(INTELLIHUB) — Does the United States risk facing off against a tri-partite alliance between Russia, Iran and China?
The geopolitical balance is being restructured in Eurasia on an almost daily basis. Sino-Russo relations are improving and both the Peoples Republic of China (PRC) and Russia share strong anti-American and anti-NATO sentiments. Russo-Iranian relations have also been warming up and Sino-Persian ties have also been gradually strengthening. All three countries would like to see a shift away from more than a century of global domination by the United States.
Through a multi-national affiliation referred to as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) the PRC is already economically aligned with Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. China is building railways across the Asian continent and assisting the “Stan” nations with much-needed infrastructure development.
Cooperation of the SCO members in combination with the increasing closeness of China, Russia and Iran should be cause for concern to the United states and its allies. A tri-partite alliance between these three strengthening powers could serve to change the geopolitical balance across the entirety of Asia for decades to come.
These three countries now have more in common geopolitically and economically than they have differences.
Furthermore, the interest of Western Powers and ISIS in seeing Assad and Syria topple has drawn Russia and Iran closer together and both countries seem determined to stand steadfastly on the side of Assad. Indeed the stability of Europe and Western Asia may hinge on how the U.S. and its allies handle the escalating violence in the Levant.
The Iranian Shi’a leadership perceives Saudi Arabia and the Sunni Salafists perched on its doorstep to be a growing threat to its borders and national security. Iraq’s majority Sunni population has the capacity to get dragged into any regional conflict, especially since there are already large numbers of Iraqi nationals within the ranks of ISIS.
Both China and Russia have also had their own internal issues with Islamic radicalism. China has had to increase security measures within its borders due to tension created by Uighur separatists, who follow a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam.
The pre-existing framework which has set the geopolitical precedent for regional power-pacts has recently experienced a massive upheaval and alliances are now being quickly re-drawn. .
Other factors have come into play. China, Iran and Russia have a shared interest in seeing the US lose its unipolar grip in the region and on the continent. That desire makes for strange bedfellows and will eclipse any past differences which have separated these three powers..
Both Russia and Iran have been the brunt of US sanctions, and China which has also been jockeying with the United states for two decades is now the world’s second largest economy.
All three countries have reason to cooperate with each other — much more so now than during any other point over the last several decades, due to the increasingly fragile balance of power in the ME and Eurasia.
It is important to note that while the U.S. has experienced a reduction of its military assets over the past decade, both China and Russia have made rapid advances with weapons systems and while simultaneously strengthening their navies.
Russia’s once cumbersome and antiquated naval force has been revamped, streamlined, outfitted with new ships and some very lethal, long-range weapons systems. Both countries have also made significant advances with their submarine fleets as well.
While the United States does have military and technological superiority over each of these countries, facing off in Western Asia against a Sino-Russo-Persian alliance could prove to be costly and difficult, regardless of who the U.S. allies itself with.
The Obama administration has often spoken of a pivot to Asia, which is important since more than 70% of the world’s naval traffic passes through Southeast Asia. However what the United States does not need at this moment is a military pivot to the Middle East and Western Asia.
At a time when the force-projection capacity of both the Chinese and Russians is increasing, regional alliances are being rewritten, and the world economy is becoming less stable, the United States needs to very carefully consider how it handles the delicate house of cards called Syria, which is the keystone of Eurasian stability at the present time.
About the Author:
The author of this article, who prefers to use the nom de plume “XKeyscore” in order to maintain his anonymity, is a Doctoral Candidate and multiglot with two Master’s Degrees and a Baccalaureate specializing in Middle Eastern Studies. He holds one Master’s Degree specializing in Intelligence and Counter-intelligence operations, and a second Master’s Degree in Security Studies. XKeyscore has studied under a United States intelligence agency analyst and now-retired, high ranking, American military officers. XKeyscore writes exclusively for Intellihub News & Politics. Read more articles by this author here.
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