Restoring U.S.-Israel Trust on Middle East Policy

(National Interest) Chen Kane, W. Seth Carus, and Nima Gerami - With the effective conclusion of U.S.-Israeli negotiations for the military aid package, the next U.S. administration should take note of the need to restore trust with Israel and find ways to foster a more collective security mindset in the Middle East. A perception of eroding U.S. credibility is widely shared by the Israeli national security community, as well as by America's staunchest allies in the Gulf region. At the core of the divergence in U.S. and Israeli strategic objectives are fundamental differences in threat perceptions, strategic prioritization, and policy options for confronting unprecedented change in the Middle East. The signing of the Iran nuclear agreement last year contributed to a growing perception, shared by Israel and Gulf Arabs, that the U.S. is tolerating Iran's antagonistic role in the region at the expense of its traditional allies. Israel's recent outreach to Gulf Arab states and Turkey is emblematic of their shared sense of abandonment by the U.S. and a common interest in developing new security relationships to compensate for what they all see as a U.S. desire for rapprochement with Iran and a reduction of America's footprint in the region. In an increasingly turbulent Middle East, the U.S. and Israel both carry the responsibility to take proactive steps to restore trust at the highest political levels. Chen Kane is director of the Middle East Nonproliferation Program at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies in Washington, D.C. W. Seth Carus and Nima Gerami are Distinguished Research Fellow and Research Fellow at the National Defense University's Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction.

2016-09-26 00:00:00

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