Recently, we frequently used to hear some phrases describing the U.S. such as: (America is withdrawing from the Middle East. American power is declining. American global hegemony is diminishing. America no longer needs Gulf oil, …). In any case, I argue that these phrases need further clarification. Perhaps it is necessary to understand some differences. First: The difference between the permanent and temporary presence of the US military force in a region, which is usually based on goals that have different scope and circumstances. The deployment of U.S. forces, whether in Syria, Afghanistan or Iraq, is linked to the achievement of temporary goals in favor of the U.S. national security strategy, and in a manner that does not contradict the grand US strategy. As soon as those temporary forces succeed in achieving their tasks, or their uselessness is confirmed, or with the expiration of their deployment period according to the approval of the US Congress, they are withdrawn, which does not mean a real withdrawal of the U.S. military forces from any region. We may have to remember what happened in the Balkans and the Horn of Africa in the early nineties of the last century, when the United States withdrew its forces from Bosnia and Herzegovina and from Somalia, for example, which were operating under the umbrella of the United Nations. Was that an American withdrawal from the two regions?
Before answering this question, I would like to point out what directly achieves the grand strategy of the U.S (militarily), which is called “Liberal Hegemony”. There are six naval fleets spread across the oceans and six military commands their head Quarters are deployed all over the world, and all of them lead the movements and operations of the U.S. naval fleets, along with other military commands stationed in the U.S. They’re mainly deployed in the oceans and the seas to secure 15 regions (as per my understanding) but concentrating in the industrial regions (Europe and East Asia) and the Middle East (The Arabian Gulf in particular) as the source of the needed oil by the other two regions. American aircraft carriers, attack ships and their protection ships sail to maneuver across the oceans and seas according to specific time and place frames with the aim of tightening maritime control and providing protection for allies. these all are within the U.S. Grand Strategy “The Liberal Hegemony”. Hence, the real military withdrawal of the United States from any region can only be through the withdrawal of any of these fleets and the final and complete military emptying of the region, and not by the withdrawal of temporary military forces from a specific country or region that was charged with achieving a temporary goal in it.
Second difference: Is between the phrase “The U.S. Power is declining” and the “Power of another competing country is progressing” such as China. Declining and progressing of the power of any country is recognized only by statistics, figures of specific elements of that power, published by accurate and reliable sources. Third difference: Is between (the global hegemony) and (the full control over the international resolutions). The U.S. is not currently the only superpower controls the international resolutions, although it is the largest funder of the United Nations, whether its permanent UN missions or temporary UN peacekeeping missions, which I think is an intentional act with the aim of mitigating the international responsibility it bears, especially with the current increasing of internal problems it faces, which countries like China and Russia generally prefer to avoid. As for global hegemony, in my opinion, whoever seeks to achieve it needs to possess six main capabilities, which are:1. Maritime military supremacy across the oceans.2. Space and cyber sovereignty.3. Know How Technology.4. Capable and maneuverable diplomatic and security powers, having the capability to impose sanctions.5. Sustainable economic power with capabilities of granting aids.6. Electronic means of economic and technological domination (the Worldwide internet – social media – “Visa” cards – …).All of which the U.S. seeks to possess permanently. As for Gulf oil, its security is considered vital by the U.S., as it is one of the most important pillars of the strength of the U.S. dollar, which is linked to its pricing as the only currency to sell it. As well as Gulf oil could be used as a tool to dominates several industrial countries in the world. The importance of Gulf oil to the U.S. is linked to America’s interest in controlling the industry in the developed countries, even if they are allies.
Dr. Sayed Ghoneim
PhD in Political Science
Fellow, Nasser Higher Military Academy, Egypt
Chairman, Institute for Global Security & Defense Affairs, UAE