Two Americans who’ve spent time on the ground in the Middle-East try and assess what’s going on:
‘The Middle East is as trashed right now as I’ve ever seen it. The Syrian conflict has killed more people than the Bosnian war. Iran is moving ahead on its nuclear weapons program while convincing fools in the West that it’s playing nice and reforming. Egypt is in its worst shape since the Nasserist era, and the Saudis are pitching the biggest fit since the Arab oil embargo in the 70s.’
‘Turkey can’t dictate terms. It isn’t a superpower. It’s a regional power. It’s not the United States. The bizarre thing, however, is that under this administration the United States seems to be shri[n]king. Indeed, Obama seems to be shrinking us out of the Middle East. Maybe that’s a good thing, but I’d like to hear the rationale for it.’
We’ve been creating a power vacuum in the region, but don’t seem to thinking about what we’d like to fill it.
Some of this correction may be necessary to align our budget with our capabilities, and perhaps address the failures of the last 20 years. However, the strategic failures in Syria and Iran with this administration are serious. We’re neither respected nor feared at the moment, and our policy is adrift.
There’s still a strong current of isolationism in the American public mind, and a deep partisan divide and lots of dysfunction to be taken into account.
Did we miss a chance to carve out a bold, new, Truman-esque path in the region last election?
Related On This Site: From The Wall Street Journal: ‘Charles Hill: The Empire Strikes Back’…Fareed Zakaria BBC Interview: America In Decline…Richard Lieber In The World Affairs Journal–Falling Upwards: Declinism, The Box Set…
From The Atlantic: Samuel Huntington’s Death And Life’s Work…From The American Interest Online: Francis Fukuyama On Samuel Huntington…From Foreign Affairs Via The A & L Daily: ‘Conflict Or Cooperation: Three Visions Revisited’Has Fukuyama turned away from Hegel and toward Darwin? Adam Kirsch Reviews Francis Fukuyama’s New Book At The City Journal: ‘The Dawn Of Politics’…Is neoconservative foreign policy defunct…sleeping…how does a neoconservatism more comfortable with liberalism here at home translate into foreign policy?: Wilfred McClay At First Things: ‘The Enduring Irving Kristol’
Michael Totten’s piece that revisits a Robert Kaplan piece from 1993, which is prescient: “A Writhing Ghost Of A Would-Be Nation”. It was always a patchwork of minority tribes, remnants of the Ottoman Empire
I just received a copy of Totten’s book, Where The West Ends, and it’s good reading.
Liberal Internationalism is hobbling us, and the safety of even the liberal internationalist doctrine if America doesn’t lead…Via Youtube-Uncommon Knowledge With Fouad Ajami And Charles Hill