“For the United States, it needs to not only temper its expectations (and therefore slow down the tempo of its intervention in the region generally, but specifically in Syria), and start focusing on larger geopolitical concerns. Obviously, the United States cannot (and should not) simply abandon the region, as many on the Far Right insist. But, we must be willing to give greater levels of support–and responsibility–to our local allies. That is our only hope for not breaking the American military in the quicksand of Mideast politics (which we presently are in danger of doing).”
“American war planners in the Trump Administration must, therefore, opt to hit Assad’s air force, but to leave him enough capabilities that he has a reasonable chance at stemming the jihadist surge that will inevitably come from the American air campaign. Trump must also use the 2,200 American troops in Syria as a bargaining chip to get Russia and Turkey to pull both Iran and Assad himself back from the hostilities, and help to create a negotiated settlement that not only ended the conflict, but helped to establish a more stable political environment in Syria.”
“This show of solidarity between the United States and Israel was the best thing that could have been done after recent developments in the Middle East. Although, there are no guarantees. But, all that the United States can do is to effectively dance with the ones who brought them: the Israelis and the Arabs. And, as Netanyahu remarked following his meeting with Trump today, the Arabs are closer with Israel than ever before–they are united by understandable fears of a rising Iranian hegemony in the region.”
“When the United States recognized the Jewish state of Israel, it sent shockwaves throughout the international system. Donald Trump’s recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is as historic as Harry Truman’s move in 1948. In fact, the announcement last week is probably the most consequential foreign policy decision of the young Trump Administration.”
“If Macron wants France to take a more active role in the region, we should encourage him. After all, misery loves company. We’ve already got the Russians joining us in this miserable party, let’s get the ultimate party-goers–the French–to bring their resources to the table as well!”
“Russia is not our friend (and we need to always be on guard when dealing with them, and interact with them from a position of strength). However, Russia is not our enemy…unless we make them our enemy. The Russians have indicated with this recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel that they are looking for a more amicable, stable solution to the cauldron of chaos that is the Mideast. Now is the time for President Trump to buck the idiotic orthodoxy of the Washington establishment and go to Moscow to make the deal of the century.”
“Any regime that uses 11 year-olds to fight terror groups, like ISIS, is neither an ally nor an agent of regional stability. Unless the Trump Administration takes note of these facts, Iran, not North Korea, will be America’s greatest threat in the near-to-medium term.”
“Failure to recognize Kurdistan is not only an abdication of moral leadership, it is a geostrategic error for the United States. Without Kurdistan as a buffer state between Iran’s expansion into the Levant, as well as a check against Turkish and Russian consolidation of the region’s energy sources, we will permanently lose the region to our adversaries. Backing the Kurds to the fullest is in America’s best interest.”
Don’t worry about the new Russo-Saudi alliance. It actually might be a net positive for the United States in the long-run.
The Trump Administration will make a deal with North Korea. But, this deal will not last more than 18 months because Kim Jong-un IS unstable.