The Gang of Four: The American Version

Shortly before the death of Chinese leader Mao Zedong and during his illness, the role of four figures in the Chinese Communist Party, led by Mao’s wife, grew. After his death, the term “Gang of Four” was circulated, and they were later put on trial.

It appears that in the current U.S. administration, there is a “Gang of Four” who are exploiting the health and, to some extent, mental condition of U.S. President Biden. However, they share one characteristic: “loyalty to Israel.” This loyalty is evident in their promotion of positions and settlements that internally aim to relieve Israel from diplomatic embarrassment on one hand and ensure the flow of aid to it on the other. The American Gang of Four consists of:

Secretary of State Antony Blinken


Blinken served as Deputy National Security Advisor from 2013 to 2015, then became Deputy Secretary of State for the following two years. He is of Jewish faith, both by father and mother, and has played a notable role in opening communication channels between Jewish lobby groups and Biden. His most prominent positions are:
a. He calls for activating the role of the United Nations in various international issues except in the Middle East.
b. Blinken represents one of the most prominent advocates for not tying aid to “Israel” to any political conditions.
c. He does not call for the return of the U.S. Embassy to Tel Aviv.
d. He is one of the most prominent opponents of any activity of the BDS movement (boycotting Israel).
e. He tends to keep Israeli-American differences away from the spotlight, which means that the secret aspect forms part of his negotiation management in the Middle East.
f. He is considered one of the most prominent advocates for arming the Kurds in Syria to ensure their future investment and make them a Middle Eastern connection point with Israel.

National Security Advisor Jacob Jeremiah Sullivan


Sullivan is the youngest in Biden’s foreign policy and national security team (46 years old). He worked in the State Department and the U.S. National Security Council with both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, in addition to being a national security advisor to Joe Biden when he was Vice President. He was also among the experts on the nuclear deal with Iran. He is less inclined to ideologize foreign policy and believes that U.S. hard power does not necessarily produce gains.

His most prominent orientations in foreign policy are:
a. Interest in building international alliances and avoiding U.S. unilateralism in making international decisions to avoid bearing the burden of major confrontations.
b. The degree of compatibility between him and Secretary of State Blinken is very high in foreign policy, which makes their ability to move greater.
c. He participated in secret negotiations with the Iranians regarding the nuclear program in 2012 in Oman, and therefore will work on returning to negotiations with Iran to draw it away from possessing nuclear weapons and tempt it in some aspects of its role in the Middle East. However, his demand for the U.S. administration in 2009 to support the Iranian opposition (the Green Movement opposing President Ahmadinejad) indicates that he may return to communicating with the Iranian opposition as one of the tools to pressure Iran, meaning he sees no harm in employing oppositions in any country as long as that country tries to get rid of American conditions.
d. Sullivan is considered the member of Biden’s team most inclined to employ criticism of both Saudi Arabia and Egypt in the field of human rights and democracy practices, especially if either of them tries to exceed American demands.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin


Despite his long military experience (41 years), he has never held any political position, but his Middle Eastern military experience is important. He led U.S. forces in the war on Iraq and served as commander of the U.S. Central Command in the Greater Middle East.

Austin has close friendship ties with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz. During his tenure as head of the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), “Israel” was under the European Command, but he expressed his desire to cooperate with “Israel,” which he confirms he is greatly concerned with its interests. With the transfer of the “Israel” area to the Central Command in the last days of Trump’s term, the field will be more spacious for Austin to increase his cooperation with “Israel,” especially as Arab normalization with “Israel” will make this easier for his mission.

Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) William Burns

William Burns served as an ambassador in several countries, including Arab countries, and he speaks Arabic fluently. He also worked as the president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, an American research institution, in addition to working with five presidents and ten U.S. Secretaries of State.

Burns is considered a strong defender of the nuclear agreement with Iran and believes that “Israel” is more secure with this agreement, contrary to Netanyahu’s view. Burns represents one of the most prominent critics of Trump’s foreign policy, and he is inclined towards shadow diplomacy as he presents in his recent study. This was evident in his contribution with the CIA in arranging the ceasefire in Gaza at an earlier stage, in persuading former Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi to abandon his nuclear project, in arranging the nuclear agreement with Iran, and in strengthening his country’s relations with India. He strongly criticized Trump’s policies without mentioning his name except in the last chapter of the study. He also emphasizes that the “unipolar” world that the United States enjoyed after the Cold War is a transient phase, and that the United States, like other international powers, will experience a decline that it must take into account, and that it should not excessively rely on its “hard power” in its international relations.

Burns supported the criticisms of Trump’s withdrawal of some of his forces from Syria, viewing it as a “betrayal of the Kurds,” and that the United States is no longer the sole dominant player in Middle East policies but one of the important players. From his point of view, he determines that the United States should be modest in its confidence in achieving deep transformations in the Middle East, and that it should focus on militarily supported diplomacy rather than on military capability that diplomacy later justifies.

Burns believes that U.S. allies in the Middle East exaggerate America’s ability to shape conditions in this region, and he outlines his vision for the situation in the Middle East as follows:

a. The Middle East has become less important to America, and America faces geo-political challenges in other regions that deserve attention, especially East Asia.

b. The previous point does not mean there are no U.S. interests in the Middle East such as: freedom of navigation, access to energy sources in the Gulf, ensuring the security of U.S. friends from threats of external or regional powers, preventing the emergence of terrorist groups with capabilities beyond the region’s borders, and preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction in the region.

c. The U.S. relationship with Gulf countries should be based on the need for social and political updates, stopping tensions around Yemen, ceasing intervention in Libya and Sudan, stopping their internal conflicts, and the necessity of accepting a return to the nuclear agreement with Iran.

d. Burns wonders: How can a single state, “Israel,” with an Arab majority be established? This solution threatens Jordan because “Israel” might work on deporting Palestinians to the Jordanian neighborhood, which could destabilize the region again, and that the best solution is to return to the two-state solution.

e. He sees the necessity of taking the European perspective into account regarding the region’s problems.

The Gang and the Future of Gaza:

Given this gang’s inclination towards secret negotiations and entangling the opponent in confusing positions, the gang is behind Biden’s plan. It seems to me that the gang, especially Blinken, is seeking to convince the world that Biden’s plan is acceptable to Israel and specifically to Netanyahu, although no Israeli official has explicitly and clearly announced acceptance of the plan. The gang seeks to promote Israel’s “implicit” acceptance of the plan while working to push the resistance to publicly and unconditionally accept Biden’s plan in writing. I believe this requires the resistance to demand from the mediating parties:

a- Israel should provide a written positive response to be deposited with the Arab mediators and the office of the UN Secretary-General, including full public acceptance of Biden’s plan.

b- Sufficient explanations should be provided for each item (its timelines, the meaning of its concepts) with the necessity of specifying the language adopted in writing any agreement to be the reference in case of disagreement on meanings.

The general orientation of the gang is to impose a solution “with loose wording and ambiguous concepts” and then push Arab countries to support that solution, which is essentially based on “disarming the resistance and cooperating with the Oslo gang to implement the plan with Palestinian hands and full investment in security coordination apparatus.”

Certainly, delaying the reconstruction issue and facilitating the movement of displaced people to return to their homes will be the “soft power” in which the Gang of Four will play the main role in determining the quantity, time, and responsibilities to link aid conditions with Palestinian concessions extracted from the resistance. If the resistance refuses, it will be held responsible for the failure, serving two purposes: returning the international community to view the resistance from the same previous perspective instead of the distorted image that Israel has become, and then attempting to hold the resistance responsible for the stumbling, delay, or insufficiency of aid, hoping this might open the way for rifts between the resistance and its popular base.

Therefore, the resistance should announce:

1- It is absolved of any agreement if Israel does not officially announce, through relevant official entities (Prime Minister and Foreign Minister), acceptance of the plan.

2- The resistance calls for international observers in two directions: First, observers for negotiation rounds on the content, concepts, and implementation times; and second, determining the party obstructing implementation.

3- All reconstruction procedures and various aid assistance should be determined through an international committee in which, alongside Arab mediators, the European Union, America, China, Russia, and a representative of the UN Secretary-General participate.

SAKHRI Mohamed
SAKHRI Mohamed

I hold a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and International Relations in addition to a Master's degree in International Security Studies. Alongside this, I have a passion for web development. During my studies, I acquired a strong understanding of fundamental political concepts and theories in international relations, security studies, and strategic studies.

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