From the American point of view the ‘limited attack’ on Syria is necessary, though it may be “the stupidest war in the history of the modern world”, Robert Fisk. It is necessary because it would serve the objectives of the “New Strategy”, US has evolved to maintain its global primacy and pre-eminence by other means. The New Strategy has emerged from the defeat and losses of the expensive wars US fought in Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon. These wars, including the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, were outright aggression against the Muslim World, which faced the challenges of the mightiest of the mighty, through the conduct of the asymmetric war, based on the undefeatable ideology of Jihad.

The successive defeats have forced the oppressors of the world to “shift the strategic pivot of aggression, to the Asia Pacific, to contain and curb, the rising power of China,” with the help of the coalition of the willing – India, Japan, South Korea and Australia. The New Strategy propounds “limited surgical military operation to help exploit the internal weaknesses of the Muslim countries, such as sectarian divide and the political conflict between the secularists and the moderate Muslims.”

The conflict between the secularists and the moderates manifests itself with varying degree of intensity in different countries, such as Turkey, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The elected government of the moderates in Egypt was dismissed and the secularists have come to power with the blessings of USA.

Similarly an attempt was made to bring about regime change in Turkey, but failed. Iraq is bleeding under an intense Shia-Sunni divide. Bangladesh is secular and a political ban has been imposed on Jamat-e-Islami, raising the level of conflict to a high pitch. Pakistan is seething under the Shia-Sunni divide; the conflict between the secularists and the moderates and the dangerous rupture of the Sunni majority into Deobandies and Brelvies. In short, the country is ripe for change under the new American Strategy. The US has already expanded its activities in Pakistan through Black Water and the Black Budget, now is expected to deliver, which “only means one thing. The mistrust now exceeds the trust” – Hussain Haqqani.

In Syria, internal conflict has been aggravated by external forces. Syria with a Sunni majority has entered into a defense pact with Iran and maintains close links with Hezbollah in Lebanon. The ‘coalition of the willing’ of Iran, Syria and Lebanon is posing threat to Israel. In 2006 Israel attempted to defeat Hezbollah, but failed. Syria now is the target, where US is threatening to launch a surgical strike, using mainly rockets and high altitude precision bombing, to degrade Syrian command and control system, the army units and the airforce capable of staging a chemical weapons attack. In short, the “limited attack” is meant to degrade the Syrian armed forces, who have gained an upper hand over the rebels, and the rebels desperately need US support to regain balance.

The US Senator Norman Pollock, comments: “Obama’s congenital militarism is really nihilism, with a smiling face. He seeks approval by Congress for strike on Syria. Obama craves for war, because America must prove its power – a geopolitical posture of global hegemony. Syria is a convenient chip in the poker game of asserting that global supremacy.”

The sectarian divide in Syria has become contagious and has expanded the conflict in the Middle East. Iran, Iraq, Hezbollah and Russia are in full support of Syria, while the Sunni countries of the region – Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt and GCC stand behind USA, threatening military action against Syria without UN Security Council nod. The US Congress has yet to authorize Obama to wage this war. The public opinion there is against this war, because “the President does not have the power under the constitution to unilaterally wage a war in a situation that does not pose any threat to national security.”

The US also does not have the advantage of the “Coalition of the willing” they enjoyed in their war against Afghanistan and Iraq. What then is the real motive of Obama to initiate action for this war? The unpredictable is what President Putin likened Obama, to “a monkey with a hand grenade.” President Putin has also questioned: “It makes no sense for the Syrian government troops to carry out such a devastating attack while they were winning and on the offensive. In such conditions, to give a trump card to those who are calling for foreign military intervention is foolish nonsense. In fact the chemical attack came from amongst the rebels, as a provocation who wanted to draw in the United States.”

How Russia will react, in support of Syria is the moot question. Russians warships are already there, joined by the spy ship. Supply of weapon and equipment will be accelerated because Russia doesn’t want to be cheated as in case of Libya. It may not intervene militarily, but would be making noises in support of Syria. “Putin is a strong leader that raised Russia up, off its knees and that he will never dance to the American tune. Russia may in fact sit back and observe as America would get into another terrible Middle East War, whose credibility and image in the Middle East have taken a real beating. They will be bogged down there than ever before, along with the recognition, that there are limits to US power.” – A.D. Miller.

The US threat of war is also aimed at Iran, who is being demonized for the last several decades, instilling fear in the minds of the Sunni countries of the region, who have purchased military hardware worth about two hundred billion dollars from USA, to fight the Iranian threat. The Sunnis have already intervened in Bahrain using American weapons and now, a full-fledged ‘Greek Tragedy is being enacted in Syria. The acts of diplomacy and military intimidation have been so very artfully synchronized with the objectives of the New Strategy to achieve the purpose of bleeding the Muslim world, at their own hands and at their own expense.

The writer is a former chief of army staff.