U.S. Failed Foreign Policy: Will It Improve With Tillerson Ouster?

Islamic Sharia Caliphate Ambitions vs. Russia & U.S.: Part I 

Vladimir Putin has positioned himself as the Middle East power broker, which is a role that the United States did not resist.  

Three years ago, Russia was very isolated after annexing Crimea.  Getting involved in Syria gave Putin an opening to get back on the world stage making the Russian oligarchs very proud.  Putin is the power broker. Trump, and a disjointed foreign policy, has made the United States Putin’s support team.

However, what President Putin neglected to understand, and what President’s Obama and Trump misunderstood, was the GLOBAL CALIPHATE AMBITIONS of both the Iranian Shi’ites in competition with the Sunni caliphate ambitions, Saudi Arabia in particular (Wahhabism of strict Islamic interpretation the Koran).

Both, “Caliphate Ambitions” have the same goal competing for the prize: Destruction of western civilization, death to Israel, world dominance and land grab, based on Shariah Islam.

How Did This Happen?

The Answer: Simply put, it is a failed foreign policy based over several decades on false assumptions and lack of clarity, and inaccurate knowledge of Islamic/Arabic autocratic ambitions.

On one hand, Saudi Arabia seems to be in a “reformation” by jailing corrupt royals, and joining alliances to fight the Islamic State, and most importantly combating Iran in the Middle East and Arabian Peninsula (Yemen).

However, a more inclusive caliphate seems to be in the making.

Realizing its inability to survive without external powers, and a need to separate from oil revenue to investment capital, Saudi is outwardly displaying a “reformation.”  The truth is that Saudi Arabia relentlessly pursues autocratic and theocratic Sunni Islam dominance.”

Although, in part, it was the failed foreign policy of the Obama presidency that contributed to nearly 6 million Syrian refugees that fled to Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Iraq, and European capitals, the current U.S. foreign policy seems at best confusing, and at worst very dangerous.

The United States lost the war in Syria to Russia and Iran.

The Russia-Syria-Iran-Iraq coalition (RSII coalition) was/is a joint intelligence-sharing cooperation between opponents of the Islamic State and Iraq and the Levant, commonly referred to as ISIS.

Russia supported Syria’s President Assad as he used chemical weapons against his Sunni opposition in Syria – some were rebels and some were innocent men, women and children – some were Saudi al Qaeda fighters.

In October 2015, Russian warplanes carried out the first air strikes on opponents of President Bashar al-Assad targeting civilians and hospitals.  Iran entered the Syrian civil war by training fighters from Hezbollah, a Shia militant group based in Lebanon. Thousands were sent by Iran in a mission kept very much in the shadows, but one that ensured Bashar al – Assad remained in power.  Simultaneously, Iranian fighters were also active in the conflict across the border in Iraq –and the Iranians were instrumental in aiding the Iraqi Yazidis and their ISIS held towns.

Where was the United States?

Both Barack Obama and President Trump sought to limit U.S. involvement in Syria, falsely and wrongly. The United States never seemed to have a goal in the Syrian conflict — defeating Assad, kicking him to the sea, was not an ambition of the U.S. The humanitarian concerns, coupled with the migration of 6 million fleeing refugees, nor the migration of Islamic State fighters within the migration, was not enough to bring a full-scale effort of U.S. involvement in Syria.

The Result: An Iranian Shia hegemonic growing caliphate and land grab in the region and a powerful Russia, with a weakened United States influence in this volatile strategic region. Oil is in this region. Oil that funds global terrorism.

President Trump ramped up Obama’s bombing campaign of the Islamic State while accepting the reality that Assad as Syria’s leader would remain. With the help of Russia and Iran, Assad remains in power and both Iran and Russia have opened the Syrian-Mediterranean front.

In July 2017, President Trump pulls CIA from Syria as Russia cheers. The program that armed and trained Syrian rebels was scraped – expensive and no one was ever sure whether good rebels or al Qaeda were being trained.

To add to the confusion:

If President Trump is growing weary (as reported) by the Iranian presence in the Middle East, he is not doing his part to minimize their presence.  In fact, the U.S. administration, both White House and Congress, seems to be either confused, or unclear, on how to stop Iran and its Caliphate/Hegemonic ambitions in the Middle East and North Africa.

The $700 billion National Defense Authorization Act approved by House and Senate Compromise has the following: 

  •   Authorizes $1.8 billion in funding for counter-ISIS efforts via the “train and equip” programs in Iraq and Syria.(noting the October 16 takeover of Kirkuk and the use of U.S. equipment by the Iraqi -Iranian backed militia, this is a curious addition at this time. Perhaps timing is the culprit.  The U.S. Congress might be wise to not support Iraq with $1.8 billion for “train and equip.”  and to remove it).

President Trump states he has am ambitious agenda to stop the Iranian nuclear program, as well as prevent any further Iran hegemony in the Middle East.  However, the U.S. administration was silent during the Kirkuk offensive this past October.  U.S. equipment was used in the offensive to capture the Kurdish oil rich region of Kirkuk. 

Qasem Soleimani, Commander of Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp in Iraq during Kirkuk offensive (Photo: WikiCommons)

The NDAA also has

  • “Countering Russian AggressionThe committee believes the United States must do more to deter Russian aggression, whether across its borders or in cyberspace. Russia continues to occupy Crimea, destabilize Ukraine, threaten our NATO allies, violate the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, and bolster the Assad regime in Syria. In an unparalleled attack on our core interests and values, Russia engaged in an active, purposeful campaign to undermine the integrity of American democracy and affect the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
  • Adds:
    • Authorizes $65 million for a research and development program on a ground-launched intermediate-range missile in order to begin to close the capability gap opened by the Russian violation of the INF Treaty, without placing the United States in violation of the treaty.”

