US Foreign policy does seem to be designed to work against US interests everywhere in every way. Examples that spring to mind are Syria and the US relations with China and Russia.
US Syrian policy is what the British would term “a dog’s dinner”, an utter mess. The US attempts at one and the same time have the objective to defeat ISIS and Assad and keep all the players in the region happy, an impossible feat. That policy is leading the US to alienate all the players and lose whatever credibility the US has in the region.
Looking at the players and their conflicting interests shows how the US has no coherent policy
The US wants to bring down Assad, as they did Saddam Hussein and Gadhafi, and look how that ended, unending chaos and the rise of ISIS in both countries. And, as with Iraq there is no plan to replace Assad with a stable government. The US is looking to a future Syria as it did Iraq, post Hussein, a nation with its disparate parts, Kurds, Sunni and Shia living happily every after in a fictitious nation state called Iraq, a name invented by the Sykes-Picot agreement in 1916. So, the US allies itself with rebel groups who are interested only carving a piece of Syria for themselves. And who are these groups?
The line up of players and alliances resembles a kaleidoscope picture that shifts from day to day.
Al-Nusra, deemed terrorists by the US, was once an ally of al-Qaeda but has split from them, at least for now, and is being furnished weapons by US backed Syrian rebels who, in turn have been accused of imposing Sharia law and torture.
The Syrian Kurds fighting along side US troops are now being bombed by America’s NATO ally, Turkey to prevent them from setting up an independent state in Syria along Turkey’s southeastern border where the Turkish Kurds live, fearing the two will meld.
Turkey has shifted in two directions, accusing the US of being complicit in the coup; Turkey has made nice with Putin and is making threatening noises about NATO and the EU. The US, rushing to retrieve Turkey has sent the abominable mouth, Joe Biden, to butter up the Turks but he generally just makes matters worse.
Then, of course, we have the Saudis who want Assad out but are more concerned with putting down the Yemeni rebels and the Iranians and Iraqis (America’s friends?) who are backing Assad.
Finally, we have the favourite whipping boy of the Americans, the Russians, backing Assad, and bombing America’s “so-called moderate rebels” while doing a far better job of knocking off ISIS than the Americans. The Americans are trying to cobble together a joint attack strategy with the Russians against ISIS but with US congress, media, and public having been brainwashed that will be difficult. How can they possible cooperate with the dreaded “Evil Empire”?
Pivot to China
Banning Exports to China or “cutting off the nose to spite the face”. Never was this idiom truer than in the US attempts to thwart Chinese development in sciences and military by imposing export bans because it has worked against US interests and favoured China. Had they allowed exports, thereby making China dependent on the US, the US could have prevented or slowed the Chinese from developing their own systems or importing them from other suppliers and they could have monitored Chinese progress. Instead they have pushed China to develop its own weaponry and import advanced systems superior to those of the US from the other bête noire of the US, Russia,
Super Computer and Chips. The US banned exports of high performance computer chips so Beijing built the world’s most powerful supercomputer, TaihuLight, using domestically designed semi-conductors.
Deep Sea Gliders. Ditto for banning deep sea gliders. Now the Chinese have the Haiyi-7000 Glider with important military applications that rivals the US Navy model in performance.
International Space Station. Banned from participating in the ISS, the Chinese are building their own space station.
In all of the above examples the US lost an opportunity to monitor or control Chinese developments. On the contrary, it has worked against its own best interests.
In any case, China is now moving ahead of the US in many areas of scientific and technological research as shown in this document: http://www.unz.com/akarlin/sinotriumph/ If their trend in robotics continues, China will have as many robots as human civilians. And look at their achievements in computerisation.
Russia/China US relations
No need to relate in this post that we are now in a full-fledged Cold War II. That is being advertised everyday in the press, especially in the US.
That said, the US attacks on both China and Russia baffle me. In the old Cold War the US and West were allied against a single serious threat, a nuclear armed Soviet Union, now the US is doing its best to provoke both Russia and China. China is no longer the pushover it might have been pre-1990. It is now not only nuclear armed, it has the deep pockets needed to finance a military build up and buy advanced Russian weaponry.
The Cold War US strategy was to divide the Soviet Union and China, and it succeeded. Now it has succeeded in forcing them back into an alliance! As recent evidence of this I see Putin has been named “Guest of Honour” by Xi Jinping at the G20 Conference, a direct slap in the face to the US. This, of course, is not mentioned in the US media. The US is now facing not one, but two heavily nuclear armed adversaries.
There is, alas, nothing to hope for in the way of a sensible change in US foreign policy, as there is hardly any daylight between Hillary Clinton and the Republican Neo-Cons. If anything, Hillary’s recent rants indicate we could be in even greater trouble. The only hope now is that the US confrontations and provocations do not lead us to World War III. Stay tuned.