Mentre il BND tedesco, secondo fonti di stampa, avrebbe modificato la propria analisi sul conflitto siriano la notizia del sempre maggiore coinvolgimento degli Hezbollah negli scontri mi dà la possibilità di segnalare questo spunto di riflessione di John Alterman, del CSIS di Washington. Egli evidenzia come in Medio-Oriente sia ritornata l’epoca delle “guerre per procura” e non solo con riferimento al caso siriano.
[…] It is more accurate, however, to see the region entering an age of proxy wars, on a scale that is likely to dwarf the Arab Cold War that pitted Saudi Arabia against Egypt in the 1950s and 1960s.
While Iran and Saudi Arabia are major antagonists in the unfolding battles, they are not the only ones. The emerging wars are genuinely multipolar, and U.S. policy and practice will need to adapt to this emerging reality.
The most active proxy war is in Syria, where a range of regional and global powers seeks to shape the future of the country. What is surprising is not so much the scale of that assistance as its diversity. Support flows from governments, institutions, and individuals to a dizzying array of actors. Some are principally armed and others are principally political; some are disciplined and others seem determined to sow terror.
More than two years into the conflict, there is remarkably little strategic coordination among the parties supporting Syrian opposition forces, contributing to sustained disarray and infighting among the forces themselves.
Support does not follow clear sectarian or religious lines. Saudi Arabia and Qatar, two Wahhabi states, appear to support different clients in Syria. The Saudi government fears trained and networked jihadi fighters flowing back into the kingdom as they did after the Afghan war in the 1980s, and it fears inspiring a politicized Islamist opposition. It acts with some caution in Syria, and this avowedly religious government appears to favor secular nationalists.
Qatar appears confident that a jihadi wave will not threaten the emirate and is casting bets widely to hasten Bashar al-Assad’s fall. The United Arab Emirates, deeply distrustful of political Islam of any stripe, is among the most cautious of the Gulf states, seeking to check Iran without supporting Islamist fighters. Iran, of course, is betting heavily on the Assad government, while rumors spread that Russia is looking for a solution that preserves Syria’s integrity even if it does not preserve Assad. Western countries have their own preferences and red lines, and each has its own clients.
The proxy war extends far beyond Syria, however. Egypt’s major political parties reportedly receive extensive outside funding, with Qatar heavily bankrolling the Muslim Brotherhood and Saudi Arabia reportedly supporting salafi parties.
Among a range of Arab forces, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates invested especially heavily in the effort to depose Muammar el-Qaddafi in Libya, supporting different troops on the ground under the protection of NATO airstrikes. They backed different parties in 2011 and continue to do so.
There are many antagonists in tiny Bahrain—with only 600,000 citizens—but Saudi Arabia and Iran are the most active, supporting the Sunni and Shiʽite communities respectively. […]
Una situazione molto complessa, insomma, che necessita di un’attenta analisi e di una puntuale pianificazione.