America's Grand Strategy in the Middle East

(Wall Street Journal) Walter Russell Mead - Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Egyptian military have been America's most important regional allies both because they share strategic interests and because they are effective actors in a way that groups like the Muslim Brotherhood and smaller states aren't. If these three forces are working with you, then things often go reasonably well. The struggle against terror is going to be harder than we hoped. Our enemies have scattered and multiplied, and the violent jihadi current has renewed its appeal. It is delusional to believe that we can eliminate this problem by eliminating poverty, underdevelopment, dictatorship or any other "root causes" of the problem; we cannot eliminate them in a policy-relevant time frame. Instead of minimizing the terror threat in hopes of calming the public, the president must prepare public opinion for a long-term struggle. The writer, Professor of Foreign Affairs and Humanities at Bard College, was the Henry A. Kissinger Senior Fellow for U.S. Foreign Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations.

2013-08-26 00:00:00

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