The key here is for President Trump to strike a strategic balance in the Middle East: the United States cannot ignore Iran’s threat to the region. Balancing with regional powers, like Israel and Saudi Arabia, against Iran in order to contain its threat is good. But, unilaterally (and unexpectedly) slapping all oil sanctions back on Iran in a push for greater levels of hostility, as the White House did recently, creates uncertainty and instability in world energy markets. The more instability that the United States creates in the world energy market through its aggressive actions against Iran, the more likely it is that Russia will benefit.
“If Iran is the threat that many in the Trump Administration believe it to be, and if American military power is no longer as effective in the region as everyone previously thought, then why not step back, reserve the right to attack any foe that may arise in Syria at a later date, and seek to make nice with the weaker members of this new Russo-Iranian-Turkish alliance?”
“Despite appearances to the contrary, the Sino-Russian alliance is not solidified. Moscow and Beijing just want a better deal from Washington.”
“The United States cannot hope for the best in Russia. Policymakers must assume that Putin will retain his grip on power and continue atomizing Russian society. If that’s the case, then the Russian state will die with Putin.”
“Continuing to obsess over Europe, or further enmeshing the ailing Russian Federation into the tribal politics of the Middle East, is not in Moscow’s long-term strategic interests.
Washington must recognize this reality and create more amicable relations with Moscow. If it can, then Putin will complete his securitization of Russia’s troubled periphery. A lasting entente between the United States, Europe, and Russia would help to stabilize Russia’s western periphery. Together with the United States (and Israel), the Russians could pulverize the remaining terrorist strongholds in the Muslim world that buttresses Russia’s south. Then Russia could fully focus on complicating Chinese grand strategy by reinvigorating its position in the Far East.”
“Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev’s greatest hope was for the United States and Russia to be partners in peace, not rivals in war in the 21st century. We can fully realize that dream today—and we should give peace a chance. If nothing comes of it, we are right back to where we started. In other words, it’s no real loss for the United States. But if Trump can manage to make progress with Putin, he might further reduce the threat of great power conflict, which would help to keep America great.”
“The president should strike back against Bashar al-Assad for having committed this brazen act of genocide. But, he should also go to Putin and Erdogan—cutting out the Iranians completely—and offer to reduce American presence in Syria in exchange for them forcing Assad (and Iran) to end the civil war peacefully.”
“Trump and Putin need to leash the dogs of war and open the art of the deal. The United States and Russia should be partners, not enemies.”
“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.”
“America’s political class—the so-called foreign policy experts—failed this country royally in the post-Cold War era. The United States and Russia should be running the world. Instead, Russia and China are set to destroy the world order. Just wait for China’s petro-yuan project to take full form. Then even the threat of American sanctions directed against Russia, Iran, or North Korea will no longer hold any weight.”