The American Interest
Policy, Politics & Culture
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Telephotos Out of the Quicksand

Strategic failure in the Middle East could be a blessing in disguise.

Published on April 9, 2014
The United States is experiencing a strategic reversal of its once-prominent position in the Middle East. It is fast becoming just another squabbling player on a chaotic and complex game board. This reversal has been years in the making but has clearly accelerated since U.S. troops left Iraq and since they began to leave Afghanistan. For the United States, this diminished status is humbling. For the region, it is deeply unsettling. The agent of America’s shrunken regional role is not another state but rather the chaos spreading from Tripoli to Lahore. Much of this chaos is initiated from below but...