by the four major Western countries are part of a long-term strategy to maintain a stranglehold over the strategic Persian Gulf region is the main artery of global energy supplies. Britain is also keen on reestablishing its colonial presence in the region after a hiatus. The US-led NATO military alliance continues to set its eyes in the Persian Gulf region. NATO's aggression and operations in Afghanistan and Iraq have further increased the strategic importance of the Persian Gulf for the military alliance.
Increased tensions, arms race
Military maneuvers by foreign powers in the Persian Gulf cannot guarantee security and stability in the region and will actually serve to exacerbate tensions. The British-led war-games will also serve as a trigger crazy arms race in a region whose economies are suffering after record-low global oil prices. For instance, world’s top arms importer, Saudi Arabia, is suffering a record budget deficit, reaching nearly $100. This is a country where according to conservative estimates, 35 per cent of the population live in extreme poverty amid austerity measures.