Syria, Libya, Iraq, Egypt…why have Arab states had such a hard time of it lately? And would Palestine, if it were to become the newest Arab state, fare any better?
John Kerry’s ceasefire proposal for Gaza has probably destroyed what remained of the United States’ influence in the Middle East, at least for the duration of this administration’s tenure.
Though there are some important differences this time around, the solution to this recurring nightmare remains the same—and remains unlikely.
What has happened today is certainly a tragedy in human terms, but we need not, and should not, allow emotions to misguide us into making it into a political tragedy as well.
The ISIS offensive has so far played to Iran’s advantage, but poses a strategic nightmare for it in the long run as Iraq continues to dissolve.
With Iraq coming apart at the seams, there are not a lot of reasons for America to use airpower in Iraq. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some limited cases where airstrikes could serve a strategic interest.
The Iraqi state in its historic territorial configuration is gone—solid gone, and it ain’t coming back. Time to start thinking hard about next steps.
President Obama is a political webmaster and a master manager who also really knows how to wow an audience with his powers of speech. He is not a creative or independent thinker, however, as his Middle East legacy is starting to show.
Jim Schlesigner was a great man, a consequential man, and an enigmatic man too in some ways.