Implications of US invasion of Iran By ZeenSattiia

THE US seems ready to invade Iran. What is the US hoping to achieve through invasion of Iran? What are the great game implications of impending US war on Iran? Through invading Iran, US can cause (a) deterioration in the security environment of Pakistan’s Balochistan, Gwadar in particular, and destabilization of CPEC; (b) socio-economic deterioration of Turkey and; (c) thereby weakening of Russia’s western near abroad where Putin’s growing ties with Erdogan threaten NATO and enable Moscow’s greater presence in the Middle East. Turkey and Iran are both dual targets of US’ coercive diplomacy. The US can even wage war on Turkey in future if this trend continues. Washington has disallowed further training of Turkish pilots in F-35 program, has halted delivery of planes to Turkey and threatened Turkey with CAATSA if it does not cancel the S-400 deal with Moscow. Turkey’s membership in NATO could end soon.
Within Iran, the immediate US target is regime change. The US will likely topple the regime expeditiously, Regime change will require boots on ground and will trigger insurgency supported by regional powers. New leadership comprising another anti-US group which may not stem from the bureaucracy is a likely post war scenario. In keeping with the regional pattern, terror groups like the Daesh will step in to add to bloodshed in Iran and across its borders, especially in Afghanistan, providing US with opportunity to escalate kinetic action in Afghanistan. The violence unleashed through war in Iran will increase US manoeuvrability in a region where the emergent pattern of peacetime alliances threatens to sideline the US. As Great Game, invasion of Iran serves multiple US purposes. War with Iran seems imminent.
Though US may try, war will not break up Iran. The most likely scenario will be greater ethnic unrest in Sistan-Balochistan and here rises a political and economic red flag for Pakistan and China respectively. Gwadar and CPEC could become target of post war violence that will inevitably pervade the region as US wins its war on Iran but gets bogged in battles thereafter. US is engaged in trade war with China. Gwadar is the shortest and most lucrative trade route for China and pilot project of Xi Jinping’sBelt & Road Initiative. US would want to make CPEC a victim of political turmoil to deter China from investing in South Asia or to compel it into letting the US establish its own trade corridor through Afghanistan to the Arabia Sea. Already, US occupation of Afghanistan is maintained at the expense of growth of regional economies. Taliban have earned the support of Russia and China because they promote latter’s interest when they raise the cost of occupation for the US.
Easter attacks in Sri Lanka have already shaken China’s “String of Pearls” and demonstrated the ease with which terrorism can thwart well-conceived economic plans. The US, which sees itself as the geopolitical victim of Asia rising, may try to wreck CPEC by unleashing instability through invasion of Iran. Pakistan and Iran should accelerate joint management of security along Pak-Iran border. Pakistan shouldn’t bag the plan because Iran is now a military target of the US. The Pentagon will likely bombard Iran in its characteristic style and can destroy much of Iran’s infrastructure. Iran’s services will be severely hampered and a humanitarian catastrophe will begin. Pakistan will be flooded with refugees from Iran. It is to Pakistan’s advantage to prepare a limited area along Pak-Iran border where security has already been established jointly with Iran’s personnel and services are in place. Efficient management of Iranian refugees during war is essential for maintaining inner equilibrium in both Pakistan and Turkey.
Pakistan should not be seen to be supporting the US in latter’s offensive against Iran. Pakistan should provide humanitarian assistance to war torn Iran and should be seen to be doing so efficiently. India would want to outdo Pakistan in this. Pakistan must not allow that. Pakistan military should manage CPEC security jointly with Chinese military personnel during US Iran war. US plans destabilization of Turkey through invasion of Iran. Ever since the US failed to remove Erdogan from power through covertly supporting the July 2016 coup attempt, US-Turkic relations have consistently deteriorated while Turkey has been moving closer to Russia. US war in Iran is likely to push Turkey into closer embrace with Russia. US- Turkish tensions are currently at peak over Turkey’s purchase of Russian S400 missiles. The US will likely impose tougher sanctions on Turkey while simultaneously burdening Istanbul with refugees from Iran during war. Turkey is already burdened by refugees from Syria and Iraq. Another stream will hurt it more.
Russia and China will closely monitor the war in Iran and will jointly participate in the post war scenario through proxy to push US out. India will seek to exploit Shia-Sunni difference in Pakistan to its advantage only if Pakistan fails to handle the war fallout wisely, in which case Modi will be tempted to make plans for invading Pakistan. Another casualty of the war is likely to be the Gulf monarchies, especially Saudi Arabia whose Shia population and oil wells both exist on the same spot. Already tense due to Yemen war, US war on Iran could further destroy Riyadh’s Shia-Sunni equilibrium. At the end of it all, the US war is likely to become action that has blown up in US’ face. It will bolster Sino-Russian resolve to push the US out of the region and is likely to increase the rift between US and its European allies.
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