Alwaght- The key members of US government are linked to regimes of Israel and Saudi Arabia so such ties may affect US policy in the region, US professor said in an interview with Alwaght news and analytics site.
Responding to a question about possible changes in US policies in the West Asia, the university professor and an expert on the region said certain new faces in the White House including Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson and President Trump's son-in-law and "senior adviser", Jared Kushner have close ties with the regimes in Saudi Arabia and Israel, respectively and that affects future policies in the region.
William O. Beeman, the Professor and Chair of Department of Anthropology in the University of Minnesota, US, talked about the future US policies on West Asia region last week.
Professor Beeman described the new US government as "very raw and inexperienced" adding that there is no certainty over their future policies in the region, including Iran. Despite initial threats to tear apart Iran's nuclear deal, Trump has come to realize " that the United States can't do this unilaterally".
He also described recent US sanctions against Tehran as "meaningless sanctions imposed after the launching of a conventional ballistic missile" and another sign of " the rash incompetence of the White House".
The following is the full test of our interview with Professor O. Beeman, from the University of Minnesota:
Considering that during his presidential campaign, Trump was a great critic of US policies and political structure as a whole, what will be his strategy for the West Asia region and what changes to the current US approach we could expect?
President Trump has not formulated a comprehensive Middle East policy, and his foreign policy team is very raw and inexperienced, so we are still guessing about their future directions as they grope toward a comprehensive policy. However, the new Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, is former head of Exxon Mobil, with close personal ties to Saudi Arabia. That doesn't guarantee favoring Saudi Arabia, but it is certainly likely. Additionally, President Trump's son-in-law and "senior adviser", Jared Kushner has personal ties to Benjamin Netanyahu, so we can expect more favorable treatment of Israel. One curious wrinkle is President Trump's statement that the Israeli settlement effort is "not helpful." making people wonder if there is some more muted support of right-wing Israeli politics. Still, President Trump's appointment of Ambassador to Israel, David M. Friedman, is one of the most extreme supporters of right-wing Israeli politics, including hostility toward Palestinians.
Creating safe zones in Syria as Trump has suggested runs the risk of increasing tension with Russia that is already in the country, is the White House ready to accept such a risk and go ahead with its proposal? If yes, could it cause any problems for Pentagon?
The Trump administration's friendship toward Russia makes the Middle Eastern situation a bit more confusing. President Trump has stated that he will eradicate ISIS. However, his support for Russia's policies makes us wonder if he will be more favorable toward President Assad, Russia's ally. As with many of President Trump's pronouncements, the idea of creating "safe zones" is an idea that has not been well thought out. One can be sure that there will either be consultations with Russia over this policy, or worse, some blasting ahead without consultation, which will create problems down the road. The thing to keep in mind continually is that the Trump White House is very unprepared, and amateurish at present in every aspect of foreign policy. They are likely to make many, many mistakes with such inexperience in high places.
What will be the US strategy on Iraq after the ISIS terrorists are defeated in Mosul, will Pentagon pull its forces out of the country? Will the White House support the territorial integrity of Iraq?
The US effort in Iraq is at present a total unknown. Aside from eliminating ISIS, we have no indication at all what Trump's foreign policy will be. I'm sorry I can't tell you more. I assume that US forces will continue to be on the ground in Iraq at their current strength. President Trump on the campaign trail criticized President Obama for "pulling out" of Iraq, but we all know that the arrangement for continued presence of forces in Iraq was negotiated under President Bush, and when the Iraqi government was unwilling to grant "extraterritoriality" to American forces to re-negotiate the continued presence of U.S. forces, there was no choice but for the conventional troops to withdraw under President Obama. The current U.S. forces are "advisers," and are not supposed to be fighting actively.
It may be wise to look to Gen. James Mattis, who is the new Secretary of Defense. Gen. Mattis is well respected, and although he has been hostile toward Iran, his views have moderated. He will likely be the person governing future action in Iraq. Monitoring his views closely will likely provide the best clues toward future movements in Iraq.
What will be next US strategy about Iran as Tehran is playing a key role in regional fight on terrorism and supporting settlement effort for Syria through recent talks in Kazakh capital city of Astana?
President Trump called for the canceling of the JCPOA. However, since he was inaugurated it has become clear that the United States can't do this unilaterally. So, President Trump has been looking for other ways to show his disapproval of Iran. The meaningless sanctions imposed after the launching of a conventional ballistic missile recently is an example
As with all of his foreign policy ideas, a comprehensive policy toward Iran has not been formed, and the Trump leadership is still very inexperienced and nebulous. The failed "travel ban" which involved restrictions on Iranians traveling toward the United States along with six other Muslim majority nations is a good example of the rash incompetence of the White House. The travel ban was ill-conceived and thrown out in the courts.
Trump's ties to Russia may moderate his future actions toward Iran, but this will require strong advocacy on the part of the Russians--something that is not at all certain.
More important in shaping Iran policy is the U.S. Congress, which, under Republican control, is still extremely hostile toward Iran. There is a bill pending in Congress to authorize a U.S. "first strike" on Iran, for example. The President may be able to let Congress take the lead in formulating hostile policies toward Iran, and hide behind these actions if, say. Putin ever asks him why the U.S. continues to be so hostile.