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Analysis

What Are US Strategic Goals Behind Launching Drone Fleet in West Asia?

Tuesday 23 August 2022
What Are US Strategic Goals Behind Launching Drone Fleet in West Asia?

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Alwaght- Highly feeling threatened by fast growing Iranian military power and regional influence, the US is struggling to promote its power in the face of its rival. It has recently designed a new program in the region to cover up its weaknesses. 

The commander of the US Fifth Fleet Vice Admiral Brad Cooper unveiled a new American plan. He said that the US plans to deploy 100 "USB" drones to West Asia to develop the world's most advanced drone fleet in the region. 

This move aims at monitoring any destabilizing activities in the region, especially in critical areas and waterways, and to react quickly to deal with these activities in order to ensure the maritime security, he said of the reasons behind this plan. 

According to the American military official, the deployment of this fleet will increase the surveillance capabilities of the US Navy so that it can better monitor sensitive oilfields and shipping lines. Cooper expressed hope that these drones will be operational by the summer of 2023. 

Claiming that more things can be watched using drone systems, he pointed to the inability of the US Navy to cover its weaknesses and noted that this is the only way to cover the weak spots it has. The US Navy's 5th Fleet operations cover an area of ​​2.5 million square miles, including the Strait of Hormuz, the Suez Canal, and the Strait of Bab-el-Mandeb Strait. 

The main task of this fleet is to secure oil flow from the Persian Gulf to global markets, closely monitor Iran and monitor operations in the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman, the Red Sea, and parts of the Indian Ocean. It also states that it is directly involved in military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and in the fight against terrorism and piracy in international waters. 

US classic military power inefficient in front of Axis of Resistance 

The American drone fleet program is examinable from various aspects. Having in mind that all American movements in the region are done to curb Iran's power, the new drone project is also aimed at Iran. 

Although Washington has deployed the major military equipment to the Arab countries in the Persian Gulf since several decades ago, and has built large bases in many Arab countries and even Turkey and deployed the largest naval fleet in Bahrain, it is still having trouble dealing with drone threats. That is because its military wares in the region are effective for classic wars and deployment to other regions but not for asymmetric wars. Driven by understanding of this weakness, Washington is trying to ratchet up its power in this area, which is new to the military power in the world. 

No matter how advanced the American fighter jets are in the region, they are still ineffective against combat drones, and the Americans can deal with the problem only by developing their drone fleet. America has also come to the understanding that with the deployment of aircraft carriers and warships in the Persian Gulf, it cannot challenge the power of Iran's drones. As a remedy, the Americans, with the help of the Arabs and the Israeli regime, intend to implement the drone fleet program to contain Iran. With this new plan, the US intends to create air, beside ground, dominance and enhance the performance of its forces in the face of possible threats against its forces or allies. 

The reality is that in recent years, despite the dispatch of the American Air Force fleet and Patriot missile systems in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, these equipments could not stop retaliatory missile attacks of Yemen's Ansarullah Movement.

The plan to protect the security of the Persian Gulf to the Suez Canal using drone systems comes while the importance of these regions has increased substantially in recent years, and the Israelis, Saudis, and the Emiratis have struggled to take control of the Red Sea and especially the Bab-el-Mandab to strengthen the security of their trade. Therefore, Washington wants to protect them through the air to prevent disruptions in the transfer of oil from the Red Sea and the Strait of Hormuz. 

Rebuilding trust with Arabs 

Another driver for the American drone plan is building the trust with the Arab states as in recent years, the Arab-American relations departed from their past tight form as a result of global and regional developments. 

Arab countries grew pessimistic of the US support for them in the time of crisis as Washington ordered part of its forces out of Syria and Iraq and fully of Afghanistan. Ukraine war even broadened this pessimism, making the Arab rulers no longer depending on the American security guarantees as before. It is for this reason that Riyadh and Abu Dhabi in recent months boosted ties with Moscow and Beijing for future benefits to their security. 

Understanding this distrust, the US is unveiling such plans to rebuild the lost Arab trust. 

Building regional coalition with Arab money 

The American plan to involve the Arab countries in the region in the joint military project in essence pursues a regional coalition that will help Washington reduce the burden of its security commitments and build regional balance with Iran. 

Apparently designed to serve the American interests, the plan is slated to be paid for by the Arab countries. Claiming that the drone fleet is only to defend Arab security, Washington officials are trying to provide its expenses from the Arab finances. After all the US has laid global plans for itself that it must invest on, and considering that this country is currently competing with Russia and China on two major fronts, and these two competitors are the biggest threat to its national interests in the world, it intends to use all its strength to eliminate the threats posed by the two heavyweights. 

Aware that naval power is no use in thwarting drone threats in the region,  Washington is relocating its navy to Chinese borders and instead deploying drones to West Asia, and this is because in the face of Russia and China, destroyers and aircraft carriers are more effective compared to drones. The US cannot afford costs of multi-front competition and should put part of the costs on the shoulder of its regional allies. 

Another aim is paving the way for Arab-Israeli convergence through regional coalition making. Involving Arab states and Israeli regime in military cooperation gradually makes ground for their normalization and the drone program can be an Arab-Israeli linking ring. 

Does the US plan help regional stability? 

The Americans think that the more they pile up military power in West Asia, the more they can provide regional security. But experience proves them wrong. The American military presence expansion only sinks the region in further insecurity. 

American drones that are supposed to be deployed in the region have already committed many crimes in Muslim countries in recent years. Using these drones, the Americans killed thousands of people in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Pakistan in the past decade. A couple of years ago, American intelligence agencies admitted that during the presence of terrorists in Iraq and Syria, more than 600 civilians were killed in US drone attacks. 

Washington struck Al-Qaeda and ISIS leaders in recent years in a bid to garner legitimacy for its encroachments on territorial sovereignty of regional states, but these attacks only serve its interests not the stability and peace. 

Like the past escalatory plans, the American drone fleet program will fail to harm Iran and the Axis of Resistance, and not only brings no stability for Persian Gulf Arab rulers, but also imposes heavy costs on them.

Tags :

US Drone West Asia Navy Iran China

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