Trump's Middle East Strategy and Its Chances for Success

(Politico) Aaron David Miller and Richard Sokolsky - President Trump's strategy for dealing with the challenges the U.S. confronts in the Middle East appears to revolve around the creation of an "axis of good" - composed of Israel and a coalition of Sunni Arab states comprising Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies, Egypt, Jordan, and possibly the Palestinian Authority. But Washington's approach seems driven more by hope than experience. When it comes to the peace process, the Arab states are to push and offer to support Palestinians and reach out to Israel. However, this strategy appears to be based on the somewhat dubious notion that the tough issues between Israelis and Palestinians - borders, Jerusalem and refugees - can somehow be finessed. But the gaps between Israeli and Palestinian positions on the core issues are likely too great to be bridged by anything the Gulf Arabs are willing or able to do. Trump might get a breakthrough if the Israelis and Palestinians are willing to lower their expectations and settle for an interim accord. But there are long odds against this approach. Trump might - if he pushes - get Netanyahu and Abbas to sit with him and perhaps announce some follow-up measures. But it's a very long way to the "ultimate deal" from there. Aaron David Miller, a former U.S. Middle East negotiator, is vice president at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. Richard Sokolsky, a former member of the Secretary of State's Office of Policy Planning, is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

2017-05-22 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive