Has the U.S. Opted Out of the Regional Power Struggle with Iran?

(Washington Post) Jackson Diehl - Al-Qaeda's new base in eastern Syria, Hizbullah's deployment of tens of thousands of missiles in Lebanon, and the crumbling of the U.S.-fostered Iraqi political system leaves U.S. allies in the region - Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Turkey - marooned in a scary new world where their vital interests are no longer under U.S. protection. Israel and Saudi Arabia worry that Obama will strike a deal with Iran that frees it from sanctions without entirely extirpating its capacity to enrich uranium - leaving it with the potential to produce nuclear weapons. But more fundamentally, the U.S. appears to have opted out of the regional power struggle between Iran and its proxies and Israel and the Arab states aligned with the U.S. Virtually no one outside the State Department takes seriously the possibility that Kerry's plan for a Geneva conference to settle the Syrian war can work in the foreseeable future, or that Israelis and Palestinians can agree on a two-state settlement. They play along with the process to please Washington, or Moscow, while complaining to journalists like me that Kerry's diplomacy is based on fantasy.

2013-10-28 00:00:00

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