Strategic vs. Tactical: How the West and its Allies are Trying to Conceal Their Strategic Defeats at the Tactical Level
By Arthur Evans
By Arthur Evans – The current conflict between the somewhat unipolar and the multipolar world order is waged across the globe. The main actors are certainly Russia and America and their allies in various hotspots around the world. Due to a media campaign that is actively being run on both sides, it is difficult for an average person to know where things are actually going, who is winning and who is losing the war. What are strategic victories and what are just scripted events for the masses in the ongoing conflict?
On several occasions, following the destruction of the Islamic State, the US president declared victory and announced gradual withdrawals from Syria and Iraq, pointing out repeatedly that America had met its goal. Anyone involved in geopolitical analytics knows that this notion is completely absurd. Assad is still in power, Iraq is getting closer to Iran, Iran has gone to the Mediterranean by land route, Russia has consolidated its positions in Syria. So, if we look at the actual situation on the ground, America has suffered a complete defeat of its original goals, yet it is claiming its defeat is a victory. The destruction of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq has served as a media cover for America to cover up its strategic failure to achieve any of its goals. From the perspective of America, the Islamic State, thanks to the intervention of Russia, has not even fulfilled the role intended for it, which is the complete destruction of the Tehran-Bagdaad-Damascus-Beirut Axis of Resistance. Of course, the Islamic State could have had a far-reaching purpose, but with the intervention of Russia, this was prevented for the rest of eternity.
One of the symbols of America’s victory over the Islamic State was the fall of its capital, Raqqa. After trying to consolidate positions across the Euphrates, following the self-serving Western media boasts about the alleged deaths of Russian mercenaries from the Wagner PMC, the end result is that Russian troops are now in Raqqa, along with the second-largest NATO power, Turkey, and have driven America from the Syrian-Turkish border. To mask such a catastrophic diplomatic and geopolitical defeat and ideological slap, Americans have come forward claiming that President Trump and Erdogan agree on everything and that America agrees to step out of the (Syrian-Turkish) border. Suddenly, previously set goals became “irrelevant” before the public. The inability to defeat Iran or to overthrow Assad suddenly is no longer a goal of US foreign policy.
We can see a similar situation when it comes to the building of natural gas infrastructure. Earlier, American propaganda claimed that shale oil would play a crucial role and that infrastructure being built by Russia was almost irrelevant in this regard. However, on the ground, everything is the other way around as America is trying its best to stop the construction of Russia’s natural gas infrastructure and, as we can see, its best results are a short delay in construction. Russia has completed the South Stream (now known as the Turk Stream), the Power of Siberia and what’s more, next year thePower of Siberia 2 will also be completed. Delaying the final phase of North Stream 2 for a few months can certainly be considered a US diplomatic success. However, the reality is that Germany, although a NATO member, has no intention of missing a once-in-decades chance for an energy agreement with Russia. That strategic decision, as with the previous cases, cannot be concealed by any media manipulation or diplomatic success at the tactical level.
We have a similar scenario with America’s closest ally in the Middle East, Israel. Although Israel has been conducting long-range attacks on Syria’s territory since 2013, it has not achieved any strategic goal. Iran has strengthened its position in Syria and, from a geographical perspective, continues to surround Israel with its bases. It is clear that the main reason for Israel’s failure is the strength of the Syrian air defenses, which in most cases shoots down more than 60% of Israel’s missiles from long range. And despite many years of operations, the payload fired into Syrian territory is negligible as Iran continues to build its bases and consolidate its land route to the Mediterranean. Just as they failed to defeat Iran in Syria, they also failed to destroy Syria’s air defenses, so they resorted to special operations and media manipulation. One widely reported case involved the destruction of a Syrian Pantsir-S1 short-range air defense system, which was recorded on video and then published over the Internet. Israel described it as a great success for Israeli aviation and intelligence. However, an in-depth analysis revealed that Israel had used more than 60 missiles during the attack and that the said Pantsir-S1 system fired all of its missiles and was destroyed during reloading. The media used this situation extensively and praised “Israel’s ability to destroy the mighty Pantsir-S1”. However, an unbiased analysis reveals that Israel is still unable to enter the A2/AD zones, break through the Syrian air defenses and launch an air campaign, which means it cannot do any serious damage. Such developments on the ground mean that Israel strategically loses rather than gains and its politicians have given the Israeli people a completely opposite perspective of real developments in the Middle East.
The multipolar world will certainly be formed, first in global hotspots where crucial battles are fought, and then it will be transmitted to other parts of the world. All we see now is merely delaying this inevitable process.