US Foreign Policy “Script” on Syria, Who Wrote It?

by Michaela Hertkorn

While the US has been stepping up its war rhetoric over the past few days, German media has been focusing on matters of international law – questions that matter.

Beyond that, we need to ask ourselves, however, is there a ‘script’ behind what has been happening, and what is that script?

How is it possible, otherwise, for a former anti-Vietnam-war protester, demonstrator – now turned US Secretary of State,  John Kerry – to support military action, now in Syria, and this under a President who was ‘awarded’ the Nobel Peace Prize!?

The unofficial script, one might think is about sustaining US influence over a region arching from the Balkans and Middle East all the way to Central Asia. The script is about sustaining US hegemony, while preventing other powers from widening their influence in exactly the same areas.

It is called geo-politics.

The script followed by most of US foreign and security policy establishment can be grasped through books,

such as Zbigniew Brzezisnski’s ‘The Grand Chessboard. American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives (1997) – published just a few years prior to the Balkan wars.

The script aims at ‘redrawing’ the wider Middle East, which solidly places US plans to now militarily intervene in Syria – following protracted wars in Afghanistan and  Iraq, and military interventions in Lebanon (2006), Libya (not to forget Mali), which no-where brought long-term stability, nor peace – into the context of geo-politics, rather than ‘RTP’ – the so-called ‘responsibility to protect’. Had it been US policy to protect civilians in Syria, the most promising strategy in US foreign policy had had to be to abstain from logistically and militarily supporting an opposition that has had ties to Al-Qaeda.


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