Middle East Meltdown

(Foreign Policy) Aaron David Miller - IS emerged, gained power, and is now operating more effectively because it exists in an environment of failed or failing states. Indeed, IS feeds on Sunni grievances created by bad governance - either in the form of the Assad regime's murderous policies toward Sunnis, or Shia oppression of Sunnis in Iraq. The IS crisis has effectively enhanced Iran's role and influence. And as the Nov. 24 deadline for a deal on the nuclear issue looms, Tehran has become even more important to U.S. policy. It is Iran, rather than any Arab state, that sits at the nexus of almost every issue America cares about in the region, from Syria, to Lebanon, to the nuclear issue, to Iraq, to the Palestinians. And the Saudis and the Israelis know and resent it, further complicating their ties with Washington. As the Arab world melts down, America's capacity to pressure its close ally Israel decreases. If there's a deal with Iran on the nuclear issue, Washington will have its hands full trying to get Israel and Congress to support it. Washington needs to keep Jerusalem close; pressuring Israel on any issue while IS beheads Americans and the Arab world is in turmoil just doesn't compute.

2014-11-07 00:00:00

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