Iran and Syria:

The Times of Israel reported (November 28, 2017) that Iranian Chief of staff, General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri, paid a visit to Syria’s Assad with a list of demands:

– -50-year lease on a Mediterranean naval base, the establishment of air bases on Syrian soil, phosphate mining concessions including for uranium.

Not unreasonable considering that the Iranians were killed fighting for Assad, plus more than 2,000 Hezbollah fighters.

The Shi’ites are going to get what they want in Syria.

The Caliphate ambitions are streaming along just fine – the Shia Crescent  from Iran through Iraq into Syria and to the warm sea port is mission accomplished.

Dr. Sherkoh Abbas, President of the Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria said this when asked about the U.S. silence during the attack on Kirkuk and what seemed to be a turning of a blind eye of Iranian militia attacking Kirkuk/Kurds on October 16th:

We are dealing with an unpredictable president, still relying on Obama holdover Brett McGurk and clueless Department of State Secretary running U.S. foreign policy based on fascination with dictators, dealing with seasoned international politicians (foxes) focused on oil and dollars.  They have betrayed Kurds of Iraq and it is possible to do the same to Syrian Kurds.  Russia, Iran, Turkey and other none state bad actors will eject U.S. from Middle East and threat U.S. and its allies interests including Israel…not to mention the Kurds.” Putin and Lavrov outmaneuvered Obama and Kerry and doing the same to clueless U.S. administration.”

Upon learning today that President Trump reportedly plans to replace Secretary of State Tillerson with CIA director Pompeo, and replace current CIA position with Tom Cotton,  Jerry Gordon, former U.S. Army Intel Officer, Sr. Editor New English Review/Foreign Policy Commentator said:

Both Pompeo and Cotton were active in investigating the Iran nuclear deal.  In July 2015, when the U.S. Senate was holding hearings of the Iran nuclear deal, then Arkansas U.S. Senator Tom Cotton and Kansas U.S. Rep Mike Pompeo flew to investigate IAEA nuclear United Nations watchdog agency ability to monitor the Iran Nuclear Deal…both Pompeo and Cotton would be productive moves in the right direction of sound foreign policy.

To conclude:

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Saudi Foreign Minister, Adel al-Jubeir. (Photo Credit: WikiMedia Commons)

On many levels the Middle East foreign policy seems at times wanting to head on the right path, but not sure how to get there.

In this Part II series of reports on U.S. Foreign Policy, we will delve deeper into the U.S.-Saudi alliance (again).  The caliphate ambitions of Iran does not negate the caliphate ambitions of Saudi Arabia.  Therefore, what would be the benefit of fostering side-bar secret meetings between Jared Kushner and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman?

Stay tuned for Part II.


Respectfully submitted,

Lisa E. Benson

Foreign Policy Researcher/Commentator/Educator

CEO, The Queen Esther Project

Blogger, “The Times of Israel

About the Author
Lisa Benson is at the helm of The Queen Esther Project (QEP)( a charitable humanitarian endeavor with a mission to educate on tyranny and genocide worldwide. Particular emphasis on Anti Semitism. QEP also has a local mission to aid refugees in our local communities are in urgent need of care and comfort as a result of fleeing persecution in home countries. Lisa Benson is a 25-year veteran of humanitarian, foreign policy, national security and nonprofit sectors. Lisa has been the voice of accurate, measured foreign policy information on Salem Radio KKNT, Phoenix, and the architect of Lisa Benson TV (streaming) and countless video and published reporting on geo-political issues. She is a compelling public speaker, broadcaster, non-profit development consultant, writer, humanitarian, and national security analyst. Lisa Benson is the author of a soon to be published book, “A Daughter’s Journey Into Ohrdruf Concentration Camp.” As a child, Lisa was introduced to the horrors of genocide by her father, Vincent, a concentration camp liberator. She remembers being only ten-years old when her dad sat her down at the kitchen table and tossed 12 packs of photos to her. His words resonate, “I want you to know where I was and what I saw.” Lisa recalls this story with tears in eyes as she will never forget that moment. The photos of piled up dead bodies were taken by Vincent when he marched into Ohrdruf concentration camp liberating it on April 4, 1945. The Ohrdruf camp was a sub camp of the Buchenwald concentration camp, and the first Nazi camp liberated by U.S. troops. From a 10-year old little girl with indelible memories, to a grown woman traveling the world speaking out on atrocities of unfathomable proportion, Lisa Benson holds nothing back as a speaker, broadcaster, activist or human rights educator. She is a riveting, compelling and transformational public speaker. The Queen Esther Project imbues the spirit of its namesake: Queen Esther. Knowing that “We Are All Born For Such A Time As This,” The Queen Esther Project has an ambitious agenda to educate, and eradicate, tyranny and genocide. Using the tools of broadcasting, publishing, online education, public speaking and fostering communication to world leaders, donors can be assured that with Lisa’s guidance projects will provide impact — the men, women and children in harm’s way will now have more Queen Esther’s to walk with them to safety. Lisa Benson invites you to join in the campaign to rid the world of genocide by 2022. The #EndGenocide2022 campaign seeks to obliterate the forces of genocide by the year 2020. We won’t stop until all ethnic and religious minorities are out of harm’s way. Lisa Benson has a B.A. from the State University of New York at Albany and attended graduate studies at the Rockefeller College of Public Policy at the State University of New York at Albany. Lisa is also an avid hiker and artist.