US Deputy Secretary of Defence for Strategy Mara Carlin says that Washington will not start wars for regime change in the Middle East.
According to Arab News, US Deputy Secretary of Defence for Strategy, Plans, and Capability Mara Carlin says that the US is backing away from the unilateral policy of changing governments through military operations under the new national defence strategy.
He said that instead of this policy, he will focus on increasing unity and partnership with regional states.
During a keynote address at the Middle East Institute in Washington on Wednesday, Mara Carlin said America’s new national defence strategy will work in partnership and cooperation to address regional threats in the Middle East.
He added that the Middle East region falls under the national security strategy of the United States, which includes partnership, deterrence of aggressive actions in diplomacy, integration, and values.
Mara Carlin called the new national defence strategy for the Middle East a “paradigm shift,” a fundamental change that would include the withdrawal of hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops from the region.
He said that under this new policy, there will be partnerships with regional countries, complex military exercises, and working on mutual weapons systems with allies.
However, Carlin said the change does not mean that America’s ambitions for the Middle East have diminished.
He said that the national defence strategy is very clear and that America will remain present in the Middle East.
Mara Carlin said that the Middle East region is part of America’s global strategy and that she considers it an important component.
“Frankly speaking, our national security interests are intertwined in this region,” he said.
Carlin said Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin, during a recent trip to the Middle East, described the US strategy as one of ‘diplomacy’ and ‘de-confliction’.
However, the US Secretary of Defence said, “But if we are forced to push back the aggression, we will win decisively.”
“We must be clear that America’s commitment to security in the Middle East is strong and unwavering,” Carlin said.
He said that Iran’s “reckless behaviour” in the region will be dealt with through a multilateral approach of military integration and mutual cooperation of forces.
Carlin pointed to an example of this strategy: the US Central Command is working to establish “Joint Maritime Forces’. It is a 34-member force that will deal with drug smuggling and piracy on the seas and ensure commercial shipping.
Carlin said that America’s new strategy in the Middle East is paying off. He gave examples of Yemen and Iraq.
He said that Yemen is now witnessing a prolonged ceasefire between the warring parties, while Iraq has recently been recognized in the region.
He also mentioned the defeat of extremist organizations like ‘Al-Qaeda and Daesh’ in Iraq and Syria through the coalition of Arab states.
Carlin said that global national defense wisdom has identified China as the greatest threat to the United States in the future.
The US defense strategy has described Russia as a ‘severe’ threat. The names also mention other threats, including Iran, North Korea and terrorist organizations.