A Trump Doctrine for the Middle East?

(New York Times) Michael Doran - President Barack Obama embraced Iranian ascendancy with open arms. He dropped efforts to contain Iran because he was convinced that recognition of an Iranian sphere of influence would persuade Tehran to function as a partner in stabilizing Iraq and Syria. This was a miscalculation, and it led directly to the Russian-Iranian military alliance in Syria. It is false that U.S. support for our longtime friends in the Middle East is a cause of instability, and that by distancing ourselves from them while reaching out to our enemies we can make the world a safer place. (It's an even worse fallacy to imagine that we can create a Middle East without enemies.) And it's just as wrong to assume we can cleverly pull Russia away from Iran in Syria. The tensions between them are insignificant compared with their shared interest in propping up the Bashar al-Assad regime and eroding American influence. Finally, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict is not the center of gravity in the Middle East, nor is it ripe for solution. If Mr. Trump recognizes these fallacies, he will be far ahead of the game. The writer, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, was a senior director at the National Security Council in the George W. Bush administration.

2017-05-19 00:00:00

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