The Specter of a “New World Order” Created by Russia, China, and Iran

Recently, a spokesman for the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee proclaimed that “in the new world order, a triangle consisting of three powers—Iran, Russia, and China—has formed.” He went on to assert that “this new arrangement heralds the end of inequitable hegemony of the [United] States and the West.” Bryan Clark and Michael Doran argue that the Biden administration is not paying sufficient attention to this “arrangement,” and propose ways to mitigate its growing threat. (Subscription required.)

Mr. Putin’s campaign to bring Ukraine under Moscow’s control has a direct connection to the joint Russian-Iranian project of propping up the Assad regime in Syria. Russia’s naval bases in Sevastopol, Crimea (which Mr. Putin annexed from Ukraine in 2014), and in Tartus, Syria, serve as operational hubs for Russia’s Mediterranean presence. A strong, independent Ukraine threatens Moscow’s ability to project power into the Middle East. . . .

For his part, the Chinese president Xi Jinping makes a similar set of calculations. Thanks to one of history’s most rapid military buildups, China now has Asia’s largest air force, the world’s largest army by number of active-duty troops, and largest navy by number of vessels. According to U.S. Indo-Pacific Command leaders, the Chinese military will be poised to invade Taiwan successfully by 2027. The Pentagon is playing catch-up. . . .

The Iranian foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, recently announced that the 25-year strategic accord between Iran and China, forged last year, has entered into force. At the heart of the accord is oil for security assistance. Is China actively encouraging Iran to unleash its proxies against America’s Gulf allies? Not that we know of. But it is building up Iran and doing nothing to counter its most malign behavior. Beijing cannot but have noticed that when U.S. allies turn to Washington for help, they encounter a weary and distracted America, one ever less eager to deter Iran. Increasingly exposed, the allies hedge, tentatively tilting toward Beijing.

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Read more at Wall Street Journal

More about: China, Iran, Russia, U.S. Foreign policy, War in Ukraine

Will Tensions Rise between the U.S. and Israel?

Unlike his past many predecessors, President Joe Biden does not have a plan for solving the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Moreover, his administration has indicated its skepticism about renewing the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. John Bolton nevertheless believes that there could be a collision between the new Benjamin Netanyahu-led Israeli government and the Biden White House:

In possibly his last term, Netanyahu’s top national-security priority will be ending, not simply managing, Iran’s threat. This is infinitely distant from Biden’s Iran policy, which venerates Barrack Obama’s inaugural address: “we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

Tehran’s fist is today otherwise occupied, pummeling its own people. Still, it will continue menacing Israel and America unless and until the internal resistance finds ways to fracture the senior levels of Iran’s regular military and the Revolutionary Guards. Netanyahu undoubtedly sees Iran’s growing domestic turmoil as an opportunity for regime change, which Israel and others can facilitate. Simultaneously, Jerusalem can be preparing its military and intelligence services to attack Tehran’s nuclear program, something the White House simply refuses to contemplate seriously. Biden’s obsession with reviving the disastrous 2015 nuclear deal utterly blinds the White House to the potential for a more significant victory.

To make matters worse, Biden has just created a Washington-based position at the State Department, a “special representative for Palestinian affairs,” that has already drawn criticism in Israel both for the new position itself and for the person named to fill it. Advocated as one more step toward “upgrading” U.S. relations with the Palestinian Authority, the new position looks nearly certain to become the locus not of advancing American interests regarding the failed Authority, but of advancing the Authority’s interests within the Biden administration.

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Read more at 19FortyFive

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran, Joe Biden, U.S.-Israel relationship