Press-TV has reported that a US official who asked not to be named, has stated that Washington does not plan to invest any money or effort into the rebuilding of the parts of Iraq which have been devastated by Baghdad’s long war against Daesh terrorists. While the US destroyed more Iraqi infrastructure than Daesh, the official who spoke to Press-TV said the US plans to invest “absolutely nothing” in post-conflict Iraq.
While this clearly exposes a callous, immoral, unethical and avaricious attitude on the part of the US, which clearly seeks to “punish” Iraq for its close contemporary partnership with neighbouring Iran, the apparent US refusal to aid post-war Iraq actually provides the Iraqi and Syrian people with a golden opportunity for post-conflict peace and prosperity.
At the moment, parts of the Iraq-Syria border, particularly those in north-western Iraq, are blocked by the presence of US troops and their Kurdish militant proxies. This means that for some Iraqis, a border once controlled by Daesh is now controlled by another menacing power, the United States. While the US has already declared that it will not help to rebuild Syria due to its opposition to the ruling Arab Socialist Ba’ath Party government of President Bashar al-Assad and while Damascus has stated that it won’t take any US funds even if they were to be offered, Iraq now finds itself in a similar position.
For Syria, the post war building will likely be conducted by China, Russia, Iran and quite possibly also Pakistan, due to Syria’s increasingly strained relations with India over the New Delhi’s new found partnership with “Israel”. With Iraq and China already on maps of One Belt–One Road’s Middle Eastern routes, Syria and Iraq could jointly benefit from the win-win mentality of China and its partners, whose investments into both Syria and Iraq would be designed to reap mutual economic benefits rather than to exert long term political and economic control, as is the case with US investment and aid schemes.
Syria and Iraq’s natural resources are a valuable asset for any respectful partner, while the infrastructural excellence that China in particular has to offer, is an asset to any potential partner. With Sino-Pakistan relations at an all time high and with Iran and Pakistan taking important steps to rekindle their partnership of decades ago, adding Iraq and Syria to this chain of partners, could create a new transport/trade corridor stretching from China’s Pacific cost to the Mediterranean.
Ultimately, this would be far more beneficial for Syria and Iraq than attempting to deal with the US. In Syria’s case any deals with the US would be impossible, and for Iraq, they would be detrimental in the long term. China’s closest partner, Russia has already been quietly intensifying relations with Iraq. 2018 saw the delivery of multiple Russian T-90 tanks to the Iraqi armed forces, in a clear sign that Baghdad and Moscow both take their rekindled relations seriously.
The combination of Russia working on security and energy issues with both Syria and Iraq, while China focuses on infrastructure and logistical connectivity along with Pakistan and Iran presents a golden opportunity that could be made entirely possible if not inevitable due to America’s economic abandonment of Iraq. Thus, America’s betrayal of Iraq could actually foment a large scale win-win solution to the multiple challenges facing both Iraq and Syria who consider one another allies after healing the wounds of the 1966 Ba’ath Party split which saw the countries becoming rivals.
Furthermore, if Russian security advisers and Chinese builders were working on either side of the US pocket of occupation in north-eastern Syria, it would leave the US little room for manoeuvring. The only place left for the US to go in such a situation, might be to grudgingly go away–something that would make Russia, Turkey, Iran and Syria, all very happy.