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Garfinkle: How The Administration Is Botching Both Iran and Syria


Adam Garfinkle has a few choice things to say about the Obama administration’s recent negotiating “successes”:

For reasons both political and delusional, the Obama Administration feels great these days both on account of the U.S.-Russia chemical weapons deal over Syria that eventuated in UNSCR 2118, and on account of its “opening” to Iran. The broad optic here, as aided by either partisan-supportive or clueless media commentators, is real good.  If you didn’t know any better, you’d suppose that the Administration has turned two related portfolios that seem very much in the dumps into huge, promising successes. If you do know better, well, you know better.

After taking apart the Syria weapons arrangement in minute detail, Garfinkle chews over what a deal for its own sake with Iran might mean for Obama’s legacy:

I remain skeptical that any agreement with Iran can be reached on terms that ought to be acceptable to the United States. I fear that an agreement might be reached on terms that should not be acceptable, just to release the President from having to face strategic realities while he is in office. If there is such an agreement, Israel may or may not attack Iran before the President’s term is over. My sense is that Israel will not do so, for reasons too complex to explain here in brief. But either way a deep divide in U.S.-Israeli relations will arise—so that this “special” relationship, as with relationships with Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Turkey and others—will be left much worse off when Obama leaves office than they were when he entered it.

Read the whole thing. And if you missed it, here’s our take on the Iran prospects from this weekend.

[Obama photo courtesy Getty Images. Assad photo courtesy Wikimedia.]

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  • Corlyss

    No doubt about it. It takes some serious giftedness to screw up so many important policies so quickly. How did we ever get to be so lucky?

  • Corlyss

    “These [foreign policy] failings of Obama policy are not minor miscalculations that need to be tweaked. They represent a flawed way of looking at the world. There are names for people who believe that incantations or the purity of intentions can change external facts. These policies are less in need of a foreign policy critique than of a medical diagnosis.” – Jeff Bergner former staff director of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and as assistant secretary of state.

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