Enduring Myths about U.S. Middle East Policy

(Newsweek-Europe) Aaron David Miller - One enduring and pernicious myth about the Middle East is that there are comprehensive solutions to the region's problems. No there aren't. We are dealing with problems that require careful and extended management because there are no quick or easy resolutions. Even the Obama administration's signal but highly flawed achievement - the Iranian nuclear agreement - is an arms control accord limited in time and scope with no guarantees or assurances that Iran's nuclear weapons aspirations have been laid to rest. Another myth is that America has the answers. No we don't. The Middle East is a broken, angry and dysfunctional region where an absence of leadership, effective institutions, coherent governance, and presence of sectarian, regional, and religious rivalries have combined to guarantee continued instability. Should Israeli-Palestinian peace be a top priority for the next administration? No it shouldn't. Not only is the conflict impossible to resolve right now, the issue is not the most pressing priority for the U.S. in the region. Nor are the Arab states - now far more preoccupied with the challenge from Iran and the Sunnis jihadis - all that focused on the Palestinian issue. The writer, vice president for New Initiatives at the Wilson Center, is a former advisor to U.S. secretaries of state on Arab-Israeli negotiations (1978-2003).

2016-08-03 00:00:00

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