Next week, President Biden will hold a virtual summit with the leaders of the UAE, India, and Israel—the first such meeting of its kind. Mohammed Soliman sees in this gathering the seeds of a pro-Western alliance that would bring together the Abraham Accords countries with India and serve as a bulwark against Iran, China, and even Russia.
The Abraham Accords . . . coincided with India’s rise as a player in West Asia. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, New Delhi deepened its political and strategic relations with the UAE and Israel, creating a wider “Indo-Abrahamic” regional bloc. . . . Washington’s objectives [in fostering the creation of this bloc] are clear: 1) doing more with less in the Middle East, and 2) preventing Moscow and Beijing from filling the strategic and security vacuum that results from a potential U.S. departure from the region. The Indo-Abrahamic bloc fulfills these two strategic objectives for Washington.
As Washington seeks to rebalance away from the region to the Indo-Pacific to contain China’s hegemonic ambitions, it needs a regional security architecture to fill the strategic vacuum. Washington’s pivot to the Indo-Pacific meant a complete overhaul of the mental map of the Middle East as a region, leading to the emergence of “West Asia” as a geopolitical construct.
Pakistan, a historic U.S. ally, has turned to China as its dominant economic and political partner. Russia is transforming its bilateral relations with Pakistan, while India, a historic Russian ally, is drifting further to the West. Iran—which has a historically complex relationship with Russia as both ally and adversary—is deepening its economic ties with Beijing through a proposed 25-year strategic partnership and increased oil sales.