“A balance of power paradigm that pits one group of foreign states mostly serving American interests against another, is the best way. Enough of over-committing U.S. forces to the field of battle at the outset of any potential conflict. Play all sides until the best deal can be reached.
The United States isn’t opposed to fighting. The country has been engaged in warfare of some kind for 222 out of its 239-year existence (that’s roughly 93 percent of American history). It’s not about being afraid to fight. The issue is when to fight and how (also, why, particularly in the case of the Middle East).
American policymakers cannot formulate a cogent answer to those questions. At least, not until the wonderfully disruptive Age of Trump.”
“Turkey has made its intentions clear: it is not a Western ally. Ankara does not seek to be a Western partner. If the West continues treating Turkey as though it were simply a wayward child rather than a rival, the West will continue to be undermined and embarrassed from within.”
“Syria’s proximity to Europe is also beneficial because the Chinese are seeking to not only tie together as much of Eurasia as possible through trade, but they want to do so in a way that a) undermines the influence of the United States and b) reduces the military threat the United States poses to Chinese interests.”
“By insisting that Europe significantly decrease its reliance on cheap Russian natural gas in favor of expensive American energy sources, Washington is exacerbating the political, economic, and social instability already afflicting Europe today.”
“Fact is, under present conditions, without some form of peaceful mitigation of tensions, it is likely that some form of conflict with Iran is at hand–this is especially true if the Iranians blockade the Strait of Hormuz. The United States, at that point, would have no point but to respond immediately. There are simply no viable alternatives out of transporting Mideast oil through the Strait of Hormuz.”
“Further, I would anticipate spikes in the global price of oil for the foreseeable future (by the way, this undoubtedly would make Moscow happy, since Russia depends on higher-than-average oil prices to sustain its economy and military modernization program). Should these increases continue for the foreseeable future—and if Iran continued both with its illicit nuclear weapons program and regional expansion—the United States will be forced to intervene military.”
“But, because George H.W. Bush was more concerned with playing petty politics based on short-term assumptions, rather than acting boldly and taking the licks for his decisions. Even his actions in Desert Storm were indecisive, which created many more problems for the United States in the long-run than there otherwise would have been. This is why George H.W. Bush’s presidency was an unmitigated failure (to say nothing of his domestic failures).”
“Again, I urge America’s leaders to repeal the Leahy Laws and fully embrace a more restrained, realistic foreign policy that empowers our local friends and allows our forces time to rest and recuperate after 18 years of endless—almost winless—warfare. After all, no matter how ugly they may be, it is always proper to dance with the ones who brought you to the party.”
“Give peace a chance and let diplomacy work. Until the meeting, Trump should keep his twitter aimed at domestic politics and Iran. Leave North Korea alone until we can get a better read on North Korean intentions at the Singapore summit.”
“Trump wants to put American interests first in the Mideast. Therefore, he should abrogate the Iran deal and withdraw American forces from Syria (while at the same time empowering American allies in Israel and the Sunni Arab states to stand up to Iran). Paris will never see eye-to-eye with Washington on these matters. Historically, Paris and Washington rarely agree. C’est la vie! The transatlantic divide over the Mideast is real and it will not get better anytime soon. It looks like Emmanuel Macron will have to shower Germany’s Angela Merkel with awkward hugs and creepy kisses from now on (c’est dégoûtant!).”