The emerging geopolitical and geostrategic environments in the Greater Middle East Region (GMER) and the South-Central Asian Region (SCAR) portend severe turmoil, instability and war as the US-Israel-India Combine moves to impose its unchallenged hegemony in the GMER-SCAR Complex. Iran in the GMER and Pakistan in the SCAR are clearly its main areas of interest. In the GMER it will be the US-Israel Combine operating with India in support (Chahbahaar Port, an obvious Trojan Horse), while in the SCAR it will essentially be Israel in support (a la Balakot) of the US-India Combine. 

Post Arab Spring, the GMER reeks of war, mass migrations, death and destruction. Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Afghanistan etc are living proofs of this unprecedented pogrom of the Muslims. The Arabs (GCC) themselves have been frightened into aligning with the US-Israel Combine (the “failed” Warsaw Summit) to finance a war which will ostensibly pre-empt, defang and defeat a potentially missile toting nuclear Iran. A “toothless” Iran is thus to be compelled to accept Israel’s (and much to the Arab’s chagrin, not their) hegemony in the GMER. 

President Trump’s two-pronged strategy will seek to ensure Israel’s hegemony in the GMER and win the 2020 elections by defanging and defeating Iran. Ideally, he will want to coerce it into submission through its current gun boat diplomacy; failing which he will isolate and choke it economically through crippling sanctions, naval and air blockades and bludgeon it through relentless carpet-bombing runs by B-52s and massive air, land and sea-based missile/cruise missile salvos and drone attacks. Without boots on ground the impact of all these aerial assaults will be limited. Putting insufficient numbers on ground will be self-defeating, engendering a quagmire worse than the Afghan one. Thus, two ongoing wars might threaten his re-election bid. In the time available before the 2020 elections he cannot possibly stagger the two, that is first egress from Afghanistan and then tackle Iran. Thus, it is most unlikely that he will put boots on Iranian territory but would rather destroy Iran’s military, nuclear and missile facilities/capacities through relentless aerial attacks. Through war and economic sanctions, he expects to cause a popular uprising in a weakened Iran and precipitate a regime change!

The Iranians will opt for an indirect approach. They are likely to expand the asymmetric war to Israel, Syria (Golan Heights), Lebanon, Palestine, Yemen, the Arab states and the Persian Gulf Region, enlarging the theater of war and dissipating US’ military effort. Shiite uprisings in its support across the GMER, especially in Eastern KSA, Bahrain, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan etc will cause massive regional destabilization. Mass movements of Shiites from within the GMER and beyond to join the “Jihad in Iran against the Great Satan” will complicate an already complex situation even further. Arab oil terminals, pipelines, ports, refineries, oil tankers, shipping lanes, the Hormuz Straits chokepoint, et al will be attacked. The GMER will erupt in flames and the world’s oil supply will be disrupted. The US may initiate the war however, the Iranians will decide when to end it. The EU, Russia, China and the Muslim World will end up as impotent observers offering nothing beyond inane platitudes! 

Next stop, Pakistan. The US-Israel-India Combine’s collective interests clash directly with Pakistan’s. First, its nuclear and missile programs need to be capped, rolled back and eventually eliminated. Second, once defanged, it has to be made subservient to India’s unquestioned regional leadership and hegemony. Third, Pakistan needs to be so destabilized that CPEC-BRI projects are totally disrupted, disorganized and if possible scuttled for good. Destroying the CPEC-BRI meets both the US and India’s vital interests; it will disrupt China’s challenge to the US’ pre-eminence as the sole global economic power and simultaneously meet Indian interests of forcing an economically weakened Pakistan to implode.

The US-India-Israel Combine is well aware that trying to defeat Pakistan militarily would be unacceptably costly in military, economic, political and diplomatic terms. A war against it will undoubtedly encroach upon nuclear thresholds right at the outset. The victory, if any at all, would be extremely pyrrhic in nature. Indian ambitions of regional and extra-regional dominance will be dealt a comprehensive and fatal blow. A chastened, weakened and humiliated India (Balakot!) would be of scant use to the US in countering China. So, an indirect approach has been adopted. An “economic blitzkrieg” was launched against Pakistan through the IFIs and domestic economic hitmen like its corrupt political leadership in power in the last decade or so. The latter destroyed Pakistan’s economy and its viability through sheer incompetence, rank bad governance, deliberate mismanagement and rampant, ruthless corruption, piling up unmanageable foreign and domestic loans/debts, ruining its state enterprises, stifling real growth and even choking the financial support to its vital strategic organizations; all the while enriching themselves shamelessly. This deliberately contrived weakened economic position has left Pakistan at the mercy of the major world powers through regimes like the FATF and IFIs, etc. Simultaneously, this “economic blitzkrieg” was reinforced by a hybrid war which had devastating political, diplomatic, informational, military (Pulwama, Balakot) and terrorism dimensions. Pakistan weathered this storm brilliantly however the “economic blitzkrieg” continues; an IMF bailout is reportedly linked to a satisfactory report from the FATF whose Asian Pacific Group has India as a co-Chairman!  Although Pakistan is apparently at an economic precipice yet it has the capacity, the will and the resilience to overcome this challenge. It has risen from the ashes, phoenix like, earlier as well!

So, slowly but surely the stage is being set to neutralize the remaining two major, ostensibly audacious, Muslim states in the GMER-SCAR Complex. Both, Iran and Pakistan, have been brought to economic stagnation and ruin through sanctions and domestic and international economic hitmen. They are to be militarily subdued too. The US-Israel-India Combine will most probably deal with them piecemeal, first Iran, then Pakistan! However, both Iran and Pakistan will retaliate; will meet the challenges with their customary resilience, will, grit and determination. They are unlikely to roll over and die. The US-Israel-India Combine must not contrive confrontations which it cannot control or bring to credible, favorable and sensible closures!