English Opening

In chess, the English Opening is usually used to out flank the opponent and take the control of the center of the board. It usually involves two horses and a bishop and it could be a very powerful opening. In few moves you can take the control of the center of the board, block severely the opponent strategy and risk secondary pieces (e.g. one of the horses can be quickly kicked out) saving the queen and the towers for subsequent phases of the match.
For whom is not so much into chess I could explain like that: with low cost pieces you can occupy the best position in the board, do not expose yourself, weaken the enemy (blocking him/her) and in case you need to spent some of yours pieces you will not use the most valuable.

And so!? Where is the connection between Trump and chess, or better, between Trump strategy and the English Opening?
Let’s start from the current geopolitical situation in Middle East. Since the end of World War II the States were never so far from Europe and its projects like now and never an American leader in the last years was so clearly against the European projects. Never in the European Union the German position was so strong, heavy and leading. Never the UK were so detached from Europe and so close to the States (actually it seems that from Cornwall you can clearly see Liberty Island…). Never after the WWII the US would have such a limited support from Europa for an eventual Middle East warfare scenario like now. Any warfare in that region would never ever an international consensus like the Gulf Wars (I and II), Afghanistan, Libya etc. and according to Trump they did not finished yet in the region (this will be discussed later on).
Most likely no French, Italian, Dutch, Danish, German, Polish, Spanish or any other EU member army would join this coalition now. Someone could think: why do we need those Countries to win a war? Isn’t America strong enough to win it? Probably because no man is an island and an enemy it is not like another. Occupy a vast region or a territory for few years requires a lot of resources and also share 20/30% of the cost of a war could be a profitable business, not only in term of money, also in term of deaths on the field and general international consensus.
In few words, Mr. President is looking for new allies and if they are rich and determined it just works fine.

Okay, time to put stuffs together.
Trump wants to conclude the American plan in the Middle East started 60 years ago, install a friendly regime in any enemy country and remove man or regimes that would not favor American politics. Obviously the reason will be always the same, fight the terror, why not? It usually works, at least it works to drag the Brits in any possible war. It is pretty clear that the next (and probably final) step in the region is Iran, actually tagged as terrorism backer and nuclear threat.

Justice League

Doable? Not doable? Let’s see. An invasion war in Iran won’t be easy. A country with 83 million inhabitants, mountainous, vast almost 3 times Afghanistan and with decent and skilled armed forces. Not an easy task, probably the most difficult war for America after Vietnam. Trump needs allies and is looking for them. He won’t get any in EU, so, what’s next? He is not a great statesman, or at least not as much as you’d expect from a US president. The possibility to easily find allies are limited compared to his predecessors, nevertheless, here the American president shows all his shrewdness or, at least, he is going all in playing his last card without conceive anything to EU.
Actually he is putting together all the Countries with interests in having a weak (or cancelled) Iran. Who are the members of this new Justice League?

Let’s have a closer look to these super heroes and if they are ready to fight the “villain”.

Saudi Arabia. Actually it is the 4th country in the World for military expenditure (after USA, China and Russia) and the 2nd by percentage of GDP spent for military expenditure (10%, only after Oman 16.7%). Very interesting is the last contract stipulated during last Trump’s visit, it has an astronomical amount of $ 110 billions!

Dancing scene

This is a serious contract, a contract that seems to be made for a single purpose, preparation to a war. There is no point so invest this amount of money for defense considering the amount already spent previously, it is not necessary, their armed forces are good enough to face any invasion from neighbors. More, do we really think that actually Iran has an army that strong that can plan and fight an invasion war in Arabia Peninsula against Saudi Arabia and Co.? Emirates, Kuwait, Oman are also investing a lot of money in Armed Forces and America has bases there. Which kind of Xerxes army should Iran put together for this invasion?
So, for me spend $ 110 billions to justify an army that will defend the borders sounds as a ridiculous justification, Saudi Arabia is preparing an attacking Army.
Possibility to join a hypothetical war against Iran: very high.

A man touching a wall

Israel. I think here comments are almost unnecessary. During the last visit in Israel the most powerful man of the World said to Netanyahu what usually Liverpool’s supporters sing to their favorite team: You will never walk alone.
An Israeli maneuver to attack to Iran seems the final clash between two movie characters, it seems the eternal fight between Real Madrid and Barcelona for the Liga supremacy, it just seems something an already written chapter in a history books.
Possibility to join a hypothetical war against Iran: very high.

Turkey. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan like Uma Thurman in Kill Bill, after he escaped the coup d’état he is seeking for revenge, in any form it can arrive, against everyone. Turkey joined all the wars in the Middle East in the last 30 years, nothing let think that they would not join another one, specially against Shia’s Muslim.

Beatrix Kiddo

The last but not the least, for Turkey to have an excuse to move troops abroad, in Kurdish territories is always a valuable reason.
The only variable that would push Turkey far from the anti-Iran coalition is an eventual complication related to Gülen.
Possibility to join a hypothetical war against Iran: high.

United Kingdom. Centuries of wars and alliances just bond these two countries together, US and UK are best buddies. It is very difficult imaging one of them going to war alone, specially when they can both squeeze and milk the same cow.
Possibility to join a hypothetical war against Iran: very high.

UK!? By the way, let’s make few steps behind and let’s go back to the English Opening. How was it? Two horses (one more expendable than the other) and a bishop as first line and queen and towers behind.
It can sound silly but to me it looks like to have in the role of the two horses Saudi Arabia and Israel (and Saudi Arabia is the more expendable), Turkey in the role of the bishop supporting the attack and the queen and towers (States and UK) acting as 2nd line.

I leave to you the consideration about this hypothetical war and this Middle East warfare scenario but, there are so many “but” in this story, so many variables.
Russia, Syria, China, atomic weapons, justifications to kick someone else ass can drive to horrible consequences like an endless war, like millions of deaths, like extremist Muslims fighting to take power and install another Islamic regime, like an unnecessary escalation of threats in that region and mainly like few other millions of refugees that will be probably the only task in which the EU will be involved.

I don’t have proper words to conclude this article, I only wish the English Opening is just a silly idea in my head, I just hope to be wrong, I just hope to be seriously wrong.

Il Principe

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