US very cautious about volatile situation in Middle East

16:24, March 04, 2011      

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On Wednesday, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said on Capitol Hill that "it is a big operation in a big country," when referring to a feasibility to launch a "no-fly zone" in Libya. And he went on to explain that imposing a no-fly zone "requires more airplanes than you would find on a single aircraft carrier."

Testifying at a Congressional hearing on the House of Representatives, Gates said any US or international effort would first require preemptive offensive strikes. "This major military confrontation between pro-Gaddafi forces and the eastern rebels signals an escalation in the situation in eastern Libya," he said, and a no-fly zone could only be imposed if Libya's air defenses were first destroyed...

Moreover, Secretary Robert Gates said that he had ordered two Navy amphibious warships into the Mediterranean. In the meanwhile, Reuters news reports said two US amphibious assault ships have reached the Mediterranean, namely, the two assault ships, the USS Ponce and the USS Kearsarge, amphibious assault ships that typically carry Marines cleared the Suez Canal from the Red Sea and entered the Mediterranean.

The United Nations Security Council, nevertheless, has not authorized the use of armed force against Libya though it has already taken some actions against the Gaddafi regime and, the NATO organization has no military plan in Libya as its member nations so far have not reached any agreement on the troop dispatch.

Varied signs show the American military is very cautious with a troop dispatch despite the fact some Libyan opposition figures and quite a few US Congressmen demand the West interfere in Libya militarily. Gates however described it as a "very sensitive" issue, and expressed his concerns about the "use of military in another country in the Middle East," and he instead said "I think it's not an immediate concern for us."

Presently, the US military has about 100,000 troops currently in Afghanistan, and some 50,000 troops in Iraq and, in addition to a fiscal restraint, the United States does not desire to provoke a new battleground. At the same time, the US government is worried that its troop dispatch to Libya would prove its so-called the U.S.'s sinister theory to lead the volatile situation in the Middle East and plunder Libya's petroleum oil.

Since an abrupt change in the Tunisia's political situation in January, the Middle East situation has been dazzling, and the ranking US officials have had a sense of giddiness. Mike Marron, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said recently that "the change is rapid" in the Middle East. So, it can be said the US government and military are trying to stand firm in the region. They now make every effort to adapt to the pace of such a change on the one hand and, on the other hand, strive to effect the pace of such a change and ensure it develop to its advantages and in its direction.

As for its allies, non-allies and even enemies, the United States has displayed apparent different attitudes to their internal affairs. Both Robert Gates and Mike Marron noted the Middle East nations should not be "lumped together", and they affirmed efforts of Saudi Arabia, Jordan and other allies in advancing their reforms, and referred to Iran as a "true loser".

Although the U.S. has relaxed or improved its relations with Libya, but it maintained its attitude of reservation to the Gaddafi regime and, when Gaddafi is now facing an opposition tide, the United States is opting to let him "leave", so the issue on hand is whether the U.S. should carry out the military intervention.

The American officials have repeatedly said the close US-Egyptian military ties have ensured the "peaceful transition" of Egypt. The United States obviously hopes to continue enhancing its military ties with its allies in the region. This stems from the consideration of its military interests and from its growing influence on the domestic influences of its allies. Marron said the US military will not ease its safety pledge and resistance to the "hostile nations". Due to a "scare" resultant from the forsaking of Hosni Mubarak, Yenmeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the U.S. anti-terrorism ally, has accused the United States and Israel of undermining the unity in the Arab world.

Of late, US Secretary of State Hillary R. Clinton indicated that the whole Middle East is changing, and her government has been making a "strong, strategic response." Political figures, media and the upper and lower social strata in America, now consider to debate how to cope with the changing Middle East strategic map. Gates said he is optimistic about the "prospects" but behind their lofty words and optimistic tunes hide true American worries. That is the Anti-US, extremist forces are holding the "transition process" of the Middle East countries and that will be the changes Americans do not like to see.

By People's Daily Online


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