The US must turn away from its deadly arms trade with the Arab littoral states, stop showing the flag and throwing grenade into the maritime areas, and focus instead on abiding by international law that says the region should be secured and protected by the littoral states only, including Iran.
This outlook has been made crystal clear on several occasions by the international civil society. They are again urging the political class in Washington to stop stirring the waters and realize the sensitivity of the issue and the harm this brings to regional relations.
Make no mistake: The waterway is not Washington’s periphery for long-term great-power competition, and certainly there exists no pretext for the Arab states to beef up US bases and forces and invest heavily in America’s industry of death to stop a non-existent threat.
Washington needs to stop selling arms to the Arab nations and labelling them as close defense partners in its Middle East strategy. The never-ending salvo is not just about stirring the waters and the littoral states loading up on American military equipment, or US meddling in regional relations; it’s also about double opportunity. The official Washington and Pentagon generals want to project power, police the region, and in consequence exert upon the oil rich Persian Gulf the full impact of their influence in every domain.
In order to riven the waterway to the edge of instability, Washington further sends warships and guided-missile destroyers to needle and goad Iran and others on the pretext of “freedom of navigation operations”. Less publicized in the region, these provocative moves and other multi-domain engagements on the peripheries of Iran are intended to serve America’s long-term strategic interests and future war-scape. They are not there to protect the oil or Washington’s allies.
Lest we forget, America’s deadly arms business is a major cause of conflicts and tensions in the region, where many countries spend more on military expenditure and war than on regional stability and dialogue combined.
As they proceed down this path, the growing availability of US arms, military support, naval presence and other provocative moves are similarly a major factor in the increase in the level of tensions in the Iranian maritime areas. They provide no security for the Arab littoral states but record profits for well-positioned American arms manufacturers.
Outrageous as they may be, it is precisely for these geopolitical calculations that US government officials and Pentagon accountants brag about their “strong Arab ties” and “export success” in weapons sales to the region. Here, enough simply isn’t an option. They will try and find major boosts to future arms sales above and beyond what’s already been sent, or would be sent, to these clueless “allies”.
Their huge purchase of artilleries and tanks, TOW anti-armor missiles, Javelin anti-tank missiles, Stinger man-portable air defense systems, and fighter jets falls into this line of policy. The aim is to keep the destabilization campaign moving forward, reorder the region to Washington’s advantage, and weaken any efforts toward regional ties and amity.
In this environment, expect no attempts to limit US arms exports to the Arab states, as the arms sales under their unholy alliance are not based on an assessment of their defense needs. The US is therefore responsible for contributing to, rather than impeding, the militarization of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. Tensions will not go away as long as the US continues to sell arms to its clueless allies and roil the Iranian territories.
Under the International Maritime Law, however, Washington is responsible to revoke all the existing arms export permits to the region and refrain from issuing any new licenses. It should also shut down its naval bases and leave.
The US government cannot ignore international calls to end its lethal trade with the region, either. Sending more arms and warships will only foment further insecurity and distrust among the regional state’s. It won’t encourage the governments of the region to sit down for talks and find a solution to their long-drawn-out disputes via political means