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What does Washington really want?

Mashari Althaydi

Published: Updated:

We must believe that even a major power such as the United States may slip into foolish policies and approaches that prove disastrous for itself and for others, thus destroying its obligations as leader of the world.

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Alternatively, we could join those who argue that all that is happening was meticulously arranged and planned, in order to steer things toward a certain destination that a select few in Washington know.

However, we are judging by what we are seeing, and what we are seeing is not very pleasing.

Two days ago, US National Intelligence Director Avril Haines spoke in a national security summit in a Washington suburb, saying: “In terms of the homeland, the threat right now from terrorist groups, we don’t prioritize at the top of the list Afghanistan. What we look at is Yemen, Somalia, Syria, and Iraq. And that’s where we see the greatest threat.”

Haines stressed, however, that the US “will want to monitor any possible reconstitution of terrorist organizations” in Afghanistan, despite noting that “our intelligence collection is diminished” in the country since the withdrawal.

Let us take note of the contradiction in this statement. On the one hand, the US intelligence director affirms that Afghanistan, currently under the rule of the Taliban, does not pose a threat to the US and global security and will not turn into a safe haven for terrorist groups; yet, on the other hand, she admits that Washington does not currently have the necessary information from inside Afghanistan about the nature of activities and developments taking place there. It is the same thing that the George W. Bush-era State Secretary Condoleezza Rice had also said when she affirmed that the US has lost its eyes and ears inside Afghani territory.


Nonetheless, the terrifying black hole in Avril Haines’ statement, is that the list of countries that pose a security threat according to US intelligence includes Yemen, Somalia, Syria, and Iraq -- all of which are Arab countries -- but ignores Iran, despite knowing that were it not for Iran, al-Qaeda would have never become this strong. This detail should be considered deeply, because it is there that those seeking the truth can find it.

However, let us not talk about the past. Let us not talk about Arabs’ stances on Iran, for we are unfair rivals to Iran in Washington’s eyes. Let us instead see the stances of Washington’s biggest ally in the Middle East, Tel Aviv.

A few days ago, the Israeli Defense Minister stated that Iran is training militias from Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon, and elsewhere on using suicide drones in the Revolutionary Guard’s Kashan airbase.

What this means is that those attacking US targets in Iraq are being trained in Iran. Here, we are leaving aside those attacking Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province or southern region; we are talking about the targets, soldiers, and civilians of the US and its allies.

So, how does Washington think? And what in the world does it want?

This article was originally published in, and translated from, pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat.

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Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Al Arabiya English's point-of-view.