Short notice: Despite China and Russia – Islamism is not dead!
The War on Terror, which now seems to have stopped and which should have been better conceived as War against Islamism, is now being replaced by conflicts over great power. While everybody is now looking at Russia and China, the Islamists are growing again, including Erdogan-Turkey`s neo-Ottoman empire idea with the Muslim Brotherhood of all countries, as well as overthrowing Assad, which then leads to an Islamist dictatorship in Syria Russia will not be able to counter this very much, but if Assad and the Russians and their military bases in Syria and the Mediterranean have been taken away, the West will face perhaps an even bigger problem. Interestingly, Lavrov and Schoigu also canceled their visit to Turkey today. We probably have two Islamist belts. one from the Sahel to Nigeria with the Islamic State and a second from North Africa to Syria with Erdogan-backed Muslim Brothers and the FIS in Algeria. The best thing would be if they fought over each other. Whether Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Pakistan would remain stable remains to be seen The whole thing is also fueled by Palestine and Jerusalem. And there is also the US- Iranian conflict on the top, and it remains to be seen whether the PLO can still hold power and is not taken over by Hamas or even more radical forces.
In South Asia, the Taliban is strengthened after the NATO withdrawal, the Islamists in Pakistan, the country with the first Muslim atomic bomb are on the rise and India faces also a problem with its Muslim population and their partially radicalization and Islamization, the Kashmir conflict is by no means resolved, Islamists in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Malaysia are a growing power, as is the Rohingya conflict in Burma exploited by Islamists will also destabilize the governments in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh through supposed Islamic solidarity. In Central Asia, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), led by China and Russia, has so far ensured stability, as well as the increasingly Islamic Kadyrov in Chechnya, which is also becoming more unreliable and is also a butcher. It is also possible that China’s Uyghur policy, the brutal internment of 1 million out of 10 million Chinese Uyghurs in concentration camps will radicalize Muslim populations and can cause solidarity effects. In any case, from a western perspective, cooperation with China on Islamism due to its minority policy seems unlikely, especially since the Sino-American conflict is also becoming more acute.
I recently saw the Mali debate in the Bundestag and I had the impression that neither the SPD nor the CDU had any success story. On the contrary, there were reports of spillover and widening of the fighting in the Sahel region, and there was probably hope for the G5 force. In addition, the world is also being weakened by the Covid virus, which will further weaken many economies and already weak governments. Let’s hope that the sleepers turn out to be more of a bogeyman tale.
Insofar as one wants to advocate a new Eastern policy towards Russia, it also applies that this can only be done from a position of strength or at least on eye level. Especially since Moscow would also have to move and the Minsk Agreement would have to be fullfiled at least, since only then Putin sees an attraction in not destabilizing the EU and NATO. Before that, there can be no unilateral concessions or relaxation of sanctions However, Trump´s foreign policy is undermining western unity, at the moment the West is paralyzied and splitted and it remains to be seen how the situation and relations between Putin and Erdogan develop in Syria and Libya. Should there be a division into spheres of interest, new Russian military bases in Libya would also be conceivable in addition to the Russian military bases in Syria. The Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea would then be in close proximity. A Russian-Turkish alliance, as was the case between the Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire, would be an immense threat to the West and Europe. But the transatlanticists have chosen mainly Putin as their enemy. Islamist Erdogan, who is still a NATO member, takes advantage of the Western-Russian conflict to expand his neo-Ottoman empire and pursues strategic balancing between the two. He also wants to acquire nuclear weapons, for which the expansion of the Turkish nuclear industry by Japan and Russia and its latest contacts with the Muslim nuclear power Pakistan are evidence. The question is whether a nuclear-armed neo-Ottoman Empire would be in the interest of West or Russia, or one hopes for a NATO-Erdogan-Turkey axis in the fight against Russia in Europe and the Greater Middle East, and maybe even Erdogan’s Neo-Ottoman Empire and the Muslim Brothers as allies in the struggle and buffer against the second Islamic belt from Nigeria to the Sahel to the Horn of Africa, which the Islamic State is likely to want to control with Boko Haram and Al Shabab? Maybe nostalgia for the old alliance of the German Empire-Ottoman Empire? Probably the West itself doesn’t really know.
It would be better to focus on the Sino-American conflict and Islamism, try to keep Russia neutral with a New East policy in the Sino-American conflict and to see Russia as an ally in the fight against Islamism